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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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 ...
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323 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 ...
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147 views

Decomposition of Representation Multiplication

How can the multiplication of spinor representations (of $SO(8)$) $8_+ \otimes 8_-$ be decomposed into $8_v \oplus 56_v$? Where can I read more about the decomposition rule of different ...
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2answers
413 views

Why is a stack of N D-branes equivalent to an extremal black brane?

A stack of N D-branes can have open strings ending on them. There is a U(N) brane gauge field, and r adjoint Higgs fields, with r equal to the number of transverse spatial dimensions. The eigenvalues ...
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402 views

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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396 views

SUSY's Critical role in String Theory

In many popsci articles it is claimed that String Theory (ST) birthed SUSY. Yet ST was originally invented as a bosons-only theory, that later on brought fermions into the fold. This was only ...
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265 views

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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316 views

Is integrability necessary for the Amplituhedron?

It is well known that there exist mappings between operators in N = 4 Super Yang–Mills and spin chain states making the theory Bethe Ansatz integrable. Is integrability a necessity for the ...
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2answers
761 views

Does String theory say that spacetime is not fundamental but should be considered an emergent phenomenon?

Does String theory say that spacetime is not fundamental but should be considered an emergent phenomenon? If so, can quantum mechanics describe the universe at high energies where there is no ...
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350 views

Conformal transformation equation

I am currently reading Kiritsis's string theory book, and something bugs in the CFT (fourth) chapter. He derives the equation that should satisfy an infinitesimal conformal transformation $x^{\mu} ...
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2answers
1k views

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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1answer
784 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 ...
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234 views

Does the lack of modular nuclearity in string theory mean anything?

Nuclearity is a postulate in algebraic quantum field theory (AQFT). Basically, it says thermal states at any temperature always have a thermodynamic limit with extensive quantities. This is violated ...
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456 views

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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2answers
255 views

How to check Einstein-like equations on their correspondence with the real world?

Physicists studying the grounds of physics and some mathematicians often come to a theories which are like a general-relativity, but do not coincide with it. Often these theories contradict the real ...
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199 views

How exactly are Calabi-Yau compactifications done?

To compactify 2 open dimensions to a torus, the method of identification written down for this example as $$ (x,y) \sim (x+2\pi R,y) $$ $$ (x,y) \sim (x, y+2\pi R) $$ can be applied. What are the ...
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487 views

The General Relativity from String Theory Point of View [duplicate]

I have a hard time understand the statement that When you only look at the classical limit or classical physics, string theory exactly agrees with general relativity Because from what I know, ...
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1answer
105 views

About Vanishing of BRST commutator in path integral

In Witten's paper Topological Quantum Field Theory, about formula (3.2), the property $<\{Q,\mathcal{O}\}>=0$ depends on the assertion that $Z_{\varepsilon}(\mathcal{O})= \int \mathcal{D}X ...
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97 views

“gauge fixed world-sheet action”

My question is in reference to the action in equation 4.130 of Becker, Becker and Schwartz. It reads as, $S_{matter}= \frac{1}{2\pi}\int (2\partial X^\mu \bar{\partial}X_\mu + \frac{1}{2}\psi^\mu ...
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197 views

Can long strings always snap?

In quantum chromodynamics, long flux tubes will always snap because a quark-antiquark pair gets created from the vacuum, and hadronization results with a quark attached to each new end. In string ...
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1answer
708 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 ...
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2answers
199 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 ...
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1answer
382 views

Vector and Spinor Representation in Ramond-Neveu-Schwarz Superstring Theory

I am learning Ramnond-Neveu-Schwarz Superstring theory (RNS theory). I often find the following notation, especially in the closed string spectrum etc.: $$\mathbf{8}_s,\mathbf{8}_v $$ And it is ...
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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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571 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 ...
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253 views

Scherk-Schwarz and other compactifications?

I have been thinking about various types of compactifications and have been wondering if I have been understanding them, and how they all fit together, correctly. From my understanding, if we want ...
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113 views

Why is there no double counting of $s$- and $t$-channels in string theory?

In string theory for the four particle tree diagram exchange, why is there some mysterious crossing duality between the $s$- and $t$- and $u$-channels? Why isn't there a double counting in the Feynman ...
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1answer
226 views

Why aren't D-branes and strings independent degrees of freedom?

A condensate of open strings with both ends attached to the same D-brane can be equivalent to a displacement of the D-brane with no open string condensate. A solution to the D-brane Born-Infeld ...
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1answer
222 views

The double-trace deformation effect in AdS/CFT

Let me use this paper as the reference for this. I want to understand better the argument at the bottom of page 6. If the bulk $AdS$ metric is written as $\frac{1}{r^2}(dr^2 + ...
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1answer
331 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 Faddeev-Popov determinant by going to Grassmann variables, yielding: $$ S_{\mathrm{ghosts}} = ...
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351 views

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 ...
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269 views

Light Front Dynamics and Infinite Momentum Frame

What is the the relationship between Light Front Dynamics (One of the forms of dynamics pioneered by Dirac), and the infinite momentum frame? In the literature, it is claimed that the two are very ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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267 views

Uniqueness of the 5 string theories

This question combines several sub-questions, the common theme being: why the known 5 string theories are unique? Firstly, regarding heterotic theory. I understand the only allowed gauge groups are ...
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1answer
123 views

Poisson structure on moduli space of CFTs

The moduli space of CFTs with central charge 26 forms the classical phase space of bosonic string theory, in some sense. Similarily the moduli space of SCFTs with central charge 10 forms the classical ...
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1answer
485 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 ...
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2answers
225 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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1answer
171 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 ...
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4answers
529 views

Is String Theory a Field Theory?

Is String Theory a Field or Quantum Mechanical Theory of the String rather than a Particle? I should know this having studied this for a term, but we jumped into the deep end, without really ...
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1answer
74 views

References for phase-transitions in supersymmetric field theory

Apart from other reasons, recently my interest in this area got piqued when I heard an awesome lecture by Seiberg on the idea of meta-stable-supersymmetry-breaking. I am looking for references on ...
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102 views

Quantized coefficients of Chern-Simons action and F $\wedge$ F $\wedge \dots$

We know that for U(1) gauge field Chern-Simons action in 2+1 Dim(ension), we have an action $$ S=\alpha \int A \wedge dA $$ with $\alpha=k/(4\pi)$ for a proper level quantization. Here $k$ is the ...
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1answer
482 views

bc CFT Energy-momentum tensor from Noether's theorem

Following Polchinski's book (String Theory 1), we have the bc action : $$S = \frac{1}{2 \pi}\int~d^2z ~b\bar \partial c\tag{2.5.4}$$ where $b$ and $c$ have holomorphic weights $\lambda$ and $1- ...
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1answer
174 views

Critical dimension in quantization of p-branes

So I have what might be a fairly basic question, but my understanding that in the quantization of the the string, or the 1-brane, there are conditions on the number of spacetime dimensions to ensure ...
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1answer
350 views

Gravity duals to Navier Stokes and interpretation of non linear contributions

I have been reading the paper The Incompressible Non-Relativistic Navier-Stokes Equation from Gravity. In it they state, "An instability, if it occurs, must necessarily break a symmetry ... ...
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1answer
169 views

If a fundamental theory exibits e.g. a mirror symmetry, in what sense it the underlying geometry real?

Are the more recently discovered symmetries in string theory such that the theories based on mirroring geometries are absolutely the same from an observable point of view? I have mirror symmetry ...
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1answer
115 views

$\pm$ (light-cone?) notation in supersymmetry

I would like to know what is exactly meant when one writes $\theta^{\pm}, \bar{\theta}^\pm, Q_{\pm},\bar{Q}_{\pm},D_{\pm},\bar{D}_{\pm}$. {..I typically encounter this notation in literature on ...
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152 views

random matrix ensembles from BMN model

My friends working on Thermalization of Black Holes explained solutions to their matrix-valued differential equations (from numerical implementation of the Berenstein-Maldacena-Nastase matrix model) ...
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446 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 ...
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152 views

What does this question about entanglement and classical geometry mean?

Below is the question from Andy Strominger's presentation at the String 2014 conference. The question was asked by credible physicist Ashoke Sen as an important question. "What is the precise ...
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1answer
152 views

Renormalizability of the Polyakov Action

I was told today that the Polyakov action for a $p$-brane is (superficially) re-normalizable iff $p\leq 1$. Of course, when I went to check for myself, I screwed up my power-counting, and I'm having ...