Fully covariant van Dam-Veltman-Zakharov discontinuity, and absence thereof

M. Porrati

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In both old and recent literature, it has been argued that the celebrated van Dam-Veltman-Zakharov (vDVZ) discontinuity of massive gravity is an artifact due to linearization of the true equations of motion. In this Letter, we investigate that claim. First, we exhibit an explicit - albeit somewhat arbitrary - fully covariant set of equations of motion that, upon linearization, reduce to the standard Pauli-Fierz equations. We show that the vDVZ discontinuity still persists in that non-linear, covariant theory. Then, we restrict our attention to a particular system that consistently incorporates massive gravity: the Dvali-Gabadadze-Porrati (DGP) model. DGP is fully covariant and does not share the arbitrariness and imperfections of our previous covariantization, and its linearization exhibits a vDVZ discontinuity. Nevertheless, we explicitly show that the discontinuity does disappear in the fully covariant theory, and we explain the reason for this phenomenon.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)209-215
    Number of pages7
    JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
    Issue number1-4
    StatePublished - May 16 2002

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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