Lorentz Invariance and the Gravitational Field
Abstract
An argument leading from the Lorentz invariance of the Lagrangian to the introduction of the gravitational field is presented. Utiyama's discussion is extended by considering the 10parameter group of inhomogeneous Lorentz transformations, involving variation of the coordinates as well as the field variables. It is then unnecessary to introduce a priori curvilinear coordinates or a Riemannian metric, and the new field variables introduced as a consequence of the argument include the vierbein components h_{k}^{μ} as well as the ``local affine connection'' A^{i}_{jμ}. The extended transformations for which the 10 parameters become arbitrary functions of position may be interpreted as general coordinate transformations and rotations of the vierbein system. The free Lagrangian for the new fields is shown to be a function of two covariant quantities analogous to F_{μν} for the electromagnetic field, and the simplest possible form is just the usual curvature scalar density expressed in terms of h_{k}^{μ} and A^{i}_{jμ}. This Lagrangian is of first order in the derivatives, and is the analog for the vierbein formalism of Palatini's Lagrangian. In the absence of matter, it yields the familiar equations R_{μν}=0 for empty space, but when matter is present there is a difference from the usual theory (first pointed out by Weyl) which arises from the fact that A^{i}_{jμ} appears in the matter field Lagrangian, so that the equation of motion relating A^{i}_{jμ} to h_{k}^{μ} is changed. In particular, this means that, although the covariant derivative of the metric vanishes, the affine connection Γ^{λ}_{μν} is nonsymmetric. The theory may be reexpressed in terms of the Christoffel connection, and in that case additional terms quadratic in the ``spin density'' S^{k}_{ij} appear in the Lagrangian. These terms are almost certainly too small to make any experimentally detectable difference to the predictions of the usual metric theory.
 Publication:

Journal of Mathematical Physics
 Pub Date:
 March 1961
 DOI:
 10.1063/1.1703702
 Bibcode:
 1961JMP.....2..212K