Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis

, Volume 75, Issue 4, pp 349-372

First online:

The principle of minimal gravitational coupling

  • Ian M. AndersonAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, Utah State University

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The principle of minimal gravitational coupling requires that the total Lagrangian for the field equations of general relativity consist of two additive parts, one part corresponding to the free gravitational Lagrangian and the other part to external source fields in curved spacetime. For source fields characterized by scalars, vectors and two-component spinors we prove that this additive decomposition of the total Lagrangian is an inevitable consequence of certain very general assumptions concerning the Euler-Lagrange expressions arising from the total Lagrangian.