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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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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596 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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145 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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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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57 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
114 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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172 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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129 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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109 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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178 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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163 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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307 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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167 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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159 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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424 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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412 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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732 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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566 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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452 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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447 views

Non-renormalizable corrections to GUT unification

While writing these answers: Hypercharge for U(1) in SU(2)xU(1) model and Is there a concise-but-thorough statement of the Standard Model? , it occured to me that the unification prediction for ...
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406 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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251 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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67 views

Semi-infinite forms?

I am reading Vafa's paper 'Topological Mirros and Quantum Strings'. In this paper, the author says the Hilbert Space of a fermionic string theory corresponds to the space of semi-infinite forms on the ...
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35 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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63 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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199 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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583 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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79 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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87 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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60 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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141 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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95 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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67 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 ...
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141 views

World-sheet energy-momentum tensor and OPE

On p43 of Polchinski's book, it says that under the world-sheet translation $\sigma^a\rightarrow\sigma^a+\epsilon v^a$, $X^\mu\rightarrow X^\mu-\epsilon v^a\partial_a X^\mu$. And $$j^a=iv^b T_{ab},$$ ...
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173 views

Operator product expansion in CFT

I'm on Polchinski's p39. Can someone please tell me the steps in the equivalence below? $$\exp\left[\frac{\alpha'}4\int d^2z_4 d^2z_5\ln|z_5-z_4|^2\frac{\delta}{\delta X^\mu(z_4,\bar ...
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79 views

The equivalence of two worlds related by T-duality

T-duality in string theory relates a world containing open and closed strings with a D$p$-brane with a compact dimension with radius $R$ with a dual world with a D$(p-1)$-brane with a radius ...
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289 views

Can the compactified dimensions of M-Theory/String Theory become uncurled?

Is it possible for the curled dimensions described in superstring theories to become uncurled and open up. I have read that the big bang could have been the uncurling over 3 dimensions through ...
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68 views

relating spinor and fundamental representation for $E_8$

While proving a very important relation which is satisfied both by $SO(32)$ AND $E_8$, which makes it possible to factorize the anomaly into two parts. The relation is ...
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129 views

Where do our 4 macroscopic spacetime dimensions reside in multidimensional models of the universe?

In models such as M-theory with 7 'higher dimensions' plus the 4 macroscopic spacetime dimensions, where do our 4 macroscopic spacetime dimensions reside ordinally? My reason for asking is TV shows ...
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148 views

How to get a $\mathcal{N}=2$ SuperYang-Mills Lagrangian from a quiver

How can one write down the $\mathcal{N}=2$ SuperYang-Mills Lagrangian given a quiver graph? For concreteness consider the quiver $$(2)-(4)-[6]$$ where the node $(2)$ corresponds to a $U(2)$ factor ...
2
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180 views

S-Matrix, String theory, Matrix mechanics and Quantum Mechanics

I'm trying to learn theoretical physics up to string theory. I know linear algebra, calculus 1+2, complex analysis. I know the basics of homology, homotopy, group theory and differential geometry. Now ...
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137 views

Particles from String theory

I understand that the strings in string theory are posited to be many, many orders of size smaller than say, a quark, electron or any other particle. But if this is so, how does the string "expand" to ...
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120 views

UV-IR cancellation of the open string cylinder diagram and the field theory limit

In string theory, the ultraviolet divergences of open string loop diagrams are reintepreted as closed string infrared divergences, by seeing that an annulus with a small loop is also a long tube. In ...
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96 views

How to obtain the constant $a^g$ in Eq.(2.7.19) in Polchinski's string theory book

Excuse me, I have calculated $a^g$ a lot of times, using the relation between $:\;:$ and ${}^{{}_\circ}_{{}^\circ} \; {}^{{}_\circ}_{{}^\circ}$. But I can't get the same result with the book. It is ...
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114 views

Virasoro operator in “old covariant quantization”

I met some problem about the Virasoro operator in "old covariant quantization" in Polchinski's string theory vol I p 123. It is given $$L_0^{\rm m}=\alpha' p^2 + \alpha_{-1} \cdot \alpha_1 + \cdots ...
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190 views

Vertex operator for closed string tachyon

The problem related to this post, but my question is even more elementary. In p 101 of Polchinski's string theory vol I, it is stated Using the state-operator mapping, the vertex operator for the ...
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93 views

A question about surface term of ghost fields

(skip disclaimer) Hi, I have a question in Polchinski's string theory vol I p 90, after introducing the ghost fields $b_{ab}$ and $c^a$, it is claimed The equations of motion then provide a ...
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120 views

Where does $p^i/p^+$ come from in the EOM of an open string?

I have a stupid question about Eq. (1.3.22) in Polchinski's string theory volume 1. In the equation of motion for an open string, Eq. (1.3.22), $$X^i (\tau, \sigma) = x^i + \frac{ p^i}{p^+} \tau + ...
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136 views

Strings on a curved spacetime

Suppose we are interested in in string on a specific metric G, is it necessary to include a Dilaton field on back ground in order to preserve the Weyl invariance? suppose the spacetime is not empty, ...
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11k views

Unified field theory in layman's terms

I watched some videos on the unified field theory, specifically interviews with Michio Kaku and John Hagelin, and want to learn a bit more about it. I looked up the theory of everything, string theory ...