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

DOI: 
10.1016/j.aop.2018.08.016
Publication date: 
04/10/2018
Main author: 
Barceló C.
IAA authors: 
Barceló, C.;Carballo-Rubio, R.
Authors: 
Barceló C., Carballo-Rubio R., Garay L.J.
Journal: 
Annals of Physics
Refereed: 
Yes
Publication type: 
Article
Volume: 
398
Pages: 
9-23
Abstract: 
The 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.
Database: 
SCOPUS
ADS
URL: 
https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/#abs/2018AnPhy.398....9B/abstract
ADS Bibcode: 
2018AnPhy.398....9B
Keywords: 
Bootstrapping; Cosmological constant; Graviton; Self-coupling; Unimodular gravity; Vacuum energy