Gravity with background fields and diffeomorphism breaking

Research paper by Robert Bluhm

Indexed on: 03 Jan '16Published on: 03 Jan '16Published in: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology


Effective gravitational field theories with background fields break local Lorentz symmetry and diffeomorphism invariance. Examples include Chern-Simons gravity, massive gravity, and the Standard-Model Extension (SME). The physical properties and behavior of these theories depend greatly on whether the spacetime symmetry breaking is explicit or spontaneous. With explicit breaking, the background fields are fixed and nondynamical, and the resulting theories are fundamentally different from Einstein's General Relativity (GR). However, when the symmetry breaking is spontaneous, the background fields are dynamical in origin, and many of the usual features of Einstein's GR still apply.