A class of theories that attempt to explain all existing particles (including force carriers) as vibrational modes of extended objects, such as the 1-dimensional fundamental string. PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS TAG for non-relativistic material strings, such as, e.g., a guitar string.

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Factor of two differences for free field Green's functions in conformal field theory

I have a question about the expressions for free field Green's functions in conformal field theory. It comes from three origins 1) In Polchinski's string theory volume I p36, it is given $$ ...
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1answer
397 views

Deriving entanglement entropy from Renyi entropy

My questions are based on this paper - http://arxiv.org/abs/0905.4013 Firstly I want to know as to whether some assumptions are needed about the relationship between the systems $A$ and $B$ for the ...
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1answer
199 views

Weyl symmetry and Polyakov action

I have a question in reading Polchinski's string theory volume 1. p12-p13 Given the Polyakov action $S_P[X,\gamma]= - \frac{1}{4 \pi \alpha'} \int_M d \tau d \sigma (-\gamma)^{1/2} \gamma^{ab} ...
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1answer
157 views

Background Fields in String Theory

In "String theory and M-theory" (K. Becker, M. Becker and H.Schwarz) page 81, they said that among the background fields, the fields associated with massless bosonic fields are especially significant. ...
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255 views

Stringy corrections of Einstein's vacuum field equations

From string theory, the vacuum field equations obtain correction of the order $O[\alpha'R]^n$ such that they can be written as $$ R_{\alpha\beta} -\frac{1}{2}g_{\alpha\beta}R + O[\alpha'R] = 0 $$ ...
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176 views

M-theory on a Planck scale torus

We know that 11D M-theory is described by BFSS matrix model and for M-theory on a torus $T^p$ (at least for small $p$s) the description is given by SYM theory in $p+1$ dimensions by using the ...
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290 views

“low-energy effective action” but in what sense?

In string theory, consistency with Weyl invariance imposes dynamics on the background fields through the vanishing of the beta functions. Those dynamics can also be derived from the so-called low ...
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2answers
229 views

Are the only observables in string theory the S-matrix?

Is the S-matrix the only observable in string theory? What about time varying spacetime backgrounds, or thermal states then?
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1answer
625 views

Wilson loops and gauge invariant operators (Part 1)

I guess the Hilbert space of the theory is precisely the space of all gauge invariant operators (mod equations of motion..as pointed out in the answers) Is it possible that in a gauge theory the ...
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1answer
438 views

Advantage of string theory over other theory-of-everything candidates

I am getting curious over why string theory, especially M-theory, is the most popular candidate for the theory of everything. It seems that all candidates of the theory of everything lack substantial ...
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1answer
204 views

Was there some phenomenological motivation for Ramond and Neveu-Swarz models?

This remark from Lubos puzzles me Ramond's string - and Neveu-Schwarz string - wasn't really an "origin of string theory". String theory had "origin" as bosonic string theory which has no ...
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470 views

Do Neveu-Schwarz conditions make sense?

When putting fermions on the string, we have to choose boundary conditions for our spinor fields - Ramond or Neveu-Schwarz. NS conditions on the closed string have antiperiodic conditions such as ...
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630 views

What is the mathematical nature of space time quantization in string theory/super string theory?

I don't know much about string theory, apart from it being a theory of everything which brings QM, QED and nuclear forces and gravity under one single roof. I am curious to know from a mathematical ...
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71 views

Different OPE channels in bootstrap

Can someone quickly explain what exactly are those different channels (namely s,t,u) in OPE expansions frequently used in conformal bootstrap. Explanation with a simple example will be really helpful. ...
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2answers
85 views

Orbifold with discrete torsion

I'm trying to understand some of the early works of Vafa and Witten [1-3]. The way I look at orbifolds is they are the quotient space $M/G$. This is simply a quotient manifold when the action of $G$ ...
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1answer
164 views

Is M-Theory and 11D Supergravity the same thing?

Is M-Theory and 11D Supergravity the same thing? Reading Hawking, he uses 11D Supergravity and M-Theory interchangeably. ...
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1answer
286 views

What is a ghost number?

I am currently studying CFT chapter of Becker,Becker,Schwarz and am trying to understand what the ghost number is in BRST Quantization. From what I gather BRST Quantization is used to add an extra ...
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1answer
214 views

What is the motivation behind the GSO projection in superstring theory?

I do agree that the GSO "works", making the number of degrees of freedom match on the bosonic and fermionic side and that it sweeps away the problematic tachyon. However it is very artificial, it ...
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1answer
602 views

Philosophical Interpretation of String Theory [closed]

I want to know whether string theory is supposed to describe the world exactly, or whether it's just an approximation of some more fundamental theory. Is it similar to how the wave-equation ...
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1answer
156 views

The quantum state of the Universe

As far as I know, the two popular attempts to quantize gravity (string theory and loop quantum gravity) rely on unmodified quantum mechanics. Since they aim to become ToEs, this also mean that the ...
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1answer
90 views

What is the role of Mandelstam variables in strings theory

What is the role of Mandelstam variables in strings theory? What is relationship between Mandelstam variables and Veneziano amplitude?
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1answer
58 views

Local fermionic symmetry and GS action

I have a trouble understanding an argument which I think has a simple answer but I am not getting it. The question is that if you don't impose local fermionic symmetry the GS action has only one term ...
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1answer
119 views

Number of zero-modes on the sphere

Is it true that a field of conformal dimension $h$ (integer or half integer) has $1-2h$ zero-modes on the sphere, if $1-2h \geq0$. This seems to be right for different ghost fields : $c$ has ...
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1answer
185 views

Hyperkahler manifolds and their use in theoretical physics

Just as the title says: What is the easiest definition of a Hyperkahler Manifold? Could you give some examples of Hyperkahler manifolds, and manifolds which fail to be hyperkahler? Why are such ...
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1answer
135 views

How do I show the existence of a conserved ghost number with BRST in bosonic string theory?

I have three questions about the BRST symmetry in Polchinski's string theory vol I p. 126-127, which happen together Given a path integral $$ \int [ d\phi_i dB_A db_A d c^{\alpha}] ...
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1answer
116 views

A question related to “old covariant quantization” of string theory

I have a question about "old covariant quantization" in Polchinski's string theory p. 123. It is said The only nontrivial condition at this level is $(L_0^{\rm m} + A) | \psi \rangle =0 $, ...
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1answer
189 views

About the conserved charge for the ghost number current in $bc$ conformal field theory

(skip disclaimer) I have a question about the conserved charge for the ghost number current in $bc$ conformal field theory in Polchinski's string theory p62. It is said For the ghost number ...
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1answer
180 views

Anticommuting relation in $bc$ CFT

(skip disclaimer) I have a question about conformal field theory in Polchinski's string theory vol 1 p. 61. Given anticommuting fields $b$ and $c$ and the Laurent expansions $$ b(z) = ...
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1answer
309 views

How to derive Eq. (2.1.24) in Polchinski's string theory book

Excuse me, I got one more stupid question in Polchinski's string theory book :( $$\partial \bar{\partial} \ln |z|^2 = 2 \pi \delta^2 (z,\bar{z}) (1) $$ I shall check this equation by integrating both ...
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1answer
168 views

Spectra of the Type II String theories

The spectrum of the Type II string theory (both IIA and IIB) is given by: \begin{array}{*{20}{c}} \hline & {{\text{Sector}}}& & {{\text{Spectrum}}}& & {{\text{Massless Fields}}} ...
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1answer
106 views

Constraints on open strings absent at the perturbative level

Studying Disappearance of moduli for condensate of open strings and Negative open string norms after BRST cohomology? gave me a huge huge shock! Suppose we have N completely wrapped Dp-branes over a ...
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1answer
160 views

How exactly are the different motions of only one kind of fundamental string assumed to give rise to the spectrum of elementary particles we observe?

In string theory, it is assumed that all particles can be described as quanta corresponding to the excitations of only one kind of fundamental string. How can in principle the different motion ...
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446 views

Black hole entropy

Bekenstein and Hawking derived the expression for black hole entropy as, $$ S_{BH}={c^3 A\over 4 G \hbar}. $$ We know from the hindsight that entropy has statistical interpretation. It is a measure ...
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1answer
435 views

Pedagogic reference for calculation of 2-loop anomalous dimension (supersymmetric)

I want to know of pedagogic references which teach how to compute anomalous dimensions (..wave-function renormalization..) at lets say 2-loops. I guess there might be specialized techniques for ...
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2answers
772 views

M-theory no lagrangian?

Is there any formulated lagrangian (density) for M-theory? If not, why is there no lagrangian? If not, is this related to many vacua existing? Thnx.
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1answer
581 views

General Relativity - Einstein field equation and quantum field theory

Einstein field equation has many solutions. Out of them, is there any solution that is incompatible with quantum field theory? Also, what solutions of Einstein field equation would be incompatible ...
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1answer
460 views

M-theory and many-worlds interpretation

I am getting some confusion on whether M-theory accepts many-worlds interpretation. Can anyone show me the reasons or rebuttals for the possibility of the many-worlds interpretation in M-theory? ...
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1answer
421 views

With estimates of mass constraints on magnetic monopoles, how likely is one to be found by the LHC(MoEDAL)?

Fermilab seems to have ruled out monopoles with mass less than 850 GeV, but I have seen some estimates of the mass thought to be in the order of up to $10^{18}$ GeV, which, of course, would make them ...
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1answer
255 views

Strings with negative pressure

This question is inspired by the following comment: the strings in string theory are relativistic and on a large enough piece of world sheet, the internal SO(1,1) Lorentz symmetry is preserved. ...
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1answer
57 views

Action with self-dual field strength

It is said that writing down an action in presence of a self-dual field strength is subtle and not known till date. The familiar example people give is that of type IIB super-gravity which has a ...
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1answer
39 views

Why are only certain fluxes allowed in 11D SUGRA?

In Type IIA/IIB string theory we can have various fluxes, such as the 3-form H-flux, and the various Ramond-Ramond fluxes in even/odd dimensions. In 11D SUGRA, however, the field content seems to ...
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1answer
230 views

What causes gravity in M-Theory?

New and updated, because people were misunderstanding what I meant! General relativity describes gravity as the result of....(very roughly) spacetime curvature Newtonian gravity describes gravity as ...
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1answer
807 views

Could M-Theory explain dark matter as well as dark energy?

Is it possible that M-Theory provides a solution to the mystery of dark matter and dark energy? The idea of dark matter and dark energy is that there is some inexplicable source affecting our ...
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1answer
95 views

Standard derivation of Witt algebra

I have been studying Conformal field theory for the past one week from the books by Blumenhagen and Di Francesco etal. If I understand correctly, whenever one talks of 'local (infinitesimal) ...
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1answer
186 views

Proper way to quantize the string in the light-cone gauge

In many books like Polchinski and Green-Schwarz-Witten the light cone quantization is carried out in a fast way. They just use the virasoro constraint in the light-cone gauge to get the ligh-cone ...
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1answer
94 views

What does it mean to “uplift” a supergravity solution to higher dimensions?

What does it mean to "uplift" a supergravity solution to higher dimensions? This is a common term used in the literature but I cannot understand it. A very common example is "uplifting d-dimensional ...
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1answer
63 views

Decomposition of the gravitino into helicity $\pm \frac{3}{2}$ and $\pm \frac{1}{2}$ components

I'm reading this book on string theory. When they decompose two dimensional gravitino (formula 7.16) $$ \chi_\alpha = \frac{1}{2}\rho^\beta \rho_\alpha \chi_\beta + \frac{1}{2}\rho_\alpha \rho^\gamma ...
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151 views

Compactified extra dimensions and symmetry

It's my understanding that M-Theory necessitates 11 space-time dimensions (10 spatial dimensions plus 1 time dimension) in order work mathematically. This appears to jar with reality, which only ...
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1answer
98 views

Why do derivatives act on vector fields on a worldsheet?

The covariant derivative of a vector $A^{\mu}$ at a point $x$ is defined as $$D_z A^{\mu}=\partial_zA^{\mu}+\Gamma^{\mu}_{\rho\sigma}(x)\partial_{z}x^{\rho}A^{\sigma}$$ where Greek symbols are ...
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75 views

D-brane book-keeping and non-abelianity

In Becker's book String Theory and M-Theory in the chapter about T-duality and D-brane (Chapter 6) the following comment is made The Chan–Paton factors associate $N$ degrees of freedom with each ...