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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How exactly do superstrings reduce the number of dimensions in bosonic string theory from 26 to 10 and remove the tachyons?

In bosonic string theory, to obtain the photon as the first excited state, the ground state must have a negative mass (tachyon). By applying $1 + 2 + 3 + \cdots = -1/12$, it can be shown (in a ...
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418 views

Mathematically rather than physically speaking, is there something “special” about 10 (or 11) dimensions?

As I understand it, string theory (incorporating bosons and fermions) "works" in $9+1=10$ spacetime dimensions. In the context of dual resonance theory, I've read descriptions of why that is ...
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3answers
1k views

What should a physics undergrad aspiring to be a string theorist learn before grad school?

The question I guess is pretty clear. I am a physics undergrad wishing to pursue research in quantum gravity(string theory?). What are the subjects I should learn other than the usual compulsory ...
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2k views

Does String Theory disagree with General Relativity?

I would like to expand on what I mean by the title of this question to focus the answers. Normally whenever a theory (e.g. General Relativity) replaces another (e.g. Newtonian Gravity) there is a ...
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3answers
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Why does string theory require 9 dimensions of space and one dimension of time?

String theorists say that there are many more dimensions out there, but they are too small to be detected. However, I do not understand why there are ten dimensions and not just any other number? ...
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How can one imagine curled up dimensions?

Actually I'm learning String Theory, and one of its proposals is that there are actually 25+1 dimensions of which only 3+1 are visible to us-- and the remaining are curled up. However, superstring ...
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1answer
557 views

What is the smoking gun signature of string theory?

What is the smoking gun signature of string theory? Suppose we have a complete and consistent model of quantum gravity with a zero or negative cosmological constant, but all we are given is its ...
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1answer
909 views

Zero modes ~ zero eigenvalue modes ~ zero energy modes?

There have been several Phys.SE questions on the topic of zero modes. Such as, e.g., zero-modes (What are zero modes?, Can massive fermions have zero modes?), majorana-zero-modes (Majorana zero ...
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Beginners questions concerning Conformal Field Theory

I started reading about Conformal Field Theory a few weeks ago. I'm from a more mathematical background. I do know Quantum Mechanics/Classical Mechanics, but I'm not really an expert when it comes ...
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1answer
365 views

Topological ground state degeneracy of SU(N), SO(N), Sp(N) Chern-Simons theory

We know that level-k Abelian 2+1D Chern-Simons theory on the $T^2$ spatial torus gives ground state degeneracy($GSD$): $$GSD=k$$ How about $GSD$ on $T^2$ spatial torus of: SU(N)$_k$ level-k ...
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What is the relationship between string theory and quantum field theory?

Please forgive a string theory novice asking a basic question. Over at this question Luboš Motl gave an excellent answer, but he made a side comment that I've heard before and really would want to ...
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648 views

Why can the Euler beta function be interpreted as a scattering amplitude?

The Wikipedia article on the Veneziano Amplitude claims that the Euler beta function can be interpretted as a scattering amplitude. Why is this? In another word, when the Euler beta function is ...
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How does string theory reduce to the standard model?

It is said that string theory is a unification of particle physics and gravitation. Is there a reasonably simple explanation for how the standard model arises as a limit of string theory? How does ...
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704 views

Source Theory - Alternative to QFT

I am a graduate physics student. I have started learning QFT. As a project my professor has asked me to take up and learn Source Theory, seems an alternative to regular QFT. How exactly is this ...
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1answer
298 views

About the general expression of trace anomaly and CFT partition functions

I have put up a question here, http://mathoverflow.net/questions/139685/proof-of-the-general-expression-for-anomaly-in-a-cft-and-its-partition-function Here I am putting up a slightly different ...
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1answer
852 views

Operator-state correspondence in QFT

The operator-state correspondence in CFT gives a 1-1 mapping between operators $\phi(z,\bar{z})$ and states $|\phi\rangle$, $$ |\phi\rangle=\lim_{z,\bar{z}\mapsto 0} \phi(z,\bar{z}) |0\rangle $$ where ...
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Advanced topics in string theory

I'm looking for texts about topics in string theory that are "advanced" in the sense that they go beyond perturbative string theory. Specifically I'm interested in String field theory (including ...
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1answer
129 views

A question about the higher-order Weyl variation for the geodesic distance

I have a question in deriving Eqs. (3.6.15b) and (3.6.15c) in Polchinski's string theory vol I p. 105. Given $$\Delta (\sigma,\sigma') = \frac{ \alpha'}{2} \ln d^2 (\sigma, \sigma') ...
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Is decoherence even possible in anti de Sitter space?

Is decoherence even possible in anti de Sitter space? The spatial conformal boundary acts as a repulsive wall, thus turning anti de Sitter space into an eternally closed quantum system. Superpositions ...
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3answers
848 views

How can string theory work without supersymmetry?

This question is inspired from reading Mitchell Porter's nice answer here to a question asking why supersymmetry should be expected naturally. Among other things, he explains that since weak scale ...
4
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0answers
320 views

Isn't a single Quantum one single string? [duplicate]

In physics, a quantum (plural: quanta) is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction. In Quantum Mechanics There is no difference between one Quantum to another one. ...
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1answer
321 views

Quantization of Nambu–Goto action in multiples of Planck's constant?

Isn't it possible? Quantization of Nambu–Goto action $$\mathcal{S} ~=~ -\frac{1}{2\pi\alpha'} \int \mathrm{d}^2 \Sigma \sqrt{{\dot{X}} ^2 - {X'}^2}~=~nh\qquad n \in\mathbb{Z}.$$
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1answer
211 views

A certain $\cal{N}=2$ superconformal theory (or is it?)

I want to look at the following theory in $1+1$ dimensions with $\Phi$ being the chiral superfield, $L = \int d^2x d^4\theta \bar{\Phi}\Phi - \int d^2x d^2\theta \frac{\Phi^{k+2}}{k+2} - \int d^2x ...
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1answer
396 views

Was the universe a black hole at the beginning?

Big bang cosmology, as far as I understand it, says that the universe was super hot and super dense and super small. It looks like that all the current matter, seen and unseen, were compressed to ...
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Fundamental equation(s) of string theory?

I often hear about string theory and its complicated mathematical structure as a physical theory, but I can't say that I've ever actually seen any of the related math. In general, I'm curious as to ...
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205 views

Statistics and macrolocality in string theory

Take two identical closed strings, both tracing out exactly the same path in space. These two strings are coincident everywhere. Call this state I. Take a single closed string following exactly the ...
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266 views

Why are the even and odd Regge trajectories degenerate?

This is an old classic which I don't think ever got a clear answer. The Gribov-Froissart projection that gives the relativistic version of Regge trajectories treats even angular momentum differently ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Why does the universe exhibit three large-scale spatial dimensions? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is 3+1 spacetime as privileged as is claimed? Regardless of your favorite theory of how many dimensions the universe has in total, the universe seems to have a deep ...
3
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1answer
226 views

Why do strings split in string theory?

In string theory, we are told strings can split and merge if the string coupling is nonzero, even while the worldsheet action remains Nambu-Goto or Polyakov plus a topological term. However, a ...
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1answer
319 views

Twistor notation in space-time (Part 1)

This is sort of a continuation of this and this previous discussions. In the first of my links one sees the surjective isometry between real or complex $(1,3)$ signature Minkowski space and the real ...
2
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1answer
310 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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2answers
989 views

Why is the string theory graviton spin-2?

In string theory, the first excited level of the bosonic string can be decomposed into irreducible representations of the transverse rotation group, $SO(D-2)$. We then claim that the symmetric ...
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1answer
134 views

Disappearance of moduli for condensate of open strings

Consider a Dp-brane. Compactify $d$ spatial dimensions over a torus $T^d$. Suppose $d\geqslant p$, and that the Dp-brane is completely wrapped around the compactified dimensions. Look at the open ...
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1answer
108 views

Choice and identification of vacuums in AdS/CFT

I know how we define a vacuum in flat space QFT and also in a curved space QFT. But, can somebody tell me how do the choice of vacuum state in (say) the CFT side of AdS/CFT changes the choice of ...
3
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1answer
401 views

Why are there Gravitons among the modes of oscillation in String Theory?

Why are gravitons present among the modes of oscillation of the 'strings' in String Theory?
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1answer
234 views

Calabi-Yau manifolds and compactification of extra dimensions in M-theory

I just finished learning M(atrix) theory and the basics of the compactification of extra dimensions. The extra 6 dimensions of superstring theory can be compactified on 3 Calabi-Yau manifolds ...
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396 views

Lagrangians combining terms with 1 and 2 derivatives

How are field theory Langrangians treated when some terms have 2 derivatives but others have only 1? Because the number of derivatives in a Lagrangian term is more easily even than odd, the ...
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1answer
134 views

Infinitesimal transformations for a relativistic particle

The action of a free relativistic particles can be given by $$S=\frac{1}{2}\int d\tau \left(e^{-1}(\tau)g_{\mu\nu}(X)X^\mu(\tau)X^\nu(\tau)-e(\tau)m^2\right).$$ If we then make an infinitesimal ...
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2answers
255 views

Dimensions of strings in string theory

In the above image taken from wikipedia, at the string level the strings have been shown as some loops, the article in wikipedia says that in string theory the particles at lower level are broken ...
4
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1answer
63 views

Spectrum of Free Strings

As far as I understand, both in bosonic and superstring theory one considers initially a free string propagating through D-dimensional Minkowskispace. Regardless of what quantization one uses, at the ...
4
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2answers
731 views

What is currently incomplete in M-theory?

As it is, what is currently and seemingly incomplete in M-theory? One example I can give is explaining dark matter proportions and.. how do we perceive the world as 4-dimensional. Thanks everyone.
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1answer
320 views

Why is Compactification restricted to Toroids, Calabi-Yau et al?

I think I've missed this point somehow. I've just started with Compactification and so far, I don't really see why it is restricted to the above mentioned types of manifolds? I have to admit, when ...
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2answers
348 views

Why does string theory have such a huge landscape?

I was browsing through Foundations of Space and Time, a compilation of essays on various theories of quantum gravity. The following passage in the introduction intrigued me: Each compactification ...
2
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523 views

Is Electromagnetic Mass Possible?

If the sinusoidal electric component of a light wave were off-set to one side of the magnetic component and then the smaller "lobe" were to cancel out with much of the larger side, then where would ...
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1answer
111 views

Canonical partner of time in QFT and string theory

In analytical mechanics, the Hamiltonian or total energy becomes the conjugate momentum of the time in the symmetric form of the equations. This seems very strange and interesting to me. Does it have ...
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0answers
108 views

What is matter within the context of string theory? [closed]

I've been reading about string theory, and as I understand it, it proposes that matter is nothing more than vibrating membranes of space-time. Is this correct?
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1answer
162 views

Dimension & non - locality problem in string theory

I have some questions with string theory: Why is it that there is exactly 4 large spacetime dimensions while the rest remain small? It is a nonlocal QFT. How could that fit in GR?
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Is there a heuristic explanation for the derivation of Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle from String Theory?

Heisenberg famously derived his uncertainty principle by considering the disturbance that a measurement would have on a small enough system. Of course in the mathematical formalism of Quantum ...
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Total Number of Dimensions in the Universe? [duplicate]

I have often heard that there are more than 4 (3 space and 1 time) dimensions of spacetime. What are the theories that say so, and how many does each predict? Has any experimental evidence been ...
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about the Atiyah-Segal axioms on topological quantum field theory

Trying to go through the page on Topological quantum field theory - The original Atiyah-Segal axioms - "Let $\Lambda$ be a commutative ring with 1, Atiyah originally proposed the axioms of a ...