Jun 4, 2013

Theory of superstrings

The concept of superstrings in its present form was invented by Michael Green (Great Britain) and John Schwarz (U.S.). The theory had its origins in the work done by Yoichiro Nambu (Japan) in the late 1950s, while Joel Scherk and Andre Neveu (both France) were among those who made important contributions to its development.

Ordinarily in physics, one thinks of elementary particles as points, without dimensions. The new idea is to replace the concept of the particle, an object with zero dimension, with the concept of a string, which has one dimension. Then one could think of interpreting particles and their associated waves as excited states of a vibrating string, and thus arrive at a classification of particles and a unification of the four fundamental forces.

For example, it has been shown that the lowest state of vibration of a string may be identified with the graviton, the hypothetical particle of the gravitational field. A notable characteristic of superstrings is that they necessarily evolve in a space-time having more dimensions than the four usually allowed to space-time.

Since August 1984, when Green and Schwarz proved a very important result for the theory of superstrings, dozens of physicists have been working on the subject, and thousands of articles have been published. Known as the Theory of Everything, it can answer important questions like: How did the universe begin? What is matter? What is the origin of time? Developments are still being made in the field of superstrings. (Inventions and Discoveries)