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The mass of strings

  1. Sep 5, 2012 #1
    If e=mc2 and strings are a form of energy will they not have a measurable mass?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2012 #2


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    In the most simple models strings are subject to quantization of vibration modes. Each mode has a frequency and therefore an energy just like the usual modes of the one-dim. quantum harmonic oscillator. Therefore each mode corresponds to a certain vibration energy E which then corresponds to a certain rest mass m defined by E = mc².

    Solving this problem for strings is rather difficult (even for non-interacting, bosonic strings w/o compactified extra dimensions), but the result is indeed an energy spectrum and therefore a mass spectrum. Only the lowest modes correspond to massles particles, the higher vibration modes correspond to massive particles; the mass scale is determined by one free parameter of the theory.
  4. Sep 6, 2012 #3
    I am extremely amateur in the realm of physics and have only recently taken up reading about it because it has captivated my imagination. I would like to read more about quantum harmonic oscillator. Can you recommend something to get started?
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