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Higgs mechanism for new massive gravity and Weyl-invariant extensions of higher-derivative theories

Dengiz, Suat
Tekin, Bayram
New massive gravity provides a nonlinear extension of the Fierz-Pauli mass for gravitons in 2 + 1 dimensions. Here we construct a Weyl-invariant version of this theory. When the Weyl symmetry is broken, the graviton gets a mass in analogy with the Higgs mechanism. In (anti)-de Sitter backgrounds, the symmetry can be broken spontaneously, but in flat backgrounds radiative corrections, at the two-loop level, break the Weyl symmetry a la Coleman-Weinberg mechanism. We also construct the Weyl-invariant extensions of some other higher-derivative models, such as the Gauss-Bonnet theory (which reduces to the Maxwell theory in three dimensions) and the Born-Infeld type gravities.