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Journal Article

Can (Electric-Magnetic) Duality Be Gauged?

MPS-Authors

Bunster,  Claudio
AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

Henneaux,  Marc
AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

1011.5889
(Preprint), 238KB

PRD83_045031.pdf
(Any fulltext), 121KB

Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available
Citation

Bunster, C., & Henneaux, M. (2011). Can (Electric-Magnetic) Duality Be Gauged? Physical Review D, 83(4): 045031. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.83.045031.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-104A-B
Abstract
There exists a formulation of the Maxwell theory in terms of two vector potentials, one electric and one magnetic. The action is then manifestly invariant under electric-magnetic duality transformations, which are rotations in the two-dimensional internal space of the two potentials, and local. We ask the question: can duality be gauged? The only known and battled-tested method of accomplishing the gauging is the Noether procedure. In its decanted form, it amounts to turn on the coupling by deforming the abelian gauge group of the free theory, out of whose curvatures the action is built, into a non-abelian group which becomes the gauge group of the resulting theory. In this article, we show that the method cannot be successfully implemented for electric-magnetic duality. We thus conclude that, unless a radically new idea is introduced, electric-magnetic duality cannot be gauged. The implication of this result for supergravity is briefly discussed.