Weyl relativity: a novel approach to Weyl's ideas

DOI: 
10.1088/1475-7516/2017/06/014
Publication date: 
01/06/2017
Main author: 
Barceló, Carlos
IAA authors: 
Barceló, Carlos
Authors: 
Barceló, Carlos;Carballo-Rubio, Raúl;Garay, Luis J.
Journal: 
Journal of Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics
Refereed: 
Yes
Publication type: 
Article
Volume: 
2017
Pages: 
014
Abstract: 

In 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.

Database: 
ADS
SCOPUS
URL: 
https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85021633547&doi=10.1088%2f1475-7516%2f2017%2f06%2f014&partnerID=40&md5=8c05e47a996b49da25307d055d4e4b70
ADS Bibcode: 
2017JCAP...06..014B