New representation for Lagrangians of self-dual nonlinear electrodynamics

Research paper by E. A. Ivanov, B. M. Zupnik

Indexed on: 12 May '02Published on: 12 May '02Published in: High Energy Physics - Theory


We elaborate on a new representation of Lagrangians of 4D nonlinear electrodynamics including the Born-Infeld theory as a particular case. In this new formulation, in parallel with the standard Maxwell field strength $F_{\alpha\beta}, \bar{F}_{\dot\alpha\dot\beta}$, an auxiliary bispinor field $V_{\alpha\beta}, \bar{V}_{\dot\alpha\dot\beta}$ is introduced. The gauge field strength appears only in bilinear terms of the full Lagrangian, while the interaction Lagrangian $E$ depends on the auxiliary fields, $E = E(V^2, \bar V^2)$. The generic nonlinear Lagrangian depending on $F,\bar{F}$ emerges as a result of eliminating the auxiliary fields. Two types of self-duality inherent in the nonlinear electrodynamics models admit a simple characterization in terms of the function $E$. The continuous SO(2) duality symmetry between nonlinear equations of motion and Bianchi identities amounts to requiring $E$ to be a function of the SO(2) invariant quartic combination $V^2\bar V^2$, which explicitly solves the well-known self-duality condition for nonlinear Lagrangians. The discrete self-duality (or self-duality under Legendre transformation) amounts to a weaker condition $E(V^2, \bar{V}^2) = E(-V^2, -\bar{V}^2)$. We show how to generalize this approach to a system of $n$ Abelian gauge fields exhibiting U(n) duality. The corresponding interaction Lagrangian should be U(n) invariant function of $n$ bispinor auxiliary fields.