The assumptions of the Hawking–Penrose singularity theorem are not covariant under field redefinitions. Following the works on the covariant formulation of quantum field theory initiated by Vilkovisky and DeWitt in the 80s, we propose to study singularities in field space, where the spacetime metric is treated as a coordinate along with the other fields in the theory. From this viewpoint, a spacetime singularity might be just a singular- ity in the field-space coordinates, analogously to the standard coordinate singularities in General Relativity. Objects invariant under field-space coordinate transformations can then reveal whether certain spacetime singularity is indeed singular. We recall that observables in quantum field theory are scalar functionals in field space. Therefore, in principle, spacetime singularities corresponding to regular field-space curvature invari- ants would not affect physical observables. In this paper, we show that the field-space Kretschmann scalar for a certain choice of the DeWitt field-space metric is everywhere finite. This fact could be interpreted as an indication that no singularities actually exist in pure gravity for any gravitational action. In particular, all vacuum singularities of General Relativity result from an unhappy choice of field variables. The extension to the case in which matter fields are present, as required by singularity theorems, is left for future development.

Absence of covariant singularities in pure gravity

Casadio, Roberto;Kamenshchik, Alexander;Kuntz, Iberê
2022

Abstract

The assumptions of the Hawking–Penrose singularity theorem are not covariant under field redefinitions. Following the works on the covariant formulation of quantum field theory initiated by Vilkovisky and DeWitt in the 80s, we propose to study singularities in field space, where the spacetime metric is treated as a coordinate along with the other fields in the theory. From this viewpoint, a spacetime singularity might be just a singular- ity in the field-space coordinates, analogously to the standard coordinate singularities in General Relativity. Objects invariant under field-space coordinate transformations can then reveal whether certain spacetime singularity is indeed singular. We recall that observables in quantum field theory are scalar functionals in field space. Therefore, in principle, spacetime singularities corresponding to regular field-space curvature invari- ants would not affect physical observables. In this paper, we show that the field-space Kretschmann scalar for a certain choice of the DeWitt field-space metric is everywhere finite. This fact could be interpreted as an indication that no singularities actually exist in pure gravity for any gravitational action. In particular, all vacuum singularities of General Relativity result from an unhappy choice of field variables. The extension to the case in which matter fields are present, as required by singularity theorems, is left for future development.
Casadio, Roberto; Kamenshchik, Alexander; Kuntz, Iberê
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/839339
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