Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
Topological corrections and conformal backreaction in the Einstein Gauss–Bonnet/Weyl theories of gravity at
Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica, Università del Salento and INFN Sezione di Lecce, Via Arnesano, 73100, Lecce, Italy
2 Galileo Galilei Institute for Theoretical Physics, Largo Enrico Fermi 2, 50125, Florence, Italy
3 Institute for Theoretical Physics (ITP), University of Heidelberg, Philosophenweg 16, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany
Accepted: 13 November 2022
Published online: 11 December 2022
We investigate the gravitational backreaction, generated by coupling a general conformal sector to external, classical gravity, as described by a conformal anomaly effective action. We address the issues raised by the regularization of the topological Gauss–Bonnet and Weyl terms in these actions and the use of dimensional regularization (DR). We discuss both their local and nonlocal expressions, as possible IR and UV descriptions of conformal theories, below and above the conformal breaking scale. Our discussion overlaps with several recent studies of dilaton gravities – obtained via a certain singular limit of the Einstein–Gauss–Bonnet (EGB) theory – originally introduced as a way to bypass Lovelock’s theorem. We show that nonlocal, purely gravitational realizations of such EGB theories, quadratic in the dilaton field, beside their local quartic forms, are possible, by a finite renormalization of the Euler density. Such nonlocal versions, which are deprived of any scale, can be expanded, at least around flat space, in terms of the combination times multiple variations of the anomaly functional, as pointed out in recent studies at . Similar conclusions can be drawn for the proposed nonlocal EGB theory. The expansion emerges from previous investigations of the anomalous conformal Ward identities that constrain such theories around the flat spacetime limit in momentum space.
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