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Title

Weyl relativity: A novel approach to Weyl's ideas

AuthorsBarceló, Carlos ; Carballo Rubio, Raúl ; Garay, Luis Javier
Issue Date8-Jun-2017
PublisherInstitute of Physics Publishing
CitationJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2017: 014 (2017)
AbstractIn this paper we revisit the motivation and construction of a unified theory of gravity and electromagnetism, following Weyl's insights regarding the appealing potential connection between the gauge invariance of electromagnetism and the conformal invariance of the gravitational field. We highlight that changing the local symmetry group of spacetime permits to construct a theory in which these two symmetries are combined into a putative gauge symmetry but with second-order field equations and non-trivial mass scales, unlike the original higher-order construction by Weyl. We prove that the gravitational field equations are equivalent to the (trace-free) Einstein field equations, ensuring their compatibility with known tests of general relativity. As a corollary, the effective cosmological constant is rendered radiatively stable due to Weyl invariance. A novel phenomenological consequence characteristic of this construction, potentially relevant for cosmological observations, is the existence of an energy scale below which effects associated with the non-integrability of spacetime distances, and an effective mass for the electromagnetic field, appear simultaneously (as dual manifestations of the use of Weyl connections). We explain how former criticisms against Weyl's ideas lose most of their power in its present reincarnation, which we refer to as Weyl relativity, as it represents a Weyl-invariant, unified description of both the Einstein and Maxwell field equations.
Description34 pags., 2 apps.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1088/1475-7516/2017/06/014
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/163056
Identifiersdoi: 10.1088/1475-7516/2017/06/014
issn: 1475-7516
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