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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145 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 ...
4
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2answers
544 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 ...
4
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2answers
845 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
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0answers
697 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 ...
3
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1answer
485 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
269 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 ...
9
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1answer
428 views

“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 ...
6
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2answers
407 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 ...
4
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1answer
70 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 ...
2
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2answers
203 views

Mathematics needed for string theory [duplicate]

I'm interested in cutting edge string theory studied by research physicist. I'm wonder what mathematics is needed and how far am I in terms of mathematics background needed and how much more ...
1
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1answer
124 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 ...
1
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0answers
110 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
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1answer
183 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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1answer
228 views

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 ...
15
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3answers
679 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 ...
20
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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 ...
12
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1answer
706 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 ...
23
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0answers
1k 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 ...
14
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3answers
2k 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?
11
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2answers
498 views

The difference between The Dilaton and The Radion?

I have read this question on the Dilaton, but I am a little confused with the distinction between the Dilaton and the Radion. I definitely have the feeling that these two scalar fields are different ...
10
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1answer
393 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 ...
10
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5answers
940 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What is background independence and how important is it?

What is background independence and how important is it? In order to be a theory of everything, will the final string-theory/m-theory have to be background independent? Does the current lack of ...
15
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2answers
560 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
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3answers
779 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
461 views

Noether currents in QFT

I am trying to organize my knowledge of Noether's theorem in QFT. There are several questions I would like to have an answer to. In classical field theory, Noether's theorem states that for each ...
8
votes
1answer
421 views

How are low energy effective actions derived in string theory?

For example the eq 2.1 here with regards to Type IIB. Unless I am terribly missing/misreading something Polchinski doesn't ever seem to derive these low energy supergravity actions. I would like to ...
8
votes
1answer
540 views

Introductory examples of AdS/CFT duality

I would like to know, what are the simplest/starting/basic examples that are typically used to introduce students to how AdS/CFT really works? (not the MAGOO paper, as I am not sure it has concrete ...
17
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5answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
479 views

What is the definition of a “UV-complete” theory?

I would like to know (1) what exactly is a UV-complete theory and (2) what is a confirmatory test of that? Is asymptotic freedom enough to conclude that a theory is UV-complete? Does it become ...
9
votes
2answers
983 views

What does second quantization mean in the context of string theory?

String field theory (in which string theory undergoes "second quantization") seems to reside in the backwaters of discussions of string theory. What does second quantization mean in the context of a ...
8
votes
2answers
284 views

What uniquely defines a CFT?

So, I am quite new to CFT (and a as descriptive answer as possible would be appreciated). I want to know what uniquely defines a CFT in 2D and otherwise. Firstly in 2D, What defines a CFT? So I ...
7
votes
1answer
225 views

Could string theory be an effective theory?

I know that many quantum field theories could be low-energy effective theories in String Theory (ST), but I've also read and heard that ST cannot itself be an effective theory. I suppose this has ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Some questions on Conformal Field Theory, Current algebras and the Sugawara construction

Since I don't know how to add another question to an already existing topic, I'm opening a new thread. However I'm referring to: Beginners questions concerning Conformal Field Theory As noted, a ...
10
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1answer
418 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 ...
9
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2answers
225 views

Symmetry of the Polyakov action?

Let us look at the Polyakov action for a string moving in a spacetime with metric $g_{\mu \nu}(X)$:$$S_P = -{1\over{4\pi \alpha'}} \int d^2 \sigma \sqrt{-\gamma} \gamma^{ab} \partial_a X^\mu ...
9
votes
3answers
958 views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
888 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
847 views

Global symmetries in quantum gravity

In several papers (including a recent one by Banks and Seiberg) people mention a "folk-theorem" about the impossibility to have global symmetries in a consistent theory of quantum gravity. I remember ...
6
votes
3answers
447 views

Extending General Relativity with Kahler Manifolds?

Standard general relativity is based on Riemannian manifolds. However, the simplest extension of Riemannian manifolds seems to be Kahler manifolds, which have a complex (hermitian) structure, a ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the essence of BCFW recursion techniques?

I have recently briefly read about new methods as the Britto-Cachazo-Feng-Witten (BCFW) on-shell recursion method. Can anybody please tell me about the essence of it? What does it mean for the ...
5
votes
2answers
445 views

T-duality approaches

The textbook approach to explaining T-dualities is to show that a type of T-duality transformation "inverts the radius of the circle, that is, it maps $R\rightarrow\tilde{R} = \alpha'/R$ and it ...
4
votes
1answer
182 views

Gravitational Chern-Simons theory for bosons and fermions

Q1: What is the difference of boson and fermions for their Gravitational Chern-Simons theory? I suppose in general if the metric is not flat, we have vierbein ${e_{\hat{b}}}^{\nu}$, with $$ ...
4
votes
1answer
417 views

What is on the AdS side in AdS/CFT supergravity or string theory?

What really is on the AdS side in AdS/CFT, does it always have to be string theory or is sometimes supergravity "enough" or better suited to do calculations? From the answers to my earlier question, ...
3
votes
1answer
273 views

No Lagrangian description v.s. No quasi-particle description

This post is aimed to stimulate some discussions. We are familiar with many physical descriptions and theories of the (many-body quantum) system, with both quasi-particle description and Lagrangian ...
3
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1answer
376 views

Causality in String Theory

For a point particle we have light cone: String Theory- with it's extended body concepts- however will not admit a light cone such as this. In particular the most problematic causal issue would be ...
1
vote
1answer
185 views

Calculus of variations and string theory

In Polchinski's String theory book, Vol 1., in chapter 1, p. 18, he is deriving the Lagrangian in the light cone gauge (that's not necessary to know in order to answer this question), and he gets ...
15
votes
1answer
224 views

Is electron/positron annihilation to two gravitons forbidden?

This follows from the question Can stress energy tensor vanish in general relativity?. What I'm really asking is whether electron/positron annihilation to two gravitons is allowed, but the obvious ...
14
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2answers
510 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 ...
12
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2answers
3k views

Dirac, Weyl and Majorana Spinors

To get to the point - what's the defining differences between them? Alas, my current understanding of a spinor is limited. All I know is that they are used to describe fermions (?), but I'm not sure ...