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Massive particles in D-brane models ?

  1. Feb 19, 2014 #1
    How does a zero separation of parallel D-branes give mass to the particles that correspond to strings stretched between them?

    Is there a scalar field corresponding to the separation of the D-branes which takes the role of a higgs field, or how does it work?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2014 #2

    Ben Niehoff

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    Parallel D-branes have modes that correspond to strings stretched between the branes.

    At zero separation, these open string modes are massless, because the strings have zero length.

    At non-zero separation, these modes become massive, because the strings have nonzero length (and the string tension is a constant).

    This is directly analogous to the Higgs mechanism. In the worldvolume theory on the branes, it corresponds to breaking gauge symmetry due to a vev of a scalar field, and the gauge boson acquiring a mass.
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