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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (7)

1
vote
1answer
546 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
722 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
223 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
507 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
450 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
279 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
318 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
109 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') ...
3
votes
1answer
281 views

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

Isn't it possible? Quantization of Nambu–Goto action $$\mathcal{S} ~=~ -\frac{1}{2\pi\alpha'} \int \mathrm{d}^2 \Sigma \sqrt{{\dot{X}} ^2 - {X'}^2}~=~nh\qquad n \in\mathbb{Z}.$$
3
votes
0answers
319 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
478 views

Does string theory provide quantitative experimental predictions? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What experiment would disprove string theory? We carefully observe things, observe patterns and then build theories that predict. String theory is frequently ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
672 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
202 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
249 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
votes
1answer
209 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
291 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
326 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
904 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
851 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
91 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
votes
1answer
356 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?
2
votes
1answer
259 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

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? ...
1
vote
1answer
213 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
395 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
238 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
votes
1answer
62 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
votes
2answers
624 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.
3
votes
1answer
307 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
372 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
90 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?
1
vote
1answer
148 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?
-4
votes
1answer
956 views

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 ...
13
votes
3answers
379 views

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 ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is there a deep mysterious relation between string theory and number theory, elliptic curves, $E_8$ and the Monster group?

Why is there a deep mysterious relation between string theory and number theory (Langlands program), elliptic curves, modular functions, the exceptional group $E_8$, and the Monster group as in ...
10
votes
1answer
361 views

Subtlety of analytic continuation - Euclidean / Minkowski path integral

I subconsciously feel not fully comfortable about Wick rotating or analytic continuation from Euclidean to Minkowski space. I simply wonder whether there is any subtlety here, and when we need to be ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Mathematics of AdS/CFT

To date, what is the most mathematically precise formulation of the AdS/CFT correspondence, and what are the most robust tests of the conjecture?
9
votes
1answer
334 views

Symmetries in Wilsonian RG

I wanted to know if there is a theorem that in writing a Lagrangian if one missed out a term which preserves the (Lie?) symmetry of the other terms and is also marginal then that will necessarily be ...
18
votes
0answers
629 views

A dictionary of string - standard physics correspondences

Motivated by the (for me very useful) remark ''Standard model generations in string theory are the Euler number of the Calabi Yau, and it is actually reasonably doable to get 4,6,8, or 3 ...
15
votes
2answers
381 views

Generalized Complex Geometry and Theoretical Physics

I have been wondering about some of the different uses of Generalized Complex Geometry (GCG) in Physics. Without going into mathematical detail (see Gualtieri's thesis for reference), a Generalized ...
11
votes
3answers
601 views

Is there any quantum-gravity theory that has flat space-time and gravitons?

Many quantum-gravity theories are strongly interacting. It is not clear if they produce the gravity as we know it at low energies. So I wonder, is there any quantum-gravity theory that a) is a well ...
9
votes
5answers
730 views

How does the string worldsheet affect the space-time in which they live?

I don't understand much about string theory and never really got much further past the Nambu-Goto action and very basic supersymmetry (SUSY) lectures in my undergraduate courses, but the only thing ...