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String Theory "A Complete Guide"

String Theory "A Complete Guide"

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Published by ARPIT GOSWAMI

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Published by: ARPIT GOSWAMI on Jun 26, 2010
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BIRTH OF STRING THEORY
Introduction 
String theory is not simply a theory that has emerged within the last decade. This theory hasquite an extensive history that has shown periods of promise and dismal times, as well. Becausestring theory has been developed along with many of the other prominent ideas of the lastcentury, including the Standard Model and quantum mechanics, it has been obscured to thegeneral public for the most part. Now let’s delve into a fascinating look into the birth of stringtheory.
Kaluza - Klein Theory 
Kaluza, while studying Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, pondered about theconsequences of adding a fifth dimension to the accepted four dimensions.The seeds for string theory in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond wereplanted in 1919 by Theodor Kaluza, who was working at the University of Konigsberg. Kaluza,while studying Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, pondered about the consequences ofadding a fifth dimension to the accepted four dimensions (three spatial dimensions and one timedimension). When Kaluza included the extra dimension, he discovered that this situation allowedfor the unification of gravity and electromagnetism. This was a very significant breakthrough atsuch an early period; however, when Kaluza submitted his findings to Einstein in 1919, Einsteineventually began to ignore Kaluza’s theory. Although Einstein said, “at first glance I like yourtheory enormously,” the simple fact that there was no need or reason for this fifth dimensionultimately led to its unimportance for many years.Later, in 1926, Swedish mathematician Oskar Klein confirmed Kaluza’s work by formulating aquantum theory with Kaluza’s findings. Klein realized that the universe has both “extended” and“curled-updimensions. That is, while we can easily seem and detect the extended dimensions,some dimensions are curled-up into such a tiny structure that it is not detectable. Today,Kaluza-Klein theories are defined as those that involve more than four dimensions. Kaluza and
 
Klein’s work was generally disregarded for a long period of time because new forces were beingdiscovered. This meant that the Kaluza-Klein Theory had to be amended for each of these newforces by adding another dimension. Finally, physicists have determined that eleven dimensionsare needed to incorporate all of the forces within the Kaluza-Klein Theory. Interestingly, M-theory, which is the most modern and comprehensive version of string theory, demands exactlyeleven dimensions. Although the Kaluza-Klein Theory did not prove to actually unite GeneralRelativty and electromagnetism, this theory is still applicable to today’s latest research.
Early Rise 
String theory was introduced during the 1960s as a means of working with the strong nuclearforce and hadrons, which are particles that are affected by the strong nuclear forces such asneutrons and protons. Despite the initial excitement and work done for about five yearshereafter, the field of quantum chromodynamics appeared to deal with this situation better.Then, in 1971, string theory incorporated supersymmetry, and this merger resulted in thecreation of superstrings that can exist in ten dimensions. After that, the entire focus of stringtheory shifted when physicists moved away from the strong force and hadrons and focusedinstead on quantum gravity. At this point, the modern-day promise of string theory arosebecause string theory could now be developed to incorporate quantum mechanics and thepreviously bothersome force of gravity and the corresponding particle – the graviton.
First Revolution 
By the end of 1985, there was not one, but rather, five separate string theories that eachinvolved ten dimensions. Interestingly, each of the five theories seemed to be accurate.The “first revolution” in string theory occurred in 1984 when the theory was proclaimed to befree from anomalies. The work of Green and Schwarz allowed for this significant declaration.However, by the end of 1985, there was not one, but rather, five separate string theories thateach involved ten dimensions. Interestingly, each of the five theories seemed to be accurate.This posed as a significant concern until 1994.
 
Second Revolution 
In 1994, the “second revolution” in string theory was born with the work of Seiberg andProfessor Edward Witten. They said that these multiple theories, which also included anadditional eleven dimensional theory, were simply different versions of the same theory.Knownas M-theory,” this all-in-one theory accounts for the other theories with dualitytransformations, which somehow connect the different theories together. These tworevolutions have brought us to modern day and the excitement of string theory. 
TYPES OF STRINGS
Introduction 
As there are several versions of string theory, there are also different types of strings. Thesestructures, which are incredibly small, are thought to be the most fundamental structures ofmatter. Physicists believe that strings of atoms and quarks were thought to be the smalleststructures and discovered to not actually the most fundamental structures, then can’t there bea structure smaller than a string? Can there always be a smaller structure then the one weknow? To find out, we must first understand the types of strings.
Open Strings 
Open strings are simply one-dimensional structures that have two endpoints. Thus, an openstring can be thought of as a line that has the capability of moving flexibly. These open stringscan create an array of vibrational patterns. 
Closed Strings 
Closed strings are one-dimensional structures that lack endpoints; therefore, equating themwith flexible circles. These closed strings are typically the traditional representation ofstrings.

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