Apparently, this discrepancy is one of the "worst predictions" in the history of science. Clearly the vacuum energy calculation depends on many approximations and it is not clear how it should be tied to the cosmological constant. Some articles claim that the two differ by 120 orders of magnitude, however it is not clear for me who was the first to publish this number or where it comes from. I have checked reviews like:
- Everything you always wanted to know about the cosmological constant problem 2012 but the author just says: ''122 orders of magnitude often quoted in the literature'' no ref.
- Weinberg (1989) does not offer much better, he cites Abbott 1988 popular science article, but Abbott only refers to the 45 orders of magnitude.
- Zeldovich 1968 the magnitude is 42(?) no mention of 120 or 122
- The value has to predate 1984, because Alan Guth was referring already to it in his The New Inflationary Universe (1983) lecture, see also Hawking (1983) .
- W. Nernst, W. Lenz and W. Pauli seem to have discussed the problem long before Zeldovich (in the 1920s) mostly in German. Maybe one of them?
So who was the first to publish such a large difference of 120 or 122? Did the author specify values for both the vacuum energy calculation and measurements of the cosmological constant?