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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Are There Strings that aren't Chew-ish?

String theory is made from Chew-ish strings, strings which follow Geoffrey Chew's S-matrix principle. These strings have the property that all their scattering is via string exchange, so that the ...
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Could all strings be one single string which weaves the fabric of the universe?

This question popped out of another discussion, about if the photon needs a receiver to exist. Can a photon get emitted without a receiver? A universe containing only one electron was hypothetically ...
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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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String theory: why not use $n$-dimensional blocks/objects/branes?

I have a basic question: if we use 1d string to replace 0d particle to gain insight of nature in string theory, and advanced to use 2d membranes, can we imagine that using $3$- or $n$-dimensional ...
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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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488 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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583 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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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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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 ...
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562 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 Chern-...
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What are the details around the origin of the string theory?

It is well-known even among the lay public (thanks to popular books) that string theory first arose in the field of strong interactions where certain scattering amplitudes had properties that could be ...
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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 LuboŇ° 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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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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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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What reasons are there to suspect string theory may be an incorrect theory?

It's a truism that in science it is at least as important to state the reasons why a theory or idea might be wrong, as to state the reasons why it is might be correct. For example, early ...
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967 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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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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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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363 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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Derivation of the Polyakov Action

As is usually done when first presenting string theory, the Nambu-Goto Action, $$ S_{\text{NG}}:=-T\int d\tau d\sigma \sqrt{-g} $$ ($g:=\det (g_{\alpha \beta})$ is the induced metric on the world-...
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Other possible theories (other than string theory) which are generalizations of the standard model with incorporation of gravity

The only finite mathematical framework that incorporates both the standard model of particle physics and gravity under one umbrella that I am aware of is string theory. I would like to know whether ...
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Number of dimensions in string theory and possible link with number theory

This question has led me to ask somewhat a more specific question. I have read somewhere about a coincidence. Numbers of the form $8k + 2$ appears to be relevant for string theory. For k = 0 one gets ...
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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') \tag{3.6.6}$...
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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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297 views

AdS/CFT at D = 3

AdS/CFT at D = 3 (on the AdS side) seems to have some special issues which I bundled into a single question The CFT is 2D hence it has an infinite-dimensional group of symmetries (locally). The ...
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Pedagogical explanations of critical dimensions of string theories

Once you understand the formalism, I think it's clearest to say the critical dimension of the space-time arises because we need to cancel the central charge of the (super)conformal ghosts on the ...
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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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369 views

T-Duality between Type HE String theory and Type HO string theory

My question is regarding T-Duality between the 2 Type H string theories. I know that the Type II String theories are T-dual to each other because T-Duality changes the sign of the Gamma Matrix so $$\...
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479 views

What does it mean to “wrap” a D-brane around some manifold?

I am getting quite confused with this terminology when I read the papers. Like while constructing the near horizon $AdS_3$ in the $D1-D5$ system one considers $IIB$ on $R^{1,4}\times M^4 \times S^1$ ...
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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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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 ...
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Is Weyl invariance absolutely necessary for string worldsheets?

The Polyakov action for a string worldsheet has Weyl invariance. In the conformal gauge augmented with Weyl gauge-fixing, we can always impose a flat worldsheet metric in Minkowski coordinates. The ...
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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 ...
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Could the 6 extra dimensions in superstring theory be a product of two manifolds?

Could the 6 extra dimensions in superstring theory be a product of two manifolds?
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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 ...
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272 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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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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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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642 views

What is Kaku's equation about?

When Michio Kaku talks about science he often likes to refer to string theory and sometimes to his equation which looks like this (not sure if wrote right): $$L = \Phi^\dagger[i\partial_{\tau}-H]\Phi +...
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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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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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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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202 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 ...
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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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514 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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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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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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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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“finite” QFTs and short-distance singularities and vanishing beta functions

I am not sure that I can frame this question coherently enough - it springs from various things in QFT that I have recently been thinking and reading about. May be these thoughts are mis-directed but ...
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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 ...