Unimodular gravity and general relativity from graviton self-interactions



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Barceló, Carlos and Carballo Rubio, Raúl and Garay Elizondo, Luis Javier (2014) Unimodular gravity and general relativity from graviton self-interactions. Physical review D, 89 (12). ISSN 1550-7998

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.89.124019


It is commonly accepted that general relativity is the only solution to the consistency problem that appears when trying to build a theory of interacting gravitons (massless spin-2 particles). Padmanabhan’s 2008 thought-provoking analysis raised some concerns that are having resonance in the community. In this paper we present the self-coupling problem in detail and explicitly solve the infinite-iterations scheme associated with it for the simplest theory of a graviton field, which corresponds to an irreducible spin-2 representation of the Poincaré group. We make explicit the nonuniqueness problem by finding an entire
family of solutions to the self-coupling problem. Then we show that the only resulting theory which implements a deformation of the original gauge symmetry happens to have essentially the structure of unimodular gravity. This makes plausible the possibility of a natural solution to the first cosmological constant problem in theories of emergent gravity. Later on, we change for the sake of completeness the starting free-field theory to Fierz-Pauli theory, an equivalent theory but with a larger gauge symmetry. We indicate how to carry out the infinite summation procedure in a similar way. Overall, we conclude that as long as one requires the (deformed) preservation of internal gauge invariance, one naturally recovers the structure of unimodular gravity or general relativity but in a version that explicitly shows the underlying Minkowski spacetime, in the spirit of Rosen’s flat-background bimetric theory.

Item Type:Article
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© 2014 American Physical Society. Financial support was provided by the Spanish MICINN through Projects No. FIS2011-30145-C03-01 and No. FIS2011-30145-C03-02 (with FEDER contribution), and by the Junta de Andalucía through Project No. FQM219. R. C-R. acknowledges support from CSIC through the JAE-predoc program, cofunded by FSE.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Massless particles; Energy-momentum; Fields; Derivation; Principle; Equations; Symmetry; Tensor; Spin.
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Physics-Mathematical models
Sciences > Physics > Mathematical physics
ID Code:29600
Deposited On:16 Apr 2015 08:09
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:09

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