Nonlinear dynamics of 3D massive gravity

Claudia De Rham, Gregory Gabadadze, David Pirtskhalava, Andrew J. Tolley, Itay Yavin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We explore the nonlinear classical dynamics of the three-dimensional theory of "New Massive Gravity" proposed by Bergshoeff, Hohm and Townsend. We find that the theory passes remarkably highly nontrivial consistency checks at the nonlinear level. In particular, we show that: (1) In the decoupling limit of the theory, the interactions of the helicity-0 mode are described by a single cubic term - the so-called cubic Galileon - previously found in the context of the DGP model and in certain 4D massive gravities. (2) The conformal mode of the metric coincides with the helicity-0 mode in the decoupling limit. Away from this limit the nonlinear dynamics of the former is described by a certain generalization of Galileon interactions, which like the Galileons themselves have a wellposed Cauchy problem. (3) We give a non-perturbative argument based on the presence of additional symmetries that the full theory does not lead to any extra degrees of freedom, suggesting that a 3D analog of the 4D Boulware-Deser ghost is not present in this theory. Last but not least, we generalize "New Massive Gravity" and construct a class of 3D cubic order massive models that retain the above properties.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number28
    JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - 2011


    • Classical Theories of Gravity
    • Field Theories in Lower Dimensions

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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