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What are Superstrings made of?by Zdenka
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#1
Mar109, 04:09 AM

P: 35

I know they are the smallest building blocks of matter, but whenever I watch a documentary on quantum mechanics, and they blow up the size of the string on screen, I can't help but think that there HAS to be something that can build a string. In other words, if you chop a super string, then you will eventually get another matter that is more finer.. Just like how the universe is infinitely large, there is no limit to how small matter is.. you just keep on peering upon layer and layer every time you divide matter.



#2
Mar109, 05:44 AM

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P: 9,359

Your assumption is based on your intuitive ideas about space, time and matter, but our intuition about these things has been proven wrong lots of times by experiments that confirm predictions made by very counterintuitive theories.



#3
Mar109, 08:25 AM

P: 587

There is an idea I hear mentioned occasionally called "string bits" which suggests that strings could themselves be described using pointlike entities that connect to each other like chainlinks. However very few people work with this idea, I don't know if it's a serious theory and I don't know anything about it. As far as I know many ideas from string theory would stop working if this were true, the string needs to be continuous and fundamental.
To confuse you even further, many (all?) forms of string theory, including the original QCD string theory, can be thought of as "dual" models, meaning that you can interpret the theory as if the strings don't "really" exist, instead it just happens to mathematically work out that every universe made of strings is exactly equivalent to a universe made of particles and vice versa. (Of course if mathematics is telling us "you can describe this universe using strings, or you can describe it using particles, and when you do the math the behavior is identical, but most of the math is impossible unless you use the strings", then surely it would seem to be reasonable to just assume the strings are the more fundamental theory.) 


#4
Mar109, 08:34 AM

PF Gold
P: 2,020

What are Superstrings made of?
This reminds me of that poem by Augustus de Morgan
Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite'em, and little fleas have lesser fleas,and so ad infinitum. 


#6
Mar109, 10:25 AM

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P: 8,555

Gauge/gravity duality Gary T. Horowitz, Joseph Polchinski http://arxiv.org/abs/grqc/0602037 Photons and electrons as emergent phenomena Michael Levin, XiaoGang Wen http://arxiv.org/abs/condmat/0407140 


#7
Mar109, 12:05 PM

PF Gold
P: 1,961

This is the original paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/hepth/9405069 Reformulating String Theory with the $1/N$ Expansion Authors: Charles B. Thorn (Submitted on 10 May 1994) Abstract: We argue that string theory should have a formulation for which stability and causality are evident. Rather than regard strings as fundamental objects, we suggest they should be regarded as composite systems of more fundamental pointlike objects. A tentative scheme for such a reinterpretation is described along the lines of 't Hooft's $1/N$ expansion and the lightcone parametrization of the string. It is cited by these papers, not many, but interesting nevertheless: http://arxiv.org/cits/hepth/9405069 


#10
Mar209, 06:01 AM

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#11
Mar209, 07:10 AM

P: 35




#12
Mar209, 07:20 AM

Sci Advisor
P: 1,866

I think they're made out of string cheese.



#13
Mar209, 08:18 AM

P: 2,799

In this sense, the notion of smallest scale, is IMHO perhpas better conceptually thought of as a relation between observerobserved , rather than smallest scale in some unclear absolute sense. /Fredrik 


#14
Mar209, 10:50 AM

P: 5,632

I would prefer to think that eventually we will discover some formulation from which things emerge naturally....say by chance, or by some statistically based process that favors certain darwinian results over others. I think strings are often now viewed a "fundamental entities"....bits of energy vibrational patterns...But what caused them to emerge from where ever they originated?? The Horowitz /Polchinski mathematics is beyond my apprecation but the very idea that such ideas, such possible physical characteristics, can emerge from mathematic formulations makes it appear at least possible that things like our universe can emerge naturally...that space/time/energy/quantum fluctuations,for example, naturally arise from some more basic and ever present characteristics. 


#15
Mar209, 11:13 AM

P: 2,456

Naty1, yes, exactly like in articles of Max Tegmark  "Physics from scratch"



#16
Mar209, 11:23 AM

P: 478




#17
Mar209, 11:49 AM

P: 308

inre: "there is no limit to how small matter is.."
yes, there is a limit, based on the Planck constant, which implies that there is a "Planck length" which represents the smallest possible subdivision of spacetime. i have felt that there is some correlation between planck length and the size of a "string". 


#18
Mar209, 11:53 AM

P: 2,799

This is somewhat in line with my own thinking, and I can see it tangent to string things, but it's neverthelss not string theory. Even though I don't favour strings, I do see possible ways that strings in one way or the other mightr have a place in continuum models. But they are hardly fundamental as I see it. But that's just me. /Fredrik 


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