String Theory Summed up in 2 Minutes
Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity

String Theory Summed up in 2 Minutes
Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity

String theory summed up in 2 minutes. String theory is a developing theory in particle physics which attempts to reconcile quantum mechanics and general relativity.

String theory posits that the electrons and quarks within an atom are not 0-dimensional objects, but rather 1-dimensional oscillating lines ("strings"), possessing only the dimension of length, but not height or width.

The theory poses that these strings can vibrate, thus giving the observed particles their flavor, charge, mass and spin.

The earliest string model, the bosonic string, incorporated only bosons, although this view evolved to the superstring theory, which posits that a connection (a "supersymmetry") exists between bosons and fermions, two fundamentally different types of particles.

String theories also require the existence of several extra, unobservable, dimensions to the universe, in addition to the usual three spatial dimensions (height, width, and length) and the fourth dimension of time.

M theory, for example, requires that spacetime have eleven dimensions.

The quantum mechanics of strings implies these oscillations take on discrete vibrational modes, the spectrum of the theory.

On distance scales larger than the string radius, each oscillation mode behaves as a different species of particle, with its mass, spin and charge determined by the string's dynamics.

Splitting and recombination of strings correspond to particle emission and absorption, giving rise to the interactions between particles.

An analogy for strings' modes of vibration is a guitar string's production of multiple but distinct musical notes.

In the analogy, different notes correspond to different particles. The only difference is the guitar is only 2-dimensional; you can strum it up, and down.

In actuality the guitar strings would be every dimension, and the strings could vibrate in any direction, meaning that the particles could move through not only our dimension, but other dimensions as well.

String theory can be formulated in terms of an action principle, either the Nambu-Goto action or the Polyakov action, which describes how strings move through space and time.

In the absence of external interactions, string dynamics are governed by tension and kinetic energy, which combine to produce oscillations. 


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