On higher order gravities, their analogy to GR, and dimensional dependent version of Duff's trace anomaly relation

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Abstract

An almost brief, though lengthy, review introduction about the long history of higher order gravities and their applications, as employed in the literature, is provided. We review the analogous procedure between higher order gravities and GR, as described in our previous works, in order to highlight/manipulate its important achievements. Amongst which are presentation of an easy classification of higher order Lagrangians and its employment as a criteria in order to distinguish correct metric theories of gravity. For example, it does not permit the inclusion of only one of the second order Lagrangians in isolation. But, it does allow the inclusion of the cosmological term. We also discuss on the compatibility of our procedure and the Mach idea. We derive a dimensional dependent version of Duff's trace anomaly relation, which in four-dimension is the same as the usual Duff relation. The Lanczos Lagrangian satisfies this new constraint in any dimension. The square of the Weyl tensor identically satisfies it independent of dimension, however, this Lagrangian satisfies the previous relation only in three and four dimensions.

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