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.

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9
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1answer
321 views

Can the connectivity of space change in string theory?

A flop transition changes the second homotopy group of a Calabi-Yau compactifation, but not the fundamental group or the number of connected components. Can the number of connected spatial components ...
9
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1answer
1k views

What is a D-brane?

I know that in string theory, D-branes are objects on which open strings are attached with Dirichlet boundary conditions. But what exactly is a brane? Are they equally fundamental objects like string? ...
8
votes
3answers
496 views

What is kappa symmetry?

On page 180 David McMohan explains that to obtain a (spacetime) supersymmetric action for a GS superstring one has to add to the bosonic part $$ S_B = -\frac{1}{2\pi}\int d^2 \sigma ...
8
votes
2answers
795 views

Do traversable wormholes exist as solutions to string theory?

There has been some heated debate as to whether the laws of physics allow for traversable wormholes. Some physicists claim we require exotic matter to construct wormholes, but then others counter the ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

A question about Lorentz invariance of the Polyakov action

I have a super basic and stupid question about the Lorentz invariance of the Polyakov action (cannot skip the disclaimer..) $$S_p[X,\gamma]=-\frac{1}{4 \pi \alpha'} \int_{-\infty}^{\infty} d \tau ...
6
votes
1answer
338 views

Why does tachyon arise in bosonic string theory?

I am looking for precise mathematical and physical reasons which cause the presence of tachyon in bosonic string theory(specially closed bosonic string theory). Has it to do with the specific form of ...
6
votes
1answer
434 views

Do we need a quantum deformation of the diffeomorphism group in string theory?

Let me justify my question before I go on. In string theory, gravitons are strings extended over space. Longitudinal gravitons are pure gauge modes of the diffeomorphism group. However, in string ...
4
votes
3answers
870 views

Give a description of M-theory your grandmother can understand

Inspired by this question, let me ask a similar question. Is it possible to do the same (give a description of M-theory your grandmother could understand)for M theory? While I know even experts don't ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

Symmetric transverse traceless tensors of rank $s$ and $(s,0,0,..,0)$ representations of $SO(n)$

Can someone help see this connection as to why a spin $s$ (an Integer) particle is to be thought of as a symmetric transverse traceless tensor of rank $s$ and that they lie in the $(s,0,0,..,0)$ ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Is anti-gravity possible in theoretical physics?

Is anti-gravity possible in string theory? I have read some articles about scientists making assumptions about the existence of anti-gravity, but is it possible in string theory?
13
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5answers
790 views

String Theory and Standard Model in CERN

I don't know how to say it, but in the TV dominatrices and the popular science books we see the string theory as "the best theory to explain everything", and as "the only game in town"... etc. And ...
13
votes
2answers
234 views

Which CFTs have AdS/CFT duals?

The AdS/CFT correspondence states that string theory in an asymptotically anti-De Sitter spacetime can be exactly described as a CFT on the boundary of this spacetime. Is the converse true? Does any ...
8
votes
1answer
269 views

Does string theory provide a physical regulator for Standard Model divergencies?

In other question, Ron Maimon says that he thinks string theory is the physical regulator. I did not know that string theory regularize divergencies. So, Q1: How does string theory regularize the ...
8
votes
1answer
499 views

What's with Mandelstam's argument that only linear regge trajectories are stable?

While thinking about how to answer a "describe string theory" question, I remembered an old argument of Stanley Mandelstam's that linear Regge trajectories implies stability. I never fully understood ...
6
votes
1answer
141 views

Is Poincare recurrence relevant to our universe?

If the theory of everything indicates a singularity-free and finite universe, will Poincare recurrence be relevant to the universe? If so, is there any interesting physical consequence, e.g. in ...
6
votes
2answers
170 views

What happens if the holonomy group lies in $SU(2)$ for a CY 3-fold?

I am a mathematician and reading a physics paper about the holonomy group of Calabi-Yau 3-folds. In that paper, a Calabi-Yau 3-fold $X$ is defined as a compact 3-dimensional complex manifold with ...
6
votes
1answer
235 views

Energy-momentum tensor of Bosonic Ghost Action in String Theory

When quantizing bosonic string theory by means of the path integral, one inverts the Fadeev-Popov determinant by going to Grasmann variables, yielding: $$ S_{\mathrm{ghosts}} = ...
6
votes
1answer
447 views

Bosonic Tachyon Condensation?

The tachyonic string mode in perturbative bosonic string theory indicates that the "vacuum", flat Minkowski $\mathbb{R}^{25,1}$, is not really a vacuum. What is conjectured about tachyon condensation ...
6
votes
1answer
691 views

On black holes, Hawking radiation and gravitational atoms

Over the past hour or so I've been following one of my standard physics-based, wanders-through-the-internet. Specifically, I began by reviewing some details of dark energy theory but soon found myself ...
6
votes
1answer
428 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

The basic equation of bosonization

[..quoting from Page 11 of Polchinski Vol2..] Given $1+1$ conformal bosonic fields $H(z)$ one has their OPE as, $H(z)H(0) \sim -ln(z)$ Then from here how do the following identities come? ...
5
votes
1answer
242 views

${f=ma}$: a duality between F-theory and M-theory?

$$F = M \Big|_{A(T^2) \to 0}$$ The above equation is the duality equation between F-theory and M-Theory on a vanishing 2-torus. What's the explanation for this equation? Is there anything similar ...
5
votes
1answer
266 views

Defining a CFT using beta-functions

Won't it be correct to define a CFT as a QFT such that the beta-function of all the couplings vanish? But couldn't it be possible that the beta-function of a dimensionful coupling vanishes but it ...
5
votes
2answers
676 views

How much can AdS/CMT tell us?

I will begin my research on AdS/CMT, however I find AdS/CMT is only a phenomelogical method, so I want to know can AdS/CMT give some results the condensed matter physicists can not give, or even ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Negative open string norms after BRST cohomology?

The question Disappearance of moduli for condensate of open strings made me think. Suppose we have a Dp-brane completely wrapped over a $T^d$ compactification with $p\leqslant d$. Look at an open ...
4
votes
2answers
349 views

Why do we have so many dualities in string theory?

Why do we have so many dualities in string theory? Is there a reason for that?
3
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0answers
122 views

What is the physical meaning of equivalence of 1st and 2nd quantization formalism?

Ref (Superstring theory (Green, Schwarz, Witten)) Take an $n$ dimensional euclidean space-time $x_0,x_1...x_{n -1}$, a relativist real scalar field, with a propagator $G_E(x,y)$. The propagator ...
3
votes
2answers
964 views

How does String Theory predict Gravity? [duplicate]

Firstly, General Relativity states that Spacetime is dynamic and is consonant with the distribution of matter/energy. How does String Theory predict gravity, when it is background dependent, that is ...
3
votes
0answers
162 views

Some more questions on conformal spinors of $SO(n,2)$

This is somewhat of a continuation of my previous question. I had stated there that a conformal spinor ($V$) of $SO(n,2)$ can be created by taking a direct sum of two $SO(n-1,1)$ spinors $Q$ and $S$ ...
2
votes
1answer
99 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}] ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

Defining Euclidean global AdS

How does one see that that the Euclidean AdS is the same as the hyperbolic space at the same dimension ie $EAdS_n = \mathbb{H}_n = SO_0(n,1)/SO(n)$? Or is this to be seen as the definition of ...
1
vote
2answers
367 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
166 views

realization of: CFT generating fuction = AdS partition function

An important aspect of the AdS/CFT correspondence is the recipe to compute correlation functions of a boundary operator $\mathcal{O} $ in terms of the supergravity fields in the interior of the ...
11
votes
1answer
498 views

The measure problem in the anthropic principle

The anthropic principle is based upon Bayesian reasoning applied to the ensemble of universes, or parts thereof, conditioned upon the existence of conscious observers. That still leaves us with the ...
7
votes
2answers
3k 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
2answers
511 views

Is string length in string theory quantized?

Is there a minimal string length (maybe the Plank length?), and is it quantized? Do strings have a 0-dimensional (ie point) cross-section?
7
votes
2answers
390 views

Interesting topics to research in mathematical physics for undergraduates

I'm planning on getting into research in mathematical physics and was wondering about interesting topics I can get into and possibly make some progress on. I'm particularity fond of abstract algebra ...
7
votes
1answer
277 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
224 views

Reference for the ${\cal N}=3$ Chern-Simons Lagrangian at general $N_c$, $N_f$

I was wondering if someone could give me a reference where someone has explicitly written the Lagrangian for ${\cal N}=3$ $SU(N_c)$ Chern-Simons theory coupled to $N_f$ fundamental hypermultiplets. ...
6
votes
0answers
96 views

String landscape in different dimensions

For D = 11 large (uncompactified) spacetime dimensions, the only "string theory" vacuum is M-theory For D = 10, there are 5 vacua. Or maybe it's more correct to say 4, since type I is S-dual to ...
6
votes
2answers
407 views

More questions on string theory and the standard model

This is a followup question to How does string theory reduce to the standard model? Ron Maimon's answer there clarified to some extent what can be expected from string theory, but left details open ...
5
votes
1answer
247 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

When is entanglement entropy the same as free energy?

I am given the feeling that there exists scenarios when this equality holds. Can anyone state/refer to the situations? One case that I hear of is that for $2+1$ CFTs the entanglement entropy ...
4
votes
0answers
124 views

Expressions of action and energy momentum tensor in bc conformal field with central charge equals one

I have a question with conformal field theory in Polchinski's string theory vol 1 p. 51. For $bc$ conformal field theory $$ S=\frac{1}{2\pi} \int d^2 z b \bar{\partial} c $$ $$ T(z)= :(\partial b) ...
4
votes
1answer
442 views

Wilson loops and gauge invariant operators (Part 2)

These questions are sort of a continuation of this previous question. I would like to know of the proof/reference to the fact that in a pure gauge theory Wilson loops are all the possible gauge ...
4
votes
0answers
196 views

The ${\cal N} = 3$ Chern-Simons matter lagrangian

This question is sort of a continuation of this previous question of mine. I would like to know of some further details about the Lagrangian discussed in this paper in equation 2.8 (page 7) and in ...
4
votes
2answers
732 views

Does string theory and preons exclude each other?

Does string theory contradict the theory of preons, especially the Harari-Shupe one?
4
votes
1answer
170 views

What is the stress-energy distribution of a string in target space?

If $| \psi \rangle$ is a string mode, how do you compute $\langle \psi | \hat{T}^{\mu\nu}(\vec{x}) | \psi \rangle$ where $\vec{x}$ is a point in target space? This information will tell us the energy ...
4
votes
1answer
278 views

What are the current (popular(ish)) approaches to modelling the quantum nature of spacetime at the Planck scale?

My guess at a list of them would be: spin foams, casual sets, non-commutative geometry, Machian theories, twistor theory or strings and membranes existing in some higher-dimensional geometry... ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

Expectation value of the stress-energy tensor in 2-D CFT

Due to a previous question, I am confused with the expectation value of the stress-energy tensor in a 2-D conformal field theory. Let's take the example of string theory, to sketch the problem. ...