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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582 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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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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Do traversable wormholes exist as solutions to string theory?

There has been some heated debate as to whether the laws of physics allow for traversable wormholes. Some physicists claim we require exotic matter to construct wormholes, but then others counter the ...
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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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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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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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924 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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How does the holographic principle imply nonlocality?

For example in the discussions here and here there are comments by Ron Maimon: Your complaint about locality would be more serious if holography didn't show the way--- the CFT in AdS/CFT produces ...
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What is really M-theory? (non-pertubatively)

I don´t really understand what M-theory is supposed to be. Going beyond the dualities relating different string theories (for example the common $11-D$ limit of IIA and $E_{8}\times E_{8}$) I don't ...
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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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316 views

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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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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416 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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789 views

Conformal group in 2D being a subgroup of Diff x Weyl - Polchinksi's 'String Theory'

I am trying to understand how the conformal group in two dimensions is a subgroup of the direct product of the diffeomorphism group and the group of Weyl transformations, as explained by Polchinski in ...
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Why are WZW models interesting?

I realise this is a very broad question, but when I was studying for my thesis I came across WZW models a few times and I never quite understood them. So, I understand that these models describe ...
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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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433 views

Could string theory be an effective theory?

I know that many quantum field theories could be low-energy effective theories in String Theory (ST), but I've also read and heard that ST cannot itself be an effective theory. I suppose this has ...
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Breaking of E6 to SO(10) in heterotic string theory

Some of the heterotic string models have an $E_6\otimes E_8$ symmetry. Examples include some orbifold models, some free fermionic models and Gepner models. We can break the gauge symmetry by including ...
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How does one actually apply the M-theory/heterotic duality “fiberwise”?

It seems to be generally accepted ([1], [2]) that one can apply the duality between a $T^3$ compactification of heterotic string theory and a $\mathrm{K3}$ compactification of M-theory "fiberwise" to ...
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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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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 http://arxiv.org/...
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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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780 views

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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Gabriele Veneziano, strong nuclear force and beta-function

Background to the question: From The History of String Theory: Gabriele Veneziano, a research fellow at CERN (a European particle accelerator lab) in 1968, observed a strange coincidence - many ...
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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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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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Curved spacetime as a coherent state in string theory

I have a question about Polchinski's string theory book, volume I, p 108. When we write the Polyakov action in curved spacetime, it is said $$ S_{\sigma} = \frac{1}{4\pi\alpha'} \int_M d^2 \sigma g^...
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Where does the $10^{500}$ estimate for the number of stringy vacua come from?

This number is thrown around a lot so I'd like to understand its origin. I know that it counts compactifications of string theories on (not only) Calabi-Yau manifolds and probably also some other ...
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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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How is the double slit experiment modeled in contemporary physical theories?

Suppose I have the following double split experiment set up: a monochromatic electron source of low intensity, which we can model as emitting a single electron at a time with energy $T$. a ...
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212 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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Interesting topics to research in mathematical physics for undergraduates [duplicate]

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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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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Is there an intuitive way of thinking about the extra dimensions in M-Theory?

Why are 11 dimensions needed in M-Theory? The four I know (three spatial ones plus time) have an intuitive meaning in everyday life. How can I think of the other seven? What is their nature (spatial, ...
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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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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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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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318 views

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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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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271 views

Why F-theory picks Calabi-Yau manifolds as backgrounds?

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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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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How do Einstein's field equations come out of string theory?

The classical theory of spacetime geometry that we call gravity is described at its core by the Einstein field equations, which relate the curvature of spacetime to the distribution of matter and ...
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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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What does AdS/CFT have to say about quantum gravity in our world?

The Ads side of the AdS/CFT correspondence is a model of quantum gravity in 5 dimensional antidesitter space. What can it say about quantum gravity in our 4-spacetime dimensions? Or is it just a toy ...
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2-pt String Sphere Amplitudes

There is a standard lore in superstring theory that 2-pt sphere amplitudes vanish. This is inline with the basic fact that string amplitudes give amputated Green functions with onshell asymptotic ...
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Contour integrals in complex coordinates in 2D CFT

To my understanding, in a 2D CFT with complex coordinates, the coordinates $z$ and $\bar{z}$ are to be treated as independent, and only at the end of the calculation should one take $\bar{z}=z^*$. But ...
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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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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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What is a wavefunction, in the context of String Theory?

I have to admit that I don't know much about String Theory (or QFT, for that matter ..), but, if we assume that String Theory is the correct description of fundamental particles, what is the correct ...