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String Theory and HUP

  1. May 12, 2004 #1
    How does the heisenberg uncertainty principle work within string theory, considering that the strings's size is on the order of planck's constant?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2004 #2

    selfAdjoint

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    It is important to note that what is actually quantized is the vibrations of the string (via the world sheet). In this case the "normal modes" of the vibrations appear as quantum simple harmonic oscillators, well known from basic quantum theory. And these obey the uncertainty principle.
     
  4. May 12, 2004 #3
    How could we ever concieve of the differences in orbitals and their shape? :smile:
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2004
  5. May 13, 2004 #4
    Hmm.. let me see if I got this right..
    The position and velocity of the string are not the position and velocity of the particle. Instead, as the string sweeps accross space, the worldhseet it forms looks like the familiar QM wavefunction of the particle, which then defined the position and momentum of the particle in accordance with QM and the HUP. Is this right or am I completely off here?
     
  6. May 13, 2004 #5

    selfAdjoint

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    Absolutely right.

    Still some misunderstanding. The particles we have in our low energy world ARE the vibrations. They are not the string, nor yet its geometrical positions. You use the worldsheet (and lots of math on the worldsheet) to get details on the vibrations. But it's a vibration of such and such a momentum and wave number that makes a particle. Or maybe a combination; in bosonic string theory the graviton is a combination of left moving and right moving vibrations around a closed string .
     
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