Questions tagged [string-theory]

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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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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Is anti-gravity (i.e. repulsive gravity) possible in theoretical physics?

Is anti-gravity (i.e. repulsive gravity) possible in string theory? I have read some articles about scientists making assumptions about the existence of anti-gravity, but is it possible in string ...
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D-brane Lagrangian?

As I understand it from the threads I read, D-branes are viewed as somewhat secondary to strings: If I know what all the open strings do, then I know what the D-branes do as well. But if the D-brane ...
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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 ...
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Why do fermions come in generations, but not bosons?

Why does the $1/2$ spin of fundamental fermions (electrons, quarks, and neutrinos) split them into three variants that differ only in mass, while the integer spins of massless fundamental bosons (e.g. ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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What are some predictions from string theory that say some crystalline materials “will end up in one of many lowest-energy ground states?”

I am referring to this recent "news feature" by Zeeya Merali from Nature magazine www.nature.com/uidfinder/10.1038/478302a. Here is the specific quote: "To make matters worse, some of the testable ...
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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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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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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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“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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The measure problem in the anthropic principle

The anthropic principle is based upon Bayesian reasoning applied to the ensemble of universes, or parts thereof, conditioned upon the existence of conscious observers. That still leaves us with the ...
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String theory from a mathematical point of view

I have a great interest in the area of string theory, but since I am more focused on mathematics, I was wondering if there is any book out there that covers mathematical aspects of string theory. I ...
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Can electrons be non-fundamental in higher dimensions?

I was wondering, is it necessary that all elementary particles remain elementary in higher dimensions too, or can there be a higher curled dimension (like those in string theory) where an electron, ...
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AdS/CFT not dependent on validity of string theory

I have been told that the AdS/CFT correspondence proof does not rely on the validity of string theory. To be honest I don't know what to make of this. The idea of taking seriously the results of ...
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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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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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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 know ...
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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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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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Virasoro constraints in quantization of the Polyakov action

The generators of the Virasoro algebra (actually two copies thereof) appear as constraints in the classical theory of the Polyakov action (after gauge fixing). However, when quantizing only "half" of ...
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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 ...
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Steps for going from Polyakov action to low-energy effective action (SUGRA?) in String Theory

A lot of string-theory questions have been asked here. This one is, hopefully, different in that this inquiry is specific and the expected answer would be more mathematical than philosophical in ...
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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 ...
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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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Does the renormalization group apply to string theory?

Can we implement a scale dependent cutoff Λ to string theory? Can we perform a renormalization group analysis of string theory consistently?
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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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String theory and one idea of “quantum structure of spacetime”

First of all, I do recognize that I haven't studied string theory up to this point. I'm actualy just getting started with it. So my question here is as follows: Einstein's theory of General ...
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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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Examples of heterotic CFTs

I'm trying to get a global idea of the world of conformal field theories. Many authors restrict attention to CFTs where the algebras of left and right movers agree. I'd like to increase my intuition ...
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What, exactly, is a “delta function p-form” as used in the theory of branes?

In string theory, when dealing with branes, the following happens: We rewrite a worldvolume action $S = \int_{\Sigma_{p+1}} \omega^{(p+1)}$ of a $D_p$-brane as an integral over the whole $\mathbb{R}^{...
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About defining “baryons” and “mesons”

I want to understand the proof of the claims (of the construction as well as of its uniqueness) of gauge singlet states given around equation 2.13 (page 10) of this paper. Also does the listing of ...
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Do all $\mathcal{N}=2$ Gauge Theories “Descend” from String Theory?

I'm thinking about the beautiful story of "geometrical engineering" by Vafa, Hollowood, Iqbal (https://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0310272) where various types of $\mathcal{N}=2$ SYM gauge theories on $\...
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What differs string theory from philosophy or religion? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What experiment would disprove string theory? A hypothesis without hard evidence sounds very much like philosophy or religion to me. All of them tries to establish a ...
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What future technologies does particle physics and string theory promise? [closed]

What practical application can we expect from particle physics a century or two from now? What use can we make of quark-gluon plasmas or strange quarks? How can we harness W- and Z-bosons or the Higgs ...
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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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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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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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Why are the Nambu-Goto action and Polyakov action equivalent at quantum level?

It's a well known elementary fact that the Nambu-Goto action $$S_{NG} = T \int d \tau d \sigma \sqrt{ (\partial_{\tau} X^{\mu})^2 (\partial_{\sigma} X^{\mu})^2 - (\partial_{\sigma} X^{\mu} \partial_{\...
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Advice on doing physics under the umbrella of mathematics and the converse [closed]

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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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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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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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 Chern-...
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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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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 \sqrt{h}h^{\alpha\...
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How to understand worldsheet fermion as a section?

I am reading Witten's paper on topological string, and I found some mathematical notation is hard to understand for me. Consider the nonlinear sigma model in 2 dimensions governed by maps $\Phi : \...

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