Superstring theory useful for experimental physics

Oct 30, 2009
Superstring theory useful for experimental physics
Superstring theory requires many dimensions that are folded into each other.

Superstring theory aims to explain the laws of physics from extremely small strings in various states. Theoretical superstring theory is therefore normally not considered to be particularly relevant for practical particle physics experiments.

However two researchers at the Niels Bohr International Academy (Denmark) have, together with a colleague from the French research institute Saclay, shown how superstring theory can be used to infer relations between processes, which can also be studied at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the experiment at . The results are published in .

In superstring theory, particles are replaced by string states. The string should be understood as a wave, whereas the particles are different vibrational states. Superstring theory consists of cascades of particle states, all with increasing energies - energies that are so incomprehensibly high that no experiment would be able to reach them. Therefore there are no realistic possibilities of observing them in particle accelerators.

The group of particles with the lowest possible energy are exactly those particles, which can be created by the (LHC), the experiment at CERN in Geneva. If relations between all of the states of superstrings can be deduced, then relations between processes that can be observed at the LHC will have been derived simultaneously.

Particle physicists Emil Bjerrum-Bohr and Poul Henrik Damgaard from the Niels Bohr International Academy and Pierre Vanhove from Saclay in France have, based on these observations, demonstrated how a set of surprising relations between LHC processes can be proven with the help of string theory.

Normally it would require more conventional methods from particle physics to derive such relations. The astonishing observation is that the new relations between processes at the LHC can be derived in a quick and elegant way from superstring theory, while no one yet has been able to do so directly from .

After the repairs in the tunnel of the LHC accelerator at CERN, the experiment is currently warming up again - or rather, cooling down (the experiment requires superconducting currents and therefore large quantities of liquid helium). Poul Henrik Damgaard and Emil Bjerrum-Bohr will be responsible for developing the theoretical portion of the new centre DISCOVERY at the Niels Bohr Institute, which has been established by the Danish National Research Foundation. The new results for the LHC-processes, which the two researchers have derived from superstring theory, will play a central role in future work.

More information: link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v103/e161602

Provided by Niels Bohr Institute

Explore further: With neutrons, scientists can now look for dark energy in the lab

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Nik_2213
4 / 5 (5) Oct 30, 2009
With apologies to the authors, the abstract is so abstruse that all I can gather is that something pretty fell out of their math...
Alexa
not rated yet Oct 30, 2009
One of my problem with forty years old string theory is, why string theory guys have no better illustrations of their theory at least at the case, when some geometric insight comes out.

If they've math, why the heck they didn't plot graphs of some attractive functions? So far I didn't see any realistic 3D model of string - the only picture of strings which someone can get on the web is my very own one.
cybrbeast
3 / 5 (2) Oct 31, 2009
@Alexa^
How could you get a 3D model of a string, seeing as they vibrate in 10 dimensional space. One way of dealing with this extra dimensions is not to try to visualize higher dimensions at all, but just to think of them as extra numbers in the equations that describe the way the world works.
Have a look at 6D Calabi-Yau shapes which can exprss higher dimensional forms:
http://en.wikiped...manifold

It's just too complicated as a layman to wrap your head around. So you must think in terms of equations which are even more complicated. This is why we with only general science knowledge can't expect to have it explained in terms of pretty pictures.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2009
Particle physicists
...
demonstrated how a set of surprising relations between LHC processes can be proven with the help of string theory.

"Proven"? Not "modelled"?
And, please, what "surprising relations"?
Alexa
not rated yet Oct 31, 2009
How could you get a 3D model of a string, seeing as they vibrate in 10 dimensional space
We could generate slice of this thing or computer projection into three dimensions.
cybrbeast
not rated yet Oct 31, 2009
How could you get a 3D model of a string, seeing as they vibrate in 10 dimensional space
We could generate slice of this thing or computer projection into three dimensions.

Yes we could, but that wouldn't give the "realistic 3D model of string" as Alexa asked for.
Nik_2213
5 / 5 (1) Nov 01, 2009
With respect to those non-visualisable higher dimensions, I've been reading up on tesseracts and associated polychora for other reasons, found that a well-chosen, partial projection can give a useful approximation of something our eyes and brains are really not wired to 'see'...

Like an animated autostereogram, you may by-pass some 'common sense' limits with elegant illusion...
nuge
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2009
One of my problem with forty years old string theory is, why string theory guys have no better illustrations of their theory at least at the case, when some geometric insight comes out.

If they've math, why the heck they didn't plot graphs of some attractive functions? So far I didn't see any realistic 3D model of string - the only picture of strings which someone can get on the web is my very own one.


You should read "The Fabric of the Cosmos" by Brian Greene. It sums the whole thing up in a pretty straightforward way, with some semi-helpful diagrams and analogies.
Mr_Man
not rated yet Nov 02, 2009
One of my problem with forty years old string theory is, why string theory guys have no better illustrations of their theory at least at the case, when some geometric insight comes out.

If they've math, why the heck they didn't plot graphs of some attractive functions? So far I didn't see any realistic 3D model of string - the only picture of strings which someone can get on the web is my very own one.


You should read "The Fabric of the Cosmos" by Brian Greene. It sums the whole thing up in a pretty straightforward way, with some semi-helpful diagrams and analogies.


I am reading that book currently, I love it, it is so good. I recommend it to anyone that has an interest in physics that wants something a little more in depth than something for complete novices but also something that can explain it in a way that doesn't require a Ph.D. You WILL need some knowledge of the Simpsons though :)

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