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On the consistency of (partially-)massless matter couplings in de Sitter space

Sleight, Charlotte and Taronna, Massimo (2021) 'On the consistency of (partially-)massless matter couplings in de Sitter space.', Journal of High Energy Physics, 2021 (10). p. 156.


We study the consistency of the cubic couplings of a (partially-)massless spinning field to two scalars in (d + 1)-dimensional de Sitter space. Gauge invariance of observables with external (partially)-massless spinning fields translates into Ward-Takahashi identities on the boundary. Using the Mellin-Barnes representation for boundary correlators in momentum space, we give a systematic study of Ward-Takahashi identities for tree-level 3- and 4-point processes involving a single external (partially-)massless field of arbitrary integer spin-J. 3-point Ward-Takahashi identities constrain the mass of the scalar fields to which a (partially-)massless spin-J field can couple. 4-point Ward-Takahashi identities then constrain the corresponding cubic couplings. For massless spinning fields, we show that Weinberg’s flat space results carry over to (d+1)-dimensional de Sitter space: for spins J = 1, 2 gauge-invariance implies charge-conservation and the equivalence principle while, assuming locality, higher-spins J > 2 cannot couple consistently to scalar matter. This result also applies to anti-de Sitter space. For partially-massless fields, restricting for simplicity to those of depth-2, we show that there is no consistent coupling to scalar matter in local theories. Along the way we also give a detailed account of how contact amplitudes with and without derivatives are represented in the Mellin-Barnes representation. Various new explicit expressions for 3- and 4-point functions involving (partially-)massless fields and conformally coupled scalars in dS4 are given.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.
Date accepted:24 September 2021
Date deposited:14 January 2022
Date of first online publication:19 October 2021
Date first made open access:14 January 2022

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