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Higher Time-Derivative Theories from Space–Time Interchanged Integrable Field Theories

Fring, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-7896-7161, Turner, B. & Taira, T. (2024). Higher Time-Derivative Theories from Space–Time Interchanged Integrable Field Theories. Universe, 10(5), article number 198. doi: 10.3390/universe10050198


We compare a relativistic and a nonrelativistic version of Ostrogradsky’s method for higher-time derivative theories extended to scalar field theories and consider as an alternative a multi-field variant. We apply the schemes to space–time rotated modified Korteweg–de Vries systems and, exploiting their integrability, to Hamiltonian systems built from space–time rotated inverse Legendre transformed higher-order charges of these systems. We derive the equal-time Poisson bracket structures of these theories, establish the integrability of the latter theories by means of the Painlevé test and construct exact analytical period benign solutions in terms of Jacobi elliptic functions to the classical equations of motion. The classical energies of these partially complex solutions are real when they respect a certain modified CPT-symmetry and complex when this symmetry is broken. The higher-order Cauchy and initial-boundary value problem are addressed analytically and numerically. Finally, we provide the explicit quantization of the simplest mKdV system, exhibiting the usual conundrum of having the choice between having to deal with either a theory that includes non-normalizable states or spectra that are unbounded from below. In our non-Hermitian system, the choice is dictated by the correct sign in the decay width.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Publisher Keywords: higher time derivative theories; higher order Cauchy problem
Departments: School of Science & Technology
School of Science & Technology > Mathematics
SWORD Depositor:
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