Preprint number: CP3-Origins-2011-22 and DIAS-2011-8
We construct explicitly deformations of Einstein’s theory of gravity that are consistent and phenomenologically viable since they respect, in particular, cosmological backgrounds. We show that these deformations have unique symmetries in accordance with unitarity requirements, and give rise to a curvature induced self-stabilizing mechanism. As a consequence, any nonlinear completed deformation must incorporate self-stabilization on generic spacetimes already at lowest order in perturbation theory. Furthermore, our findings include the possibility of consistent and phenomenologically viable deformations of general relativity that are solely operative on curved spacetime geometries, reducing to Einstein’s theory on the Minkowski background.