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Title

Absence of cosmological constant problem in special relativistic field theory of gravity

AuthorsBarceló, Carlos ; Carballo Rubio, Raúl ; Garay, Luis Javier
KeywordsGraviton
Self-coupling
Cosmological constant
Vacuum energy
Unimodular gravity
Bootstrapping
Issue Date2018
PublisherAcademic Press
CitationAnnals of Physics 398: 9-23 (2018)
AbstractThe principles of quantum field theory in flat spacetime suggest that gravity is mediated by a massless particle with helicity ±2, the so-called graviton. It is regarded as textbook knowledge that, when the self-coupling of a particle with these properties is considered, the long-wavelength structure of such a nonlinear theory is fixed to be that of general relativity. However, here we indicate that these arguments conceal an implicit assumption which is surreptitiously motivated by the very knowledge of general relativity. This is shown by providing a counterexample: we revisit a nonlinear theory of gravity which is not structurally equivalent to general relativity and that, in the non-interacting limit, describes a free helicity ±2 graviton. We explicitly prove that this theory, known as Weyl-transverse gravity (unimodular gravity with explicit Weyl invariance), can be understood as the result of self-coupling in complete parallelism to the well-known case of general relativity. We discuss the absence of cosmological constant problem in this theory, highlighting that it provides a particular realization of previous arguments formulated in studies of the emergence of the gravitational interaction from condensed-matter-like models. Overall, we conclude that the consideration that gravity is mediated by a massless particle with helicity ±2 does not inextricably lead to the cosmological constant problem.© 2018 Elsevier Inc.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aop.2018.08.016
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/215162
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.aop.2018.08.016
issn: 1096-035X
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