Indexed on: 19 Oct '05Published on: 19 Oct '05Published in: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
Nonlinear realizations of spacetime groups are presented as a versatile mathematical tool providing a common foundation for quite different formulations of gauge theories of gravity. We apply nonlinear realizations in particular to both the Poincar\'e and the affine group in order to develop Poincar\'e gauge theory (PGT) and metric-affine gravity (MAG) respectively. Regarding PGT, two alternative nonlinear treatments of the Poincar\'e group are developed, one of them being suitable to deal with the Lagrangian and the other one with the Hamiltonian version of the same gauge theory. We argue that our Hamiltonian approach to PGT is closely related to Ashtekar's approach to gravity. On the other hand, a brief survey on MAG clarifies the role played by the metric--affine metric tensor as a Goldsone field. All gravitational quantities in fact --the metric as much as the coframes and connections-- are shown to acquire a simple gauge--theoretical interpretation in the nonlinear framework.