Quartic propagators, negative norms, and the physical spectrum
AbstractMany arguments against quartic propagators, negative norm states and related effects concern the sicknesses which occur when the spectrum of the free particle Hamiltonian is formed. However, if the theory is more complicated, for example involving confinement such that the particle in question does not appear in the physical spectrum, those considerations do not apply directly. Path integral methods suggest that some of these may be acceptable theories. I provide an example that should be able to be simulated on a lattice which then allows a nonperturbative resolution of this question. In its SU(2) version it involves a scalar triplet with a quartic derivative Lagrangian coupled to the SU(2) gauge field. If this is verified to be a healthy theory, it could open new avenues in model building. I also discuss how strong interactions can dynamically modify the dispersion relation leaving a healthy effective field theory, using conformal gravity coupled to a Yang-Mills theory as an example. Such a theory could possibly form a UV completion for quantum gravity.