Constraints on Gravitation from Causality and Quantum Consistency
Advances in High Energy Physics
We examine the role of consistency with causality and quantum mechanics in determining the properties of gravitation. We begin by examining two different classes of interacting theories of massless spin 2 particles—gravitons. One involves coupling the graviton with the lowest number of derivatives to matter, the other involves coupling the graviton with higher derivatives to matter, making use of the linearized Riemann tensor. The first class requires an infinite tower of terms for consistency,
... ms for consistency, which is known to lead uniquely to general relativity. The second class only requires a finite number of terms for consistency, which appears as another class of theories of massless spin 2. We recap the causal consistency of general relativity and show how this fails in the second class for the special case of coupling to photons, exploiting related calculations in the literature. In a companion paper Hertzberg and Sandora (2017), this result is generalized to a much broader set of theories. Then, as a causal modification of general relativity, we add light scalar particles and recap the generic violation of universal free-fall they introduce and its quantum resolution. This leads to a discussion of a special type of scalar-tensor theory: the F(R) models. We show that, unlike general relativity, these models do not possess the requisite counterterms to be consistent quantum effective field theories. Together this helps to remove some of the central assumptions made in deriving general relativity.