Scale Invariance, Inflation and the Present Vacuum Energy of the Universe
Department of Physics, Ben Gurion University,
Beer Sheva 84105, Israel

The possibility of mass in the context of scale-invariant, generally covariant theories, is discussed. Scale invariance is considered in the context of a gravitational theory where the action, in the first order formalism, is of the form $S = \int L_{1} \Phi d^4x$ + $\int L_{2}\sqrt{-g}d^4x$ where $\Phi$ is a density built out of degrees of freedom independent of the metric. For global scale invariance, a "dilaton" $\phi$ has to be introduced, with non-trivial potentials $V(\phi)$ = $f_{1}e^{\alpha\phi}$ in $L_1$ and $U(\phi)$ = $f_{2}e^{2\alpha\phi}$ in $L_2$. This leads to non-trivial mass generation and a potential for $\phi$ which is interesting for inflation. The model after ssb can be connected to the induced gravity model of Zee, which is a successful model of inflation. Models of the present universe and a natural transition from inflation to a slowly accelerated universe at late times are discussed.