Cosmological constant can always be considered as the on-shell value of a top form in gravitational theories. The top form is the field strength of a gauge field, and the theory enjoys a gauge symmetry. We show that cosmological constant is the charge of the global part of the gauge symmetry, and is conserved irrespective of the dynamics of the metric and other fields. In addition, we introduce its conjugate chemical potential, and prove the generalized first law of thermodynamics which includes variation of cosmological constant as a conserved charge. We discuss how our new term in the first law is related to the volume-pressure term. In parallel with the seminal Wald entropy, this analysis suggests that pressure can also be considered as a conserved charge.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)