Applications of differential geometry to high spin field theories
The main aim of this thesis is to investigate the application of methods of differential geometry to the constraint analysis of relativistic high spin field theories. As a starting point the coordinate dependent descriptions of the Lagrangian and Dirac-Bergmann constraint algorithms are reviewed for general second order systems. These two algorithms are then respectively employed to analyse the constraint structure of the massive spin-1 Proca field from the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian viewpoints. As an example of a coupled field theoretic system the constraint analysis of the massive Rarita-Schwinger spin-3/2 field coupled to an external electromagnetic field is then reviewed in terms of the coordinate dependent Dirac-Bergmann algorithm for first order systems. The standard Velo-Zwanziger and Johnson-Sudarshan inconsistencies that this coupled system seemingly suffers from are then discussed in light of this full constraint analysis and it is found that both these pathologies degenerate to a field-induced loss of degrees of freedom. A description of the geometrical version of the Dirac-Bergmann algorithm developed by Gotay, Nester and Hinds begins the geometrical examination of high spin field theories. This geometric constraint algorithm is then applied to the free Proca field and to two Proca field couplings; the first of which is the minimal coupling to an external electromagnetic field whilst the second is the coupling to an external symmetric tensor field. The onset of acausality in this latter coupled case is then considered in relation to the geometric constraint algorithm.