Recently I have read some papers in which the authors considered higher order lagrangians. For example, in this paper "A path integral leading to higher-order Lagrangians" by C.Acatrinei the higher order Lagrangians occurs somehow naturally from the path integral approach. I am considering this as an applications to scalar field dark matter/dark energy approach and effects on holography. Are there any physical principle that limits Lagrangians only to first order?


marked as duplicate by ACuriousMind, Daniel Griscom, Qmechanic Jan 16 '16 at 13:12

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    $\begingroup$ Higher order formulations have been discussed many times on Phys.SE, e.g. here, here and links therein. $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Jan 16 '16 at 11:20