Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

String and superstring

  1. Jan 14, 2009 #1
    I was wondering if my understanding of string theory was right and if not could someone please correct me.

    1.)Is string theory saying that everytrhing in the universe is different vibrating states of one fundamental superstring.

    2.) Where is this superstring located?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 15, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    No, it is called superstring theory since the theory provides supersymmetry (symmetry between fermions and bosons) - i.e. superstring theory is short hand of Supersymmetric String Theory
  4. Jan 15, 2009 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    No, string theory says that particles are not really pointlike objects, but objects slightly extended in one dimension. There is no only one string in the universe, but many of them - each elementary particle is actually a little string.
  5. Jan 15, 2009 #4
    Thanks that helps a lot. Do scientist know where these strings come from, do they arise from a field like particles or....
  6. Jan 15, 2009 #5
    Are you asking which facts suggested historically the string hypothesis ?

    First, the very idea that things are made of vibrating string is fairly old. I think you can easily go back to before we knew even what atoms are. I have vague memories of 19th century models of atoms as knotted objects.

    Second, one could argue that it is a natural generalization of quantum field theory of particles. Generally speaking, a particle is a 0 dimensional object. If you have difficulties to construct a consistent theory of 0 dimensional objects, you may want to even try what happens with object of larger dimensions, starting with 1. You would find out that you need to include also other kind of higher dimensional structures, such as branes.

    Third, before the advent of QCD there was around the idea that hadrons could be better explained in terms of strings. That was a very promising idea. It met with difficulties around the same time as QCD was understood, but later people realized they could still use it to construct elegant unified models.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook