Fundamental theorem on gauge fixing at the action level

16 Dec 2016  ·  Motohashi Hayato, Suyama Teruaki, Takahashi Kazufumi ·

Regardless of the long history of gauge theories, it is not well recognized under which condition gauge fixing at the action level is legitimate. We address this issue from the Lagrangian point of view, and prove the following theorem on the relation between gauge fixing and Euler-Lagrange equations: In any gauge theory, if a gauge fixing is complete, i.e., the gauge functions are determined uniquely by the gauge conditions, the Euler-Lagrange equations derived from the gauge-fixed action are equivalent to those derived from the original action supplemented with the gauge conditions... Otherwise, it is not appropriate to impose the gauge conditions before deriving Euler-Lagrange equations as it may in general lead to inconsistent results. The criterion to check whether a gauge fixing is complete or not is further investigated. We also provide applications of the theorem to scalar-tensor theories and make comments on recent relevant papers on theories of modified gravity, in which there are confusions on gauge fixing and counting physical degrees of freedom. read more

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General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics High Energy Physics - Theory