Tractors, Mass and Weyl Invariance
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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tractors, Mass and Weyl Invariance

  • Author(s): Gover, A. R.
  • Shaukat, A.
  • Waldron, A.
  • et al.

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Deser and Nepomechie established a relationship between masslessness and rigid conformal invariance by coupling to a background metric and demanding local Weyl invariance, a method which applies neither to massive theories nor theories which rely upon gauge invariances for masslessness. We extend this method to describe massive and gauge invariant theories using Weyl invariance. The key idea is to introduce a new scalar field which is constant when evaluated at the scale corresponding to the metric of physical interest. This technique relies on being able to efficiently construct Weyl invariant theories. This is achieved using tractor calculus--a mathematical machinery designed for the study of conformal geometry. From a physics standpoint, this amounts to arranging fields in multiplets with respect to the conformal group but with novel Weyl transformation laws. Our approach gives a mechanism for generating masses from Weyl weights. Breitenlohner--Freedman stability bounds for Anti de Sitter theories arise naturally as do direct derivations of the novel Weyl invariant theories given by Deser and Nepomechie. In constant curvature spaces, partially massless theories--which rely on the interplay between mass and gauge invariance--are also generated by our method. Another simple consequence is conformal invariance of the maximal depth partially massless theories. Detailed examples for spins s<=2 are given including tractor and component actions, on-shell and off-shell approaches and gauge invariances. For all spins s>=2 we give tractor equations of motion unifying massive, massless, and partially massless theories.

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