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Ghost of vector fields in compact stars

Silva, Hector O.; Coates, Andrew; Ramazano?lu, Fethi M.; Sotiriou, Thomas P.

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Hector O. Silva

Andrew Coates

Fethi M. Ramazano?lu

Professor of Gravitational Physics


Spontaneous scalarization is a mechanism that allows a scalar field to go undetected in weak gravity environments and yet develop a nontrivial configuration in strongly gravitating systems. At the perturbative level it manifests as a tachyonic instability around spacetimes that solve Einstein's equations. The endpoint of this instability is a nontrivial scalar field configuration that can significantly modify a compact object's structure and can produce observational signatures of the scalar field's presence. Does such a mechanism exists for vector fields? Here we revisit the model that constitutes the most straightforward generalization of the original scalarization model to a vector field and perform a perturbative analysis. We show that a ghost appears as soon as the square of the naive effective mass squared becomes negative anywhere. This result poses a serious obstacle in generalizing spontaneous scalarization to vector fields.


Silva, H. O., Coates, A., Ramazano?lu, F. M., & Sotiriou, T. P. (2022). Ghost of vector fields in compact stars. Physical Review D, 105(2),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 10, 2021
Online Publication Date Jan 20, 2022
Publication Date Jan 15, 2022
Deposit Date Jan 21, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jan 25, 2022
Journal Physical Review D
Print ISSN 2470-0010
Electronic ISSN 2470-0029
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 105
Issue 2
Article Number 024046
Public URL
Publisher URL


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