Register to reply

String Dimensions

by LogicalAtheist
Tags: dimensions, string
Share this thread:
May20-03, 10:41 PM
P: n/a
Two days ago I bought THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE.

My first question is:

Mr. Greene states that a string is a one dimensionl string.

1. The nature of a string would require two dimensions, as I know it.

2. If these strings are to oscillate, needn't they be two dimensional?

3. How could it be one dimensional?

Is he meaning it's literally one dimensional, or is he being a bit lax..
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on
Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles
Tiny particles have big potential in debate over nuclear proliferation
Ray tracing and beyond
May20-03, 10:55 PM
Integral's Avatar
P: 7,321
Recall that a line is one dimensional.

You need to keep reading, he explains multi dimensionality of strings deeper in the book.
May20-03, 10:59 PM
PF Gold
P: 734
He actually means onedimensional.

Why do you say that "The nature of a string would require two dimensions"?

Imagine a cable, and make it extremely (infinitely) thin. In order to specify a point on it, you need only one number. By definition, it has then one dimension.

In order to oscillate, the can be embedded in a higher dimensional space, but the string itself does not need to have any more dimensions.

May20-03, 11:00 PM
P: 136
String Dimensions

Maybe a rookie question, but cant the inverse square law of expanding energy/matter describe our dimensia?
May20-03, 11:04 PM
P: n/a
ahrkron - Yes I understand, but the drawings show them as a loop. And he says they're like a rubber band. He doesn't say a straight string, he says a loop, and draws a loop.

A loop must be two dimensional.
May20-03, 11:20 PM
PF Gold
P: 734
Originally posted by LogicalAtheist
A loop must be two dimensional.
Only if you are talking about the "interior" of the loop.

However, the string is only the perimeter itself, which is a line. As such, any point on it can be completely specified via one number.

It doesn't matter if such line is straight or not.

In a similar way, the surface of a sphere is a two-dimensional space, just as a table top is; as far as the numner of dimensions goes, the apparent curvature (as seen from the 3D space in which both are embedded) does not matter.

Maybe this will help: think about a point living on the string, able to travel along it. Regardless of the curves and twists the string may have, the point only needs one number to know any "address" within its world.

Put in a different way, the structure of the manifold resembles that of any other line (straight lines included): a point on it has neighbors only in two directions (which you can call "forward" and "backward").

On the other hand, on a 2D space, each point has an infinity of directions to choose neighbors from, and it can characterize locally its neighborhood by using a copy of R2.

Register to reply

Related Discussions
Extra Dimensions in String Theory Beyond the Standard Model 94
String Theory: 6 extra dimensions Beyond the Standard Model 30
Why String theory has so many dimensions Beyond the Standard Model 1
String Theory in Only 4-Dimensions Beyond the Standard Model 2
How do dimensions in string theory interact? Beyond the Standard Model 2