Graviton mass or cosmological constant?

Gregory Gabadadze, Andrei Gruzinov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    To describe a massive graviton in 4D Minkowski space-time one introduces a quadratic term in the Lagrangian. This term, however, can lead to a readjustment or instability of the background instead of describing a massive graviton on flat space. We show that for all local 4D Lorentz-invariant mass terms Minkowski space is unstable. The instability can develop in a time scale that is many orders of magnitude shorter than the inverse graviton mass. We start with the Pauli-Fierz (PF) term that is the only local mass term with no ghosts in the linearized approximation. We show that nonlinear completions of the PF Lagrangian give rise to instability of Minkowski space. We continue with the mass terms that are not of a PF type. Although these models are known to have ghosts in the linearized approximations, nonlinear interactions can lead to background change in which the ghosts are eliminated. In the latter case, however, the graviton perturbations on the new background are not massive. We argue that a consistent theory of a massive graviton on flat space can be formulated in theories with extra dimensions. They require an infinite number of fields or nonlocal description from a 4D point of view.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number124007
    JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
    Issue number12
    StatePublished - Dec 15 2005

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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