In this seven-part paper, we show that gravitational waves (classical and quantum) produce the accelerated de Sitter expansion at the start and at the end of the cosmological evolution of the Universe. In these periods, the Universe contains no matter fields but contains classical and quantum metric fluctuations, i.e., it is filled with classical and quantum gravitational waves. In such evolution of the Universe, dominated by gravitational waves, the de Sitter state is the exact solution to the self-consistent equations for classical and quantum gravitational waves and background geometry for the empty space-time with FLRW metric. In both classical and quantum cases, this solution is of the instanton origin since it is obtained in the Euclidean space of imaginary time with the subsequent analytic continuation to real time. The cosmological acceleration from gravitational waves provides a transparent physical explanation to the coincidence, threshold and “old cosmological constant” paradoxes of dark energy avoiding recourse to the anthropic principle. The cosmological acceleration from virtual gravitons at the start of the Universe evolution produces inflation, which is consistent with the observational data on CMB anisotropy. Section 1 is devoted to cosmological acceleration from classical gravitational waves. Section 2 is devoted to the theory of virtual gravitons in the Universe. Section 3 is devoted to cosmological acceleration from virtual gravitons. Section 4 discusses the consistency of the theory with observational data on dark energy and inflation. The discussion of mechanism of acceleration and cosmological scenario are contained in Sections 5 and 6. Appendix contains the theory of stochastic nonlinear gravitational waves of arbitrary wavelength and amplitude in an isotropic Universe.
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