Gravitational theories with stable (anti-)de Sitter backgrounds

Biswas, Tirthabir and Koshelev, Alexey S. and Mazumdar, Anupam (2016) Gravitational theories with stable (anti-)de Sitter backgrounds. In: At the frontier of spacetime. Fundamental Theories of Physics . Springer, pp. 97-114. ISBN 9783319312972

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In this article we will construct the most general torsion-free parity-invariant covariant theory of gravity that is free from ghost-like and tachyonic instabilities around constant curvature space-times in four dimensions. Specifically, this includes the Minkowski, de Sitter and anti-de Sitter backgrounds. We will first argue in details how starting from a general covariant action for the metric one arrives at an “equivalent” action that at most contains terms that are quadratic in curvatures but nevertheless is sufficient for the purpose of studying stability of the original action. We will then briefly discuss how such a “quadratic curvature action” can be decomposed in a covariant formalism into separate sectors involving the tensor, vector and scalar modes of the metric tensor; most of the details of the analysis however, will be presented in an accompanying paper. We will find that only the transverse and trace-less spin-2 graviton with its two helicity states and possibly a spin-0 Brans-Dicke type scalar degree of freedom are left to propagate in 4 dimensions. This will also enable us to arrive at the consistency conditions required to make the theory perturbatively stable around constant curvature backgrounds.

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13 Jul 2016 08:32
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16 Sep 2023 03:09