## Edge modes as dynamical frames: charges from post-selection in generally covariant theories

Sylvain Carrozza, Stefan Eccles, Philipp A. Hoehn

SciPost Phys. 17, 048 (2024) · published 13 August 2024

- doi: 10.21468/SciPostPhys.17.2.048
- Submissions/Reports

### Abstract

We develop a framework based on the covariant phase space formalism that identifies gravitational edge modes as dynamical reference frames. As such, they enable both the identification of the associated spacetime region and the imposition of boundary conditions in a gauge-invariant manner. While recent proposals considered the finite region in isolation and sought the maximal corner symmetry algebra compatible with that perspective, we here advocate to regard it as a subregion embedded in a global spacetime and study the symmetries consistent with such an embedding. This leads to advantages and differences. It clarifies that the frame, although appearing as "new" for the subregion, is built out of the field content of the complement. Given a global variational principle, it also permits us to invoke a systematic post-selection procedure, previously used in gauge theory [J. High Energy Phys. 02, 172 (2022)], to produce a consistent dynamics for a subregion with timelike boundary. As in gauge theory, requiring the subregion presymplectic structure to be conserved by the dynamics leads to an essentially unique prescription and unambiguous Hamiltonian charges. Unlike other proposals, this has the advantage that all (field-independent) spacetime diffeomorphisms acting on the subregion remain gauge and integrable (as in the global theory), and generate a first-class constraint algebra realizing the Lie algebra of spacetime vector fields. By contrast, diffeomorphisms acting on the frame-dressed spacetime, that we call relational spacetime, are in general physical, and those that are parallel to the timelike boundary are integrable. Upon further restriction to relational diffeomorphisms that preserve the boundary conditions (and hence are symmetries), we obtain a subalgebra of conserved corner charges. Physically, they correspond to reorientations of the frame and so to changes in the relation between the subregion and its complement. Finally, we explain how the boundary conditions and conserved presymplectic structure can both be encoded into boundary actions. While our formalism applies to any generally covariant theory, we illustrate it on general relativity, and conclude with a detailed comparison of our findings to earlier works.

### Cited by 1

### Authors / Affiliations: mappings to Contributors and Organizations

See all Organizations.-
^{1}^{2}Sylvain Carrozza, -
^{3}Stefan Eccles, -
^{3}^{4}Philipp A. Hoehn

^{1}Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen / Radboud University Nijmegen [RUN]^{2}Institut de Mathématiques de Bourgogne / Burgundy Institute of Mathematics [IMB]^{3}沖縄科学技術大学院大学 / Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology [OIST]^{4}University College London [UCL]