General relativity as a biconformal gauge theory

Wheeler, James T. (Utah State University, Department of Physics, 4415 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-4415, United States of America)

02 May 2019

Abstract: We consider the conformal group of a space of dimn=p+q , with SO(p,q) metric. The quotient of this group by its homogeneous Weyl subgroup gives a principal fiber bundle with 2 n -dim base manifold and Weyl fibers. The Cartan generalization to a curved 2 n -dim geometry admits an action functional linear in the curvatures. Because symmetry is maintained between the translations and the special conformal transformations in the construction, these spaces are called biconformal; this same symmetry gives biconformal spaces overlapping structures with double field theories, including manifest T-duality. We establish that biconformal geometry is a form of double field theory, showing how general relativity with integrable local scale invariance arises from its field equations. While we discuss the relationship between biconformal geometries and the double field theories of T-dual string theories, our principal interest is the study of the gravity theory. We show that vanishing torsion and vanishing co-torsion solutions to the field equations overconstrain the system, implying a trivial biconformal space. With co-torsion unconstrained, we show that (1) the torsion-free solutions are foliated by copies of an n -dim Lie group, (2) torsion-free solutions generically describe locally scale-covariant general relativity with symmetric, divergence-free sources on either the co-tangent bundle of n -dim (p,q) -spacetime or the torus of double field theory, and (3) torsion-free solutions admit a subclass of spacetimes with n -dim non-abelian Lie symmetry. These latter cases include the possibility of a gravity-electroweak unification. It is notable that the field equations reduce all curvature components to dependence only on the solder form of an n -dim Lagrangian submanifold, despite the increased number of curvature components and doubled number of initial independent variables.

Published in: Nuclear Physics B (2019)
Published by: Elsevier
DOI: 10.1016/j.nuclphysb.2019.114624
License: CC-BY-3.0

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