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14

A classical1 theory of (relativistic) $p$-dimensional membranes exists for any non-negative integer $p$. Such classical membrane-like objects appears in the full non-perturbative formulation of string theory. The problem arises if one tries to quantize a membrane (in a first quantized sense) using standard perturbative quantization methods, which have ...


9

BPS objects are stable because they're the lightest objects with given values of certain conserved charges. So there exists no potential final state that would be lighter and that the BPS state could decay into, by conserving the energy. The excess energy may be invested to the kinetic energy of the final energy but a deficit energy means that the decay is ...


9

This is a slight abuse of terminology, related to talking about 'second quantization.' The word 'wave function' in this case really refers to the 'one particle wave function,' which happens to correspond to the solutions of the (linear) classical equations of motion. It does not refer to the 'wave functional,' ie the Schrodigner representation of the full ...


8

The BFSS matrix model is a quantum mechanical model – i.e. quantum field theory in 0+1 dimensions - that describes uncompactified M-theory in 11 dimensions assuming that we study the large $N$ limit of the model with the $U(N)$ symmetry. As myself and later Susskind determined, one may also directly interpret the finite $N$ BFSS matrix model as describing ...


8

Extra-dimensional scenarios may be described as "inspired" by string theory but they are independent hypotheses and they may be true even if string theory is not. However, one has to reduce the ambitions and standards of consistency. Sociologically, it's surely true that the research of models with extra dimensions has been adopted and pursued by many ...


7

In quantum field theory and its extensions including string theory, the electric charge is a generator of a $U(1)$ symmetry which should be promoted to a local symmetry i.e. gauge symmetry. In string theory, the $U(1)$ symmetry and the gauge field often appear as parts of the low-energy effective action. This could be enough to answer the question: we ...


7

If you're asking whether there is any chance we'll be able to do this in the forseeable future then answer is no. If, however, you're asking whether general relativity allows constructions like this then the answer is yes. Your question refers to a brane which would exist inside a bulk of our own design, and I don't know how literally you meant this but it ...


6

The type of branes a theory has in constrained by the p-form fields it contains. There is only one supersymmetric gravity theory in 11d, and it has a single $p$-form with $p=4$, call it $G_4$. This means that the theory can possess brane solutions that either couple electrically to $G_4$ (M2 branes) or magnetically to $G_4$ (M5 branes). To understand the ...


6

In physics, it is not out of the ordinary to quantize a composite system in stages: First quantize some of its components and then proceed to the rest. We do this all the time, sometimes unconsciously. Sometimes it is just a way of thinking. Taking for example, the simplest case of the Kaluza-Klein expansion when the internal space is $S^1$: $$g_{\mu\nu}(x, ...


6

In theories with unbroken supersymmetry, the energy can be written as $$E=\sum_i c_i Q_i Q_i $$ where $Q_i$ are some Hermitian supercharges and the coefficients are positive. This is a sum of squares of Hermitian operators which is why it's positively semidefinite. It can't be negative. Tachyons obey $E^2-p^2=m^2$ for a negative $m^2$ so the 4-momentum (or ...


5

There exists such a model and it is described in a wikipedia article, the Ekpyrotic Universe. The ekpyrotic model came out of work by Neil Turok and Paul Steinhardt and maintains that the universe did not start in a singularity, but came about from the collision of two branes. This collision avoids the primordial singularity and superluminal expansion ...


5

Matrix string theory http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9701025 http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9702187 http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9703030 is indeed an exact description of fundamental type IIA strings (and similarly $E_8\times E_8$ heterotic strings) at any (e.g. weak) coupling where you can explicitly see the off-diagonal degrees of freedom. You could say ...


5

There is no 2-D metrics here, because we are working with the boundary $\partial M$ You could imagine a standard action $S_0 = \int_{\partial M} d\tau A_a \frac{d X^a}{d \tau}$, where $A_a$ is constant. With a small perturbation, we will have : $A_a(X) = A_a + \epsilon_a(X)$, and we have an action $S = \int_{\partial M} d\tau A_a(X) \frac{d X^a}{d \tau}$ ...


5

This formula is actually pretty simple to understand. First, the $2^8$ is the number of possible $D4$ states. Then for each (indistinguishable) $D0$, they can be in either a fermionic or bosonic state, of which there are $8$ each. Next, the coefficient of $q^n$ in $(1+q)^8$ is the number of ways for $n$ independent $D0$ branes to fit in $8$ fermionic ...


5

I) In this answer we will consider the standard Nambu-Goto (NG) string and show that the Hessian has co-rank 2. The target space metric has $(-,+,\ldots,+)$ sign convention, and $c=1=\hbar$. The NG Lagrangian density is $${\cal L}_{NG}~:=~-T_0\sqrt{{\cal L}_{(1)}}, $$ $$ {\cal L}_{(1)}~:=~-\det\left(\partial_{\alpha} X\cdot \partial_{\beta} ...


5

First, the tensor product of two Dirac spinors is the direct sum of differential $p$-forms for all values of $p$. It's because this tensor product is the same thing as the space of all matrices acting on the Dirac spinor space. But all matrices (e.g. $4\times 4$ Dirac-like matrices in 4 dimensions) may be written as linear combinations of $1$, $\gamma_\mu$, ...


4

I) In this alternative answer we resolve the singular Hessian $H_{\mu\nu}$ of the Nambu-Goto string action by introducing two auxiliary variables from the onset, thereby indirectly showing that the Hessian $H_{\mu\nu}$ must have co-rank 2. The target space metric has $(-,+,\ldots,+)$ sign convention, and $c=1=\hbar$. Consider the extended Nambu-Goto ...


4

One of ideas associated with string theory is the ekpyrotic universe. This starts with brane cosmology i.e. the idea that our universe is a four dimensional brane floating around in the ten dimensional string theory spacetime. There will be many such brane worlds and the ekpyrotic idea is that a collision between two branes would appear just like the Big ...


4

The higher-dimensional objects are the "branes", which were first found as extended black holes in supergravity. In M-theory, the fundamental objects are the 2-brane and the 5-brane, and strings arise from compactifying a brane, e.g. a 2-brane is wrapped around the eleventh dimension, and shows up as a string in the 10-dimensional limit. The classical ...


4

Maybe it should be remembered that the late 90s not only saw M(atrix) speculation, but also the observation that most, if not all, higher branes in string/M-theory, at least as far as their "worldvolume theory" is concerned, have a quantum description in terms of AdS-CFT duality. Notably the quantum M2-brane (which is the super-membrane in 11-dimensional ...


4

D-branes are not restricted to planar geometries. They can take on many different forms, and you often encounter branes wrapped around spherical manifolds, like $S^1$ or $S^4$. To determine whether a given configuration is stable, you have to evaluate the action of the D-brane configuration, which is given by the Dirac-Born-Infeld action. For a $Dp$-brane, ...


4

My answer to your question is in the context of brane inflation. The mechanism is as follows: A pair of D3 and Anti D3 separated by a warped dimension (Bulk), move closer until the separation of the branes is about the string length scale, then a stretched tachyon forms creating an instability that destroys both branes, releasing all the energy to closed ...


4

Yes, there must be branes filling the ordinary large spacetime dimensions in order for gauge fields to propagate there. Even the Type I string theory containing gauge fields (open strings) in 10 dimensions can be understood as having space-filling D9 branes on which the gauge fields live (as well as an orientifold O9 plane). The exception is heterotic ...


3

There are, actually. Dilaton (I don't mean the massless field in the NS-NS sector that determines the coupling constant, nor the $g_{55}$ component of the Kaluza-Klein Spacetime metric tensor) already covered the reason through T-duality, so I will discuss the requirement of $p$-branes imposed by Ramond-Ramond potentials. The worldsheet of a string can ...


3

This is not a constraint which appears at the level of perturbative open string worldsheets! Where does this additional constraint come from? Your problem has absolutely nothing to do with any special features of string theory; the very fact that you introduced string theory into this discussion only has one effect, namely to completely mask the actual ...


3

There is really no complication in arriving at equation (5) given equation (5). We have: $$ \frac{d}{d\rho}\left[\frac{\rho^3}{\sqrt{1+\left(\frac{dy_6}{d\rho}\right)^2}}\frac{dy_6}{d\rho}\right]=0. $$ We solve this differential equation. $$ \frac{\rho^3}{\sqrt{1+\left(\frac{dy_6}{d\rho}\right)^2}}\frac{dy_6}{d\rho}=\tilde{c} $$ $\tilde{c}$ being a ...


3

There can not only, there have to be heavy higher dimensional objects (as for example D-branes) in string theory, as Joseph Polchinski discovered. So it is strictly speaking no longer appropriate to talk about "string theory", since M-theory is now known to relate all the different string theories known before by dualities and which contains these higher ...


3

Yes, whenever the momentum is conserved and T-duality holds, T-duality must map a conserved quantity such as this momentum to another conserved quantity, i.e. the string winding number in this case, and this fact is independent of the carrier of the momentum or the winding charge. In the general nonperturbative case, you shouldn't think about the charges as ...


3

It depends on the context whether M-theory refers to the full UV completion or just the 11D supergravity limit. For example when people say "type IIA string theory is related to M-theory by T-duality" and go on to calculate something in "M-theory", they really mean the supergravity limit. However, when you hear vague statements like "M-theory is the ...


3

I think the idea is that there are no open strings in IIA, IIB in perturbation theory around the vacuum. As you say, we know D-branes exist in IIA and IIB, and these are defined as the submanifolds where open strings can end, so if a theory has D-branes it should also have open strings. But to have an open string means that you necessarily have a heavy, ...



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