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String theory question for a sci fi story

  1. Jan 26, 2006 #1

    CJ

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    I am working on a science fiction story, and as part of the story I
    need some technobabble related to superstrings. The fantasy technology
    involved does not have to be in any sense scientifically correct or
    possible; but for the benefit of readers who might actually know some
    science, I'd like the technobabble to be vaguely plausible. So in
    connection with that I have two questions:

    1. Does a superstring have a natural resonance frequency? (If so, I
    would assume the string related to different particles each have a
    unique resonance frequency, but please correct me if I am wrong.)

    2. Can a superstring be polarized or not polarized (i.e., vibrate in a
    polarized state, and/or vibrate in a not polarized state)?

    If the answer is in the negative on either question -- no resonance
    frequency, and/or no state of polarization -- I could use suggestions
    for other jargon used to describe the parameters of superstrings.
    (Like, particles have charge, mass, and spin; waves have frequency,
    amplitude, phase, and possibly polarization; superstrings have
    <blank1>, <blank2>, and <blank3>, etc.)

    Thanks in advance for all replies!

    CJ
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 26, 2006 #2
    Strings behave in many ways like real strings, so in principle your
    ideas about vibration, motion etc are correct. But this is not really
    the "jargon" used. Strings can have mass (also tachyonic) which
    corresponds to the frequency. Strings can have charge (not just
    plus/minus, but in general matrix-valued charges). They can also "wind"
    (e.g. around compact dimensions). Their ends can be "confined" to
    hypersurfaces (D-branes). Does this help? Would you post the story
    somewhere when it's finished? I'm curious...

    Bye, K.S.
     
  4. Jan 26, 2006 #3
    On Wed, 18 Jan 2006 04:46:10 -0500, CJ <charlesjones456@yahoo.com> wrote:

    > I am working on a science fiction story, and as part of the story I need
    > some technobabble related to superstrings.
    >
    > 1. Does a superstring have a natural resonance frequency? (If so, I
    > would assume the string related to different particles each have a
    > unique resonance frequency, but please correct me if I am wrong.)


    Like a violin string (where they are called overtones) has an infinite
    number of resonance frequencies. Depending on at which frequency it
    oscillates the string looks like particles of different masses and
    charges. Thus you only need one type of string (actually two: open and
    closed) to describe all the different elementary particles. [Actually,
    this is a simplification but the basic idea is correct].

    > 2. Can a superstring be polarized or not polarized (i.e., vibrate in a
    > polarized state, and/or vibrate in a not polarized state)?


    Each of these resonant frequencies is polarized in some direction (or
    directions). As superstrings typically live in more than three space
    dimensions there are a number of more possibilities to be polarized and
    this again corresponds to the different charges.

    So, you were pretty much on the right track.

    Robert


    --
    ..oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oOo.oO
    Robert C. Helling School of Science and Engineering
    International University Bremen print "Just another
    Phone: +49 421-200 3574
    stupid .sig\n"; http://www.aei-potsdam.mpg.de/~helling
     
  5. Jan 26, 2006 #4
    CJ <charlesjones456@yahoo.com> wrote:

    > I am working on a science fiction story, and as part of the story I
    > need some technobabble related to superstrings.


    At the risk of these getting horribly abused, here are some things
    you might want to throw in there which help classify strings:

    tension
    winding number
    momentum
    charge
    mass
    temperature
    deBroglie wavelength
    open or closed
    oriented or unoriented
    bosonic strings or superstrings
    heterotic strings
    Neumann boundry conditions
    periodic boundry conditions
    Dirichlet boundry conditions, D-branes
    twisted versus untwisted sectors
    kinks, fluxes
    orbifolds, Calabi-Yau manifolds, other compactifications
    tachyonic or not (stable or unstable)
    dilatons, axions, gravitons, etc.

    You should search for these on the web and read a little
    bit before throwing them into a story, so that way they aren't
    completely out of context.

    --
    Jeff L Jones <jeff@spoonless.net>
     
  6. Jan 26, 2006 #5
    CJ wrote:

    > I am working on a science fiction story, and as part of the story I
    > need some technobabble related to superstrings. The fantasy technology
    > involved does not have to be in any sense scientifically correct or
    > possible; but for the benefit of readers who might actually know some
    > science, I'd like the technobabble to be vaguely plausible. So in
    > connection with that I have two questions:
    >
    > 1. Does a superstring have a natural resonance frequency? (If so, I
    > would assume the string related to different particles each have a
    > unique resonance frequency, but please correct me if I am wrong.)


    The impression I get is that they do have resonance but this is a
    super-high energy state. The strings are usually in a very low energy
    states, close to random noise.

    The interesting things about strings is the dimensions. 10? 11? 26?
    And the topology. Nobody knows how these extra dimensions relate to
    one another: are they "bigger" or "smaller" than what we know? If
    their relations are as obscure as the Einstein 4-D space-time is, then
    it will be a very long time before this is known. So you could make up
    just about anything.

    [Moderator's note: The newsgroup does not endorse the validity of the
    statements above. LM]
     
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