Joint cosmology seminar at MIT:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 2:30 pm
Cosman Seminar Room
Center for Theoretical Physics
Building 6C, Room 6C-442
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Refreshments at 2:00 in the same room

Massive and partially massless gravity

Kurt Hinterbichler
Case Western Reserve


I will review recent developments in the non-linear theory of massive gravitons, or spin-2 fields. On de Sitter space, there exists a special value for the mass of a graviton for which the linear theory propagates 4 rather than 5 degrees of freedom. If a fully non-linear version of the theory exists and can be coupled to known matter, it would have interesting properties and could solve the cosmological constant problem. I will describe evidence for and obstructions to the existence of such a theory, and the recent development of Vasiliev-like theories that include towers of massless and partially massless fields.