String theory
bosonic string theory
superstring theory
type I string
type II string
heterotic string
M-theory (simplified)
string field theory
strings
branes

Related topics
quantum field theory
gauge theory
conformal field theory
topological field theory
supersymmetry
supergravity
general relativity
quantum gravity

See also
string theory topics

String theory was originally invented to explain some peculiarities of the behavior of hadrons (subatomic particles which experience the strong nuclear force). In particle-accelerator experiments, physicists observed that the spin of a hadron is never larger than a certain multiple of the square of its energy. No simple model of the hadron, such as picturing it as a set of smaller particles held together by spring-like forces, was able to explain these relationships. In 1968, theoretical physicist Gabriele Veneziano produced a model of the strong force that used the Euler Beta function as a scattering amplitude (the so-called Veneziano amplitude). While this provided a good fit to experimental data, the reasons for this fit were unknown.

In 1970, Yoichiro Nambu, Holger Bech Nielsen, and Leonard Susskind presented a physical interpretation of Euler's formula by representing nuclear forces as vibrating, one-dimensional strings. However, this string-based description of the strong force made many predictions that directly contradicted experimental findings. The scientific community soon lost interest in string theory, and the standard model, with its particles and fields, remained the main focus of theoretical research.

In 1974 John Schwarz and Joel Scherk, and independently Tamiaki Yoneya, studied the boson-like patterns of string vibration and found that their properties exactly matched those of the graviton, the gravitational force's hypothetical "messenger" particle. Schwarz and Scherk argued that string theory had failed to catch on because physicists had underestimated its scope. This led to the development of bosonic string theory, which is still the version first taught to many students. The original need for a viable theory of hadrons has been fulfilled by quantum chromodynamics, the theory of quarks and their interactions. It is now hoped that string theory or some descendant of it will provide a fundamental understanding of the quarks themselves.

String theory is formulated in terms of the Polyakov action, which describes how strings move through space and time. Like springs, the strings want to contract to minimize their potential energy, but conservation of energy prevents them from disappearing, and instead they oscillate. By applying the ideas of quantum mechanics to strings it is possible to deduce the different vibrational modes of strings, and that each vibrational state appears to be a different particle. The mass of each particle, and the fashion with which it can interact, are determined by the way the string vibrates — in essence, by the "note" which the string sounds. The scale of notes, each corresponding to a different kind of particle, is termed the "spectrum" of the theory.

Early models included both open strings, which have two distinct endpoints, and closed strings, where the endpoints are joined to make a complete loop. The two types of string behave in slightly different ways, yielding two spectra. Not all modern string theories use both types; some incorporate only the closed variety.

The earliest string model, which incorporated only bosons, has problems. Most importantly, the theory has a fundamental instability, believed to result in the decay of space-time itself. Additionally, as the name implies, the spectrum of particles contains only bosons, particles like the photon which obey particular rules of behavior. While bosons are a critical ingredient of the Universe, they are not its only constituents. Investigating how a string theory may include fermions in its spectrum led to the invention supersymmetry, a mathematical relation between bosons and fermions. String theories which include fermionic vibrations are now known as superstring theories; several different kinds have been described.

Between 1984 and 1986, physicists realized that string theory could describe all elementary particles and interactions between them, and hundreds of them started to work on string theory as the most promising idea to unify theories of physics. This first superstring revolution was started by a discovery of anomaly cancellation in type I string theory by Michael Green and John Schwarz in 1984. The anomaly is cancelled due to the Green-Schwarz mechanism. Several other ground-breaking discoveries, such as the heterotic string, were made in 1985.


Edward WittenIn the 1990s, Edward Witten and others found strong evidence that the different superstring theories were different limits of a new 11-dimensional theory called M-theory.[4] These discoveries sparked the second superstring revolution.

In the mid 1990s, Joseph Polchinski discovered that the theory requires the inclusion of higher-dimensional objects, called D-branes. These added an additional rich mathematical structure to the theory, and opened many possibilities for constructing realistic cosmological models in the theory.

In 1997 Juan Maldacena conjectured a relationship between string theory and a gauge theory called N=4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory. This conjecture, called the AdS/CFT correspondence has generated a great deal of interest in the field and is now well accepted. It is a concrete realization of the holographic principle, which has far-reaching implications for black holes, locality and information in physics, as well as the nature of the gravitational interaction.

Most recently, the discovery of the string theory landscape, which suggests that string theory has an exponentially large number of inequivalent vacua, has led to much discussion of what string theory might eventually be expected to predict, and how cosmology can be incorporated into the theory.

what does everyone else think about string theory i think its makes
alot of since even though its a theory