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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Higgs boson and string theory

Assuming Higgs is found at 125 GeV.Is there any direct or indirect consequence on string theory ? Will it be a blow to string theory or models employing string theory ? ...
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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 ...
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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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How algebraic geometry and motives appears in physics?

First, I'm not a physicist so I have just a little background in physics. I have been reading some noncommutative geometry books and papers (Connes, Rosenberg, Kontsevich etc) and a lot of high ...
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299 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 ...
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553 views

What are orbifolds and why are they useful and interesting for physics?

Just what the title says. What's the basic definition of an orbifold? How do they arise in physics and why are they interesting?
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271 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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984 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 ...
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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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148 views

About the stability of the ground state of the bosonic string

In Polchinski's string theory vol 1, p. 23, it is said "It is a complicated question whether the bosonic string has any stable vacuum, and the answer is not known." The book was published on 1998. ...
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Is String Theory proven to be finite?

I read Lee Smolin's book "The trouble with physics" and the book says that the finiteness of string theory ( or string pertubative theory) is by no means a proven mathematical fact, despite that the ...
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221 views

Embedding of $F(4)$ in $OSp(8|4)$?

Is the superconformal algebra in five dimensions, $F(4)$, a subalgebra of the (maximal) six-dimensional superconformal algebra $OSp(8|4)$?
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Is there a background independent closed string field theory?

Analogous to the background independent open string field theory by Witten. If there isn't, what are the main stumbling blocks preventing its construction?
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Global symmetry in string theory

It is often stated that in quantum gravity only charges coupled to gauge fields can be conserved. This is because of the no hair theorem. If a charge is coupled to a gauge field then when it falls ...
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767 views

Geometric/Visual Interpretation of Virasoro Algebra

I've been trying to gain some intuition about Virasoro Algebras, but have failed so far. The Mathematical Definition seems to be clear (as found in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virasoro_algebra). I ...
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445 views

Heterotic string as worldvolume theory of two coincident 9-branes in 27 dimensions?

The heterotic string is a combination of right-moving excitations from a D=10 superstring and left-moving excitations from a D=26 bosonic string, with the left-movers behaving as if the extra 16 ...
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Critical Dimension of Bosonic Strings and Regularization of $\sum_{n=1}^\infty n$

If $D$ is critical dimension of Bosonic strings, a particular derivation goes like the following, where we arrive finally at $$ \frac{D-2}{2}\sum_{n=1}^\infty n + 1 = 0. $$ Now mathematically this is ...
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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 ...
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185 views

Confusion about two definitions of anomalies

As I am currently studying for an exam about quantum field theory and string theory, I got confused about the notion of "anomalies" and how they are actually defined. Similar questions have already ...
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What are the implications for the AdS/Cft program if AdS is unstable?

To my understanding recent progress in the study of the non linear stability of AdS spacetime suggest that $AdS$ might be unstable. If this is true, what are the physical and mathematical ...
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341 views

Quantization of strings, string Fock space and transition to QFT

I am not an expert of string theory and am quite uncertain about the basic ideas of string theory that I am going to ask about. I would appreciate some hints of more experienced physicists. What I am ...
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473 views

How do I find constraints on the Nambu-Goto Action?

Let $X^\mu (t,\sigma ^1,\ldots ,\sigma ^p)$ be a $p$-brane in space-time and let $g$ be the metric on $X^\mu$ induced from the ambient space-time metric. Then, the Nambu-Goto action on $X^\mu$ is ...
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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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350 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 ...
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Does the complex 3-sphere have a complex structure modulus?

This question has a flavor which is more mathematical than physical, however it is about a mathematical physics article and I suspect my misunderstanding occurs because the precise mathematical ...
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What is the physical significance of the dilaton in string theory?

Strings always have a dilaton in their spectrum. Its a scalar field (so presumably no spin), and so far a hypothetical particle. What is its physical significance?
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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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Is the “Great Attractor” an indicator of the “Multiverse”?

I have heard a bit about the Great Attractor (the gravitational anomaly that seems to be "sweeping" our universe in one direction). Someone (and forgive me, I do not recall the specifics) has ...
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453 views

Is there stringy Morse theory?

This question is pretty vague and open. I'm just curious if anyone has considered this. Morse theory has a nice physical formulation: a Morse function can be thought of as a potential, so the ...
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757 views

What are some significant contributions of string theory to other fields of physics?

What are some contributions that string theory has made to other branches of physics/science (other than research in string theory)? I'm looking for specifics, for example mentioning what string ...
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123 views

Why isn't there heterotic holographic QCD?

I think the question speaks for itself... Top-down holographic QCD, like Sakai-Sugimoto, always involves the Type II string. There are one or two papers on hQCD using the Type 0 string. But I can't ...
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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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352 views

Question about associative 3-cycles on G2 manifolds

Let $X$ be a manifold with $G_2$ holonomy and $\Phi$ be the fundamental associative 3-form on $X$. Let $*\Phi$ be the dual co-associative 4-form on $X$. Now consider a particular associative 3-cycle ...
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558 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 ...
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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 ...
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String-theoretic significance of extended CFT

Extended TQFT and CFT have been puzzling me for while. While I understand the mathematical motivation behind them, I don't quite understand the physical meaning. In particular, it's not clear to me to ...
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841 views

Is Conformal Symmetry Local or Global?

I'm just brushing up on a bit of CFT, and I'm trying to understand whether conformal symmetry is local or global in the physics sense. Obviously when the metric is viewed as dynamical then the ...
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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 ...
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Covariant Quantisation and the Time Operator in String Theory

Covariant quantisation in string theory is accomplished by giving the commutator relations $[X^\mu(\sigma,\tau),P^\nu(\sigma',\tau)] = i \eta^{\mu\nu} \delta(\sigma - \sigma')$. Although ...
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330 views

Decoupling of Holomorphic and Anti-holomorphic parts in 2D CFT

This maybe a very naive question. I have just started studying CFT, and I am confused by why we have two separate parts of everything in CFT (operator algebras and hilbert space), the holomorphic ...
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991 views

The Chern-Simons/WZW correspondence

Can someone tell me a reference which proves this? - as to how does the bulk partition function of Chern-Simons' theory get completely determined by the WZW theory (its conformal blocks) on its ...
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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 ...
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450 views

String theory - OPE and primary operators

First, a disclaimer: I am new to Physics SE, and I am primarily a mathematician, not a physicist. I apologise in advance for the possibly poor quality of the question, any and thank you for your ...
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296 views

Who added $\frac{3}{2} \partial^2 c$ to the virasoro BRST current (and why)?

I've been looking at the literature on quantizing the bosonic string, and I noticed that there was a change made in the definition of the BRST current around 1992. However, I haven't found any ...
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Matrix geometry for F-strings

A stack of N D-branes has the strange property that the traverse D-brane coordinates are matrix-valued. When the matrices commute, they can be interpreted as ordinary coordinates for N ...
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348 views

Do exact beta functions exist in (super)gravity theories and string theory?

An exact beta function exists for Super-Yang-Mills theories in 4D without matter - the so-called NSVZ beta function. Does a similar exact beta-function exist in gravity or supergravity theories? In ...
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246 views

What happens when two D-branes annihilate?

What happens when two D-branes annihilate? Do we get a radiation of strings? Thanks in advance
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Dual conformal symmetry and spin networks in ABJM

In this question, I would love to hear some independent opinions on an issue I asked Juan Maldacena, Nathan Berkovits, Dan Jafferis, and others, but all the physicists may be missing something. The ...
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geometric quantization of the moduli space of abelian Chern-Simons theory

I wish to understand the statement in this paper more precisely: (1). Any 3d Topological quantum field theories(TQFT) associates an inner-product vector space $H_{\Sigma}$ to a Riemann surface ...
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F-Theory on Calabi-Yau manifolds

Why F-theory picks Calabi-Yau manifolds as backgrounds? Is there a similar argument like the one in heterotic/IIA,B which singles out Calabi-Yau manifolds based on the requirement of space-time ...