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Q & A: Strings and string theory

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Most recent answer: 02/11/2014
Q:
Strings vibrate like a violin string in the macro world. But a violin string has to get energy from outside (through the pluck) and loses the vibration over time (as the vibrations turns into sound? Heat?). How can strings keep vibrating forever? Am I taking the string metaphor too seriously?
- Julia (age 52)
Chicago IL USA
A:

Hello Julia,

I'm not sure but I presume your question is related to the 'String Theory of Elementary Particles'.  You are correct that classical strings such as violin strings lose energy and the amplitude of vibrations damp down.  Classical strings do have different vibrational modes and that is the connection with quantum strings.  The modes of quantum strings correspond to different particle states but there is no equivalent to the frictional energy loss that occurs in classical strings.   So you are correct: 'Don't push the metaphor too far'.

 

LeeH


(published on 02/11/2014)

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