[eng] The cosmological constant problem is one of the long-standing issues of modern physics. While we can measure the value of the cosmological constant with great accuracy, we are not able to calculate it in a coherent theoretical framework and the theoretical predictions in Quantum Field Theory are radically different from observations. This disagreement is a hint of the difficult conciliation of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity in a theory of Quantum Gravity.
Current approaches to the cosmological constant problem, in particular, do not account for the quantum nature of the gravitational interaction and rely on perturbative calculations.
In this thesis we address the issue in the simplified framework of two-dimensional dilaton-Maxwell gravity, coupled to scalar matter fields. By exploiting a newly found duality with Liouville Field Theory, we are able to quantize our model non-perturbatively in Dirac's approach to constrained systems. We determine that the realization of the classical symmetries at the quantum level provides a mechanism that fixes the value of the cosmological constant once a specific quantum state is selected and required to be physical. Furthermore Quantum Gravity introduces contributions to the value of the cosmological constant opposite in sign with respect to the matter contributions, allowing for partial cancellations.