We investigate three-form gauge theories with higher derivative interactions and their supersymmetric extensions in four space-time dimensions. For the bosonic three-form gauge theories, we show that derivatives on the field strength of the 3-form gauge field yield a tachyon as far as the Lagrangian contains a quadratic kinetic term, while such the term with opposite sign gives rise to a ghost. We confirm that there is neither a tachyon nor a ghost when all higher derivative terms are given by functions of the field strength. For this ghost/tachyon-free Lagrangian, we determine the boundary term necessary for the consistency between the equation of motion and energy-momentum tensor. For supersymmetric extensions, we present ghost/tachyon-free higher derivative interactions of arbitrary order of the field strength and corresponding boundary terms as well.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics