Selftuned massive spin-2

Claudia de Rham, Gregory Gabadadze

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We calculate the cubic order terms in a covariant theory that gives a nonlinear completion of the Fierz-Pauli massive spin-2 action. The resulting terms have specially tuned coefficients guarantying the absence of a ghost at this order in the decoupling limit. We show in this limit that: (1) The quadratic theory propagates helicity-2, 1, and helicity-0 states of massive spin-2. (2) The cubic terms with six derivatives - which would give ghosts on local backgrounds - cancel out automatically. (3) There is a four-derivative cubic term for the helicity-0 field, that has been known to be ghost-free on any local background. (4) There are four-derivative cubic terms that mix two helicity-0 fields with one helicity-2, or two helicity-1 fields with one helicity-0; none of them give ghosts on local backgrounds. (5) In the absence of external sources, all the cubic mixing terms can be removed by nonlinear redefinitions of the helicity-2 and helicity-1 fields. Notably, the helicity-2 redefinition generates the quartic Galileon term. These findings hint to an underlying nonlinearly realized symmetry, that should be responsible for what appears as the accidental cancellation of the ghost.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)334-338
    Number of pages5
    JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Oct 2010


    • Massive gravity
    • Nonlinear stability

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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