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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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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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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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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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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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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357 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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What happens when two D-branes annihilate?

What happens when two D-branes annihilate? Do we get a radiation of strings?
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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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123 views

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 ...
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624 views

Clarification on “central charge equals number of degrees of freedom”

It's often stated that the central charge c of a CFT counts the degrees of freedom: it adds up when stacking different fields, decreases as you integrate out UV dof from one fixed point to another, ...
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does AdS/CFT implies that there is an CFT in physical horizons?

so my rough understanding is that the AdS/CFT duality is some sort of isomorphism between an N dimensional gravitational theory and a N-1 dimensional conformal field theory on the boundary. The ...
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Derivation of the basic equation for Witten diagrams

I could understand the derivation of the "bulk-to-boundary" propagators ($K$) for scalar fields in $AdS$ but the iterative definition of the "bulk-to-bulk" propagators is not clear to me. On is ...
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470 views

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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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 ...
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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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Is eternal inflation and the multiverse compatible with causal patch complementarity?

The argument for eternal inflation is we have some patch of metastable vacuum with positive cosmological constant, and so it expands exponentially a la de Sitter. Most of the patch decays to something ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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565 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 ...
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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 ...
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Is it believed that all UV completions have “Maldacena duals”?

I have heard occasional rumors that effective field theories have gravity duals. For example, I've been told that UV momentum cutoffs in N=4 SYM become finite radii in AdS. I've heard speculations ...
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gauss-bonnet gravity constraints from string theory

recently there has been advances in observational constraints of gravity theories that contains scalars coupled to the gauss-bonnet topological term: http://arxiv.org/abs/0704.0175 ...
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Pohlmeyer reduction of string theory for flat and AdS spaces

The definition of Pohlmeyer invariants in flat-space (as per eq-2.16 in Urs Schreiber's DDF and Pohlmeyer invariants of (super)string) is the following: $ Z^{\mu_1...\mu_N} (\mathcal{P}) = ...
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Chiral fermions from torsion flux in M-theory?

Witten's 1981 paper "Search for a realistic Kaluza-Klein theory" is frequently cited for its observation that, in a compactification of d=11 supergravity on a manifold with SU(3) x SU(2) x U(1) ...
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Giant string in space

I saw an interview with Ed Witten, where he said one way to confirm string-theory is to observe a giant string floating in space, left over from the Big-Bang. How does one observe such a string, does ...
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Advice on doing physics under the umbrella of mathematics and the converse

In the current scenario of research in QFT and string theory (and related mathematical topics), which of the following would an undergraduate student, like me, be advised to do and why if s/he is ...
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References on the non-compositeness of the known elementary particles

What paper(s) or theory(s) describe or prove that the elementary particles that we have determined today cannot be made up of smaller more fundamental particles?
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Particles mass determined by SO(D-2) vs SO(D-1)

I've recently come across this statement that massless particles arise from $SO(D-2)$ symetry and massive particles from $SO(D-1)$. I would have guessed that it would be the exact opposite way, but ...
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242 views

The stability of D-Brane

In "String Theory and M-Theory: a modern introduction" by K.Becker, M. Becker and J.H.Schwarz, they say that BPS D-brane is stable as it preserves half of the Supersymmetry. I really want to ...
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806 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 ...
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What's the significance of large-scale anomalies in CMB

What's the significance of large-scale anomalies in CMB that are confirmed by Planck? I've read somewhere that the cold spots can provide support for string theory or it may be due to a parallel ...
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Is string length in string theory quantized?

Is there a minimal string length (maybe the Planck length), and is it quantized? Do strings have a 0-dimensional (ie point) cross-section?
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Recommendations for time-line and road map in graduate school towards specializing in Maldacena's conjecture

This question was asked on Theoretical Physics Stackexchange and was grossly misread and closed. I am again posting the question here hoping to get some valuable insights. Also some people were ...
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Infinitesimal transformations for a relativistic particle

The action of a free relativistic particles can be given by $$S=\frac{1}{2}\int d\tau \left(e^{-1}(\tau)g_{\mu\nu}(X)X^\mu(\tau)X^\nu(\tau)-e(\tau)m^2\right).$$ If we then make an infinitesimal ...
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What is Mathematical formulation of Holographic principle? [closed]

What is Mathematical formulation of Holographic principle The holographic principle is a property of quantum gravity and string theories which states that the description of a volume of space can ...
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Chern-Simons Theory in 3D

For the CS theory on a three manifold $M$ with a gauge group $G$, it is said that the gauge field $A$ is a connection on the trivial bundle over $M$. Why the bundle should be trivial? I know that ...
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Electric charge in string theory

The mass of an elementary particle in string theory is related with the way the string vibrates. The more frantically a string vibrates the more energy it posses and hence the more massive it is. My ...
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Why (in relatively non-technical terms) are Calabi-Yau manifolds favored for compactified dimensions in string theory?

I was hoping for an answer in general terms avoiding things like holonomy, Chern classes, Kahler manifolds, fibre bundles and terms of similar ilk. Simply, what are the compelling reasons for ...
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Determining the Hodge numbers of some orbifold examples

I'm currently reading about complex geometry in order to get a feeling of how to determine the Hodge numbers, e.g. of certain orbifold constructions. Since I'm a physicist with no deeper mathematical ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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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Operator Product Expansion (OPE) in Conformal Field Theory

We denote local operators of a conformal field theory (CFT) as $\mathcal{O}_i$ where $i$ runs over the set of all operators. Formally, the operator product expansion (OPE) is given by, ...
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Ж (“zhe”) in string theory?

I was just recently watching a TED talk about string theory, by Thad Roberts, and at around 11:10 into the video he mentions a constant for maximum spacial curvature called "zhe" (the Cyrillic symbol ...
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Counting D0-D4 Bound States

I have a slightly technical combinatorics question. Consider the degeneracy $D_n$ of bound states of $n$ D0 branes and one D4 brane. This is given in Polchinski by (13.6.24), \begin{align} ...
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What does it mean to renormalize an effective field theory?

This is in reference to slide 19 of this talk "As always in Effective Field Theory, the theory becomes predictive when there are more observables than parameters" Can one explain what this exactly ...