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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The implications of the holographic principle on string theory S-matrices

The S-matrix of superstring theory will have finitely many massive particles which decouple in the asymptotic future/past and massless particles like gravitons, photons and dilatons. Typically, there ...
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255 views

Picture changing operators

What is a picture-changing operator in string theory? How do they work?
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0answers
221 views

If D-branes are the same as p-branes, and p-branes open out to “another universe”, why is the other universe invisible in D-branes?

Related to my other misguided question, D-branes are equivalent to p-branes. D-branes are described by a sheet in topologically trivial spacetime. p-branes are extremal black branes. They have an ...
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85 views

Beyond usual quantum mechanic description of entanglement, is there any QFT or stringy formalism/explanation of it? [closed]

Currently entanglement is speculated to be one underlying mechanism of emergent spacetime, but what are its foundations?
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1answer
351 views

Can we have non continuous models of reality? Why don't we have them?

This question is about Godel's theorem, continuity of reality and the Luvenheim-Skolem theorem. I know that all leading physical theories assume reality is continuous. These are my questions: 1) Is ...
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2answers
584 views

Are the $10^{500}$ different string theories being whittled down?

An example of a test: Ask each variant whether its estimate of the electron mass lies within $\pm\,x\%$ of the known value. This surely can't take long per theory. Although $10^{500}$ is huge, ...
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3answers
468 views

Is space-time a special form of energy?

I know space-time can be influenced by matter and energy, so it must be somehow mingled in with the mix of it all, but does space-time have a fundamental particle? Can we make a little bit of space-...
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3answers
204 views

What is the reason/significance of using $ \sum\limits_{n=1}^{\infty}n\rightarrow-\frac{1}{12}$?

What is the reason/significance of using a trick equation in the Volume I - String Theory - Joseph Polchinsky? I have no doubts at all that the author knows extremely well the subject and that this ...
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2answers
220 views

How to find the rank of the matrix $\frac{\partial ^2\mathcal{L}}{\partial \dot{X^\mu} \partial \dot{X^\nu} }$ for the Nambu-Goto string Lagrangian?

In this case $$\mathcal{L}~=~-T\sqrt{-\dot{X^2}X'^2+(\dot{X}\cdot X')^2}.$$ I was reading some books and papers about the constraints in the Nambu-Goto action, and all of them say something like ...
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3k views

The meaning of multiverse

A) I am intrigued by the multiverse theory as mentioned in Stephen Hawking's new book, "The Grand Design". According to his theory, one can have different 'universes' in one ultimate existence, a '...
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176 views

A question about Virasoro algebra

(skip disclaimer) I have a question in Polchinski's string theory book volume 1 p54, related to the Virasoro algebra. Introducing complex coordinates $$w=\sigma^1 + i \sigma^2 $$ $$z=\exp (-i \...
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233 views

Identity of Operator Product Expansion (OPE)

I have one more s****d question in Polchinski's string theory book, Eqs. (2.3.14a) $$ j^{\mu}(z) :e^{ik \cdot X(0,0)}:~ \sim~ \frac{k^{\mu}}{2 z} :e^{ik \cdot X(0,0)}:,$$ where $j^{\mu}_a =\frac{i}{...
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1answer
2k views

What's next after Higgs Boson discovery? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Practical matter of the Higgs-Mechanism As everybody knows that the Higgs Boson was discovered on July 4th,2012, I am so curious about it. What are the possible outcome ...
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1answer
511 views

Why doesn't string theory have a mass gap?

Gravitons are string modes which can have arbitrarily small energies. Just make the wavelength arbitrarily large. String theory has no mass gap, but why? A classical string can only have positive ...
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1answer
180 views

How much QFT do I need to get started on String Theory? [closed]

I want to get started learning String Theory (most likely from David Tong's lecture notes) and I would like to know which topics I need to know from QFT. In particular, if I were to follow Peskin, ...
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1answer
181 views

Can a fuzzball collapse into a singularity?

I've been reading Kip Thorne's Black Holes and Time Warps and got curious about extreme states of degenerate matter; a little research reveals that since the book was written quark and preon ...
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3answers
422 views

How do you define a “universe” (in the context of multiverse)?

How do you define a universe (in the context of multiverse)? The traditional definition of universe is something like "The Universe is all of spacetime and everything that exists therein". But in ...
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50 views

String Excited States / Spectrum

I am working through David Tong's lecture notes on string theory. The bit I am stuck on is page 41/42 in Chapter 2. The PDF file is here. In 2.3.2 "The First Excited States" on page 41/42, he says: ...
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2answers
186 views

A question for the generalization of gauge transformation with two antisymmetric indices

I have a question about the generalization of gauge transformation with two antisymmetric indices. Starting from Eq. (3.7.6) in Polchinski's string theory book p. 108. $$S_{\sigma} = \frac{1}{4 \pi \...
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1answer
216 views

How to derive Eq. (1.2.17) in Polchinski?

I have a super stupid question about deriving Eq. (1.2.17) in Polchinski's string theory, vol 1. The book seems to derive from $$\tag{1.2.16} h_{ab}=\frac{1}{2} \gamma_{ab} \gamma^{cd} h_{cd} $$ ...
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2answers
332 views

How seriously do string theorists take the “landscape”

The string theory landscape seems to this outside observer to be an intermediate step in the intellectual progress toward a more robust theory that explains why our one universe has the particular ...
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2answers
362 views

What exactly are right movers and left movers in string theory?

In string theory , What exactly are right movers and left movers ?Are they waves propagating along the string to the right and to the left respectively ? Can some-one please show me how to derive in ...
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2answers
457 views

Has the use of the holographic principle of string theory in condensed matter physics silenced the skeptics? [closed]

It seems to me that the use of string theory in calculations of strongly-interacting matter in condensed matter physics is an example of the theory being on the right track. And then there's the ...
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5answers
504 views

Can computers survive bubble nucleations?

According to string landscape theory, our vacua with a cosmological constant of $10^{-123}$ is a metastable vacua which can decay to a supersymmetric vacua with either a zero or negative cosmological ...
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300 views

What mechanism in string theory enforces the consistency of self-couplings of massless vector bosons?

I have been reading the stackexchange questions on enhanced symmetries in string theory, the Leech lattice, monstrous moonshine, etc. , and I have a question to ask. An astute commentator pointed out ...
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Topological strings: Why is the complex structure for $T^2$ denoted as $\tau$ in string theory?

In these notes by Vafa on topological string theory he says in page 7 that the moduli of the 2-torus can be repackaged into two quantities: $$A=iR_1/R_2 \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\, \tau=iR_2/R_1$$ where $A$ ...
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477 views

Why does AdS/CFT with non-zero temperature correspond to a black hole in the bulk?

Is there a good intuitive explanation on why AdS/CFT with non-zero temperature corresponds to a black hole in the bulk? And what is the role of temperature and chemical potential in this black hole?
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172 views

Geodesic curvature and Weyl transformations

The geodesic curvature is given by $$k=\pm t^a n_b\nabla_a t^b,$$ where $t^a$ is a unit vector tangent to the boundary of the string worldsheet and $n_a$ is an outward vector orthogonal to $t^a$. I ...
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1answer
84 views

How does a gauge theory probe a spacetime singularity?

Within the framework of string theory, I have read in numerous articles such as the introduction of this this in which it is stated that the gauge theories living on a stack of D-branes can be used to ...
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2answers
126 views

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 $$ \frac{...
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422 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
205 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
165 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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1answer
259 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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177 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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1answer
302 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
236 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
638 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
450 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
208 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 fermions....
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1answer
501 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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1answer
640 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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1answer
75 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
103 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
172 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. http://www.hawking.org.uk/quantum-cosmology-m-theory-and-the-anthropic-...
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1answer
317 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
978 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
247 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
608 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
165 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 ...