We study scalar-tensor theories respecting the projective invariance in the metric-affine formalism. The metric-affine formalism is a formulation of gravitational theories such that the metric and the connection are independent variables in the first place. In this formalism, the Einstein-Hilbert action has an additional invariance, called the projective invariance, under a shift of the connection. Respecting this invariance for the construction of the scalar-tensor theories, we find that the Galileon terms in curved spacetime are uniquely specified at least up to quartic order which does not coincide with either the covariant Galileon or the covariantized Galileon. We also find an action in the metric-affine formalism which is equivalent to class N2-I/Ia of the quadratic degenerated higher order scalar-tensor (DHOST) theory. The structure of DHOST would become clear in the metric-affine formalism since the equivalent action is just linear in the generalized Galileon terms and non-minimal couplings to the Ricci scalar and the Einstein tensor with independent coefficients. The fine-tuned structure of DHOST is obtained by integrating out the connection. In these theories, nonminimal couplings between fermionic fields and the scalar field may be predicted. We discuss possible extensions which could involve theories beyond DHOST.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)