On the classification of Generalized Quasitopological Gravities

Generalized Quasitopological Gravities (GQTGs) are higher-order extensions of Einstein gravity in D ≥ 4 dimensions satisfying a number of interesting properties, such as possessing second-order linearized equations of motion on top of maximally symmetric backgrounds, admitting non-hairy generalizations of the Schwarzschild-Tangherlini black hole which are characterized by a single metric function or forming a perturbative spanning set of the space of effective theories of gravity. In this work, we classify all inequivalent GQTGs at all curvature orders n and spacetime dimension D ≥ 4. This is achieved after the explicit construction of a dictionary that allows the uplift of expressions evaluated on a single-function static and spherically symmetric ansatz into fully covariant ones. On the one hand, applying such prescription for D ≥ 5, we find the explicit covariant form of the unique inequivalent Quasitopological Gravity that exists at each n and, for the first time, the covariant expressions of the n–2 inequivalent proper GQTGs existing at every curvature order n. On the other hand, for D=4, we are able to provide the first rigorous proof of the fact that there is one and only one (proper) inequivalent GQTG at each curvature order n, deriving along the way a simple expression for such four-dimensional representative at every order n.