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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Confusion about two definitions of anomalies

As I am currently studying for an exam about quantum field theory and string theory, I got confused about the notion of "anomalies" and how they are actually defined. Similar questions have already ...
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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 ...
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Is there any intuitive interpretation of compactification?

Obviously the question's title has an unspecified subtext: intuitive to me. Some background to pitch the discussion appropriately: I have a broad understanding, more qualitative than quantitative, of ...
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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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What is the global symmetry group associated to the C-field?

The C-field in 11-dimensional supergravity is an elusive object that is not the simple higher $\mathrm{U}(1)$-gauge field one would naively make this out to be. For an overview of possible models for ...
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Coulomb Branch vs. Higgs Branch (and the connection with D-branes, AdS/CFT)

I am confused about the difference between the Coulomb and Higgs branches of the moduli space of supersymmetric gauge theories. It's easy to find a definition for $D=4$, $\mathcal{N}=2$ supersymmetric ...
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Questions regarding $D=4 $ ${\cal N}=4$ supersymmetric Yang-Mills

I have some questions regarding the $D=4 $ ${\cal N}=4$ super-Yang-Mills theory (the one with a really long action which can be acquired by compactifying the 10-dimensional ${\cal N}=1$ theory). I ...
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Why is it hard to give a lattice definition of string theory?

In Polyakov's book, he explains that one possible way to compute the propagator for a point particle is to compute the lattice sum $\sum_{P_{x,x'}}\exp(-m_0L[P_{x,x'}])$, where the sum goes over all ...
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R charge of the chiral multiplet in $2+1$ dimensions

These are two examples that I am puzzled by, One can see in this paper on page 16 that for ${\cal N} =2$ theory on $2+1$ the R-charge of the $\phi$ and the $\psi$ is determined to be $\frac{1}{2}$ ...
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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}) = \frac{1}{...
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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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Does the complex 3-sphere have a complex structure modulus?

This question has a flavor which is more mathematical than physical, however it is about a mathematical physics article and I suspect my misunderstanding occurs because the precise mathematical ...
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How does superstring theory explain the inverse square gravity law, given that it requires 9 spatial dimension?

In superstring theory, the spacetime dimension is either 10, one of them is time, the rest are spatial dimensions. But based on geometrical argument, we can say that $F\propto r^{1-D}$, where $D$ is ...
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Problems book recommendation on supersymmetry, supergravity and superstring theory

I'm learning supersymmetry, supergravity and superstring. I want some problems books to have some idea in this area. Is there this kind of books? Or are there some papers that have many solved model?
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Is there a maximum number of types of elementary particles?

Doing a Google search i found a paper called The maximum number of elementary particles in a super symmetric extension of the standard model. It claims in the abstract that the upper bound is 84 (i ...
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Is there stringy Morse theory?

This question is pretty vague and open. I'm just curious if anyone has considered this. Morse theory has a nice physical formulation: a Morse function can be thought of as a potential, so the ...
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How can one imagine curled up dimensions?

Actually I'm learning String Theory, and one of its proposals is that there are actually 25+1 dimensions of which only 3+1 are visible to us-- and the remaining are curled up. However, superstring ...
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What are some significant contributions of string theory to other fields of physics?

What are some contributions that string theory has made to other branches of physics/science (other than research in string theory)? I'm looking for specifics, for example mentioning what string ...
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Question about associative 3-cycles on G2 manifolds

Let $X$ be a manifold with $G_2$ holonomy and $\Phi$ be the fundamental associative 3-form on $X$. Let $*\Phi$ be the dual co-associative 4-form on $X$. Now consider a particular associative 3-cycle $...
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A question about the higher-order Weyl variation for the geodesic distance

I have a question in deriving Eqs. (3.6.15b) and (3.6.15c) in Polchinski's string theory vol I p. 105. Given $$\Delta (\sigma,\sigma') = \frac{ \alpha'}{2} \ln d^2 (\sigma, \sigma') \tag{3.6.6}$$...
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How are low energy effective actions derived in string theory?

For example the eq 2.1 here with regards to Type IIB. Unless I am terribly missing/misreading something Polchinski doesn't ever seem to derive these low energy supergravity actions. I would like to ...
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M(atrix) theory and things other than D0-branes? And is it non-peturbative M-theory or non-peturbative Type IIA theory?

When I first read the BFSS Paper on M(atrix)-theory, I was under the impression that it was a non-peturbative formulation of M-theory. But recently, upon reading this paper of Nathan Seiberg's, I ...
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Gauging discrete symmetries

I read somewhere what performing an orbifolding (i.e. imposing a discrete symmetry on what would otherwise be a compactification torus) is equivalent to "gauging the discrete symmetry". Can anybody ...
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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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If Particles are simply excitations in a field, how does string theory change this description

I am a computer scientist with a passing love of Quantum Physics, but perhaps because I am a lefty I prefer to visualize when possible what the quantum world looks like. So my question here is I read ...
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Why does string theory have such a huge landscape?

I was browsing through Foundations of Space and Time, a compilation of essays on various theories of quantum gravity. The following passage in the introduction intrigued me: Each compactification ...
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$bc$ 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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Defining a CFT using beta-functions

Won't it be correct to define a CFT as a QFT such that the beta-function of all the couplings vanish? But couldn't it be possible that the beta-function of a dimensionful coupling vanishes but it ...
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Choice and identification of vacuums in AdS/CFT

I know how we define a vacuum in flat space QFT and also in a curved space QFT. But, can somebody tell me how do the choice of vacuum state in (say) the CFT side of AdS/CFT changes the choice of ...
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Critics of Mannheim's Conformal Gravity Theory?

I'm looking for more articles/reactions/critiques/support for Philip Mannheim's recent conformal gravity theory. See here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1101.2186v1 Any ideas on where to start?
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Pedagogical explanations of critical dimensions of string theories

Once you understand the formalism, I think it's clearest to say the critical dimension of the space-time arises because we need to cancel the central charge of the (super)conformal ghosts on the ...
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“$\theta$-$\phi$ duality” and $T$-duality

When bosonizing an interacting spinless Luttinger liquid, the action can be written as \begin{equation} S=\frac{K}{2\pi}\int dx d\tau\ (\partial_\mu\phi)^2 = \frac{1}{2\pi K}\int dx d\tau\ (\partial_\...
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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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Why holographic renormalization?

Why is there a need to perform holographic renormalization for the normal $AdS_5\times S^5$/CFT$_4$ correspondence if the brane theory is conformal? Since the flow along the AdS direction $r$ is ...
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What does it mean to “wrap” a D-brane around some manifold?

I am getting quite confused with this terminology when I read the papers. Like while constructing the near horizon $AdS_3$ in the $D1-D5$ system one considers $IIB$ on $R^{1,4}\times M^4 \times S^1$ ...
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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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How does String Theory predict Gravity? [duplicate]

Firstly, General Relativity states that Spacetime is dynamic and is consonant with the distribution of matter/energy. How does String Theory predict gravity, when it is background dependent, that is ...
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Why is the string theory graviton spin-2?

In string theory, the first excited level of the bosonic string can be decomposed into irreducible representations of the transverse rotation group, $SO(D-2)$. We then claim that the symmetric ...
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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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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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How do we know the laws of physics remain the same in different dimensions?

Section on Wikipedia dealing with the possibility of different dimensions. When reading this section it feels like there's a giant elephant in the room that is not addressed. For example, here's a ...
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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 ...
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Bosonic M-theory and moonshine gravity

Last month I asked about a 27-dimensional origin of the heterotic string. Now I'm looking at Witten's "Three-dimensional gravity revisited", where he proposes that pure gravity on AdS3 is dual to the "...
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Is the String Field of String Field Theory the same (ontologically identical to) as the field of QFT?

Disclaimer: Although my maths is quite good and I have a background in computer science and software engineering, I am a philosopher specialising in information theory (and what is called the ...
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About topological massive gravity

I am reading papers about topological massive gravity (TMG) in 3-dimensional spacetime. I come across two kinds of formalism to describe TMG. In the first kind, the gravitational Chern-Simons (CS) ...
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Are dimensionless physical constants predicted to be rational, irrational, or transcendental numbers?

Are dimensionless physical constants predicted to be rational, irrational, or transcendental numbers? Directly measured ones are obviously unknown, but according to Wikipedia many dimensionless ...
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How does higher spin theory evade Weinberg's and the Coleman-Mandula no-go theorem?

Recently I heard some seminar on higher spin gauge theory, and got some interest. I know there are some no-go theorems in quantum field theories: Weinberg: Massless higher spin amplitudes are ...

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