# String theory question for a sci fi story

1. Jan 26, 2006

### CJ

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. Jan 26, 2006

### khrshd@gmail.com

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.

3. Jan 26, 2006

### Robert C. Helling

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

--
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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

4. Jan 26, 2006

### Jeff L Jones

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>

5. Jan 26, 2006

### frisbieinstein@yahoo.com

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