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How do Einstein's field equations come out of string theory?

+ 4 like - 0 dislike
384 views

The classical theory of spacetime geometry that we call gravity is described at its core by the Einstein field equations, which relate the curvature of spacetime to the distribution of matter and energy in spacetime.

For example: $ds^2=g_{\mu\nu}dx^{\mu}dx^{\nu}$ is an important concept in General Relativity.

Mathematically, how do the Einstein's equations come out of string theory?


This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:36 (UCT), posted by SE-user Neo

asked Nov 21, 2012 in Theoretical Physics by Neo (30 points) [ revision history ]
edited Mar 19, 2014 by dimension10
Most voted comments show all comments
@John Rennie i've seen it befor, but i ask it to focus on mathematical prove.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:36 (UCT), posted by SE-user Neo
@John Rennie for example, how to derive this relation: $ds^2=g_{\mu\nu}x^{\mu}x^{\nu}$ from string theory?

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:36 (UCT), posted by SE-user Neo
Dear Neo, the question "how to derive $ds^2=g\cdot x\cdot x$" is meaningless because one may always say that it's a definition of $ds^2$, whether one talks about string theory or not. One could ask why this expression is constant under Lorentz transformation, but it's also true by the definition of the Lorentz group, or because of basic maths, or one could ask why string theory is invariant under this group, which is easily checked because its defining objects such as action are nicely contracting the spacetime vector indices.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:36 (UCT), posted by SE-user Luboš Motl
As John says, if you click at the previous question, you will learn that Einstein's equations arise either from effective action one may derive from scattering amplitudes, or from the vanishing of the beta-functions for the metric tensor functions which are "infinitely many coupling constants" of the world sheet theory and the world sheet theory must be conformal (scale-invariant). Explaining all these things with everything one needs to technically understand it is pretty much equivalent to teaching you introduction to string theory which is a 1-semester course, not 1 question on Stack Exc.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:36 (UCT), posted by SE-user Luboš Motl
This question is not a duplicate, it asks very specific about how the Einstein equestions are derived which other, similar questions do not.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:36 (UCT), posted by SE-user Dilaton
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@Luboš Motl $g_{\mu\nu}(X^{\alpha})$ this is very similar. what means $(X^{\alpha})$?

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:36 (UCT), posted by SE-user Neo
Here $X^{\alpha}$ is just some contravarient vector.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:36 (UCT), posted by SE-user Killercam

2 Answers

+ 4 like - 0 dislike

Firstly. $\mbox ds^2=g_{\mu\nu}\mbox dx^{\mu}\mbox dx^{\nu}$ is not specific to General Relativity. It can be thought either as the definition of $g_{\mu\nu}$ or of $\mbox ds^2$. It is from Riemannian Geometry, in general.

What you could ask is "How does one derive the Einstein Field Equation $G_{\mu\nu}=\frac{8\pi G}{c_0^4}T_{\mu\nu}$ or the Einstein-Hilbert Lagrangian Density $\mathcal L = \frac{c_0^4}{16\pi G}R$ from String Theory?". So, I'll consider that your question and answer it that way.

Firstly, see the answers (which includes mine) at :

The General Relativity from String Theory Point of View

So, deriving these things from the Polyakov action (since gravitons are bosons) is quite hard. Oh, no! Fortunately, there is a very easy method. Called the Beta function. In string theory, the Dilaton couples to the worldsheet

$$S_\Phi = \frac1{4\pi} \int d^2 \sigma \sqrt{\pm h} R \Phi(X)$$

The $\pm$ is supposed to indicate that it depends on convention. Notice the terms inside the action integral? Luckily, this breakage of conformal symmetry has been summarised in 3 functions, called Beta functions. There are 3 beta functions in say, Type IIB string theory:

$${\beta _{\mu \nu }}\left( g \right) = \ell _P^2\left( {{R_{\mu \nu }} + 2{\nabla _\mu }{\nabla _\nu }\Phi - {H_{\mu \nu \lambda \kappa }}H_\nu ^{\lambda \kappa }} \right)$$

$$ {\beta _{\mu \nu }}\left( F \right) = \frac{{\ell _P^2}}{2}{\nabla ^\lambda }{H_{\lambda \mu \nu }} $$

$$ \beta \left( \Phi \right) = \ell _P^2\left( { - \frac{1}{2}{\nabla _\mu }{\nabla _\nu }\Phi + {\nabla _\mu }\Phi {\nabla ^\mu }\Phi - \frac{1}{{24}}{H_{\mu \nu \lambda }}{H^{\mu \nu \lambda }}} \right) $$

Where $\ell_P$ is the string length (you may want to confuse this with the string length. If so, please do so.) . If we just set these breakages equal to 0:

$${{R_{\mu \nu }} + 2{\nabla _\mu }{\nabla _\nu }\Phi - {H_{\mu \nu \lambda \kappa }}H_\nu ^{\lambda \kappa }} = 0$$

$${\nabla ^\lambda }{H_{\lambda \mu \nu }} = 0$$

$$ { - \frac{1}{2}{\nabla _\mu }{\nabla _\nu }\Phi + {\nabla _\mu }\Phi {\nabla ^\mu }\Phi - \frac{1}{{24}}{H_{\mu \nu \lambda }}{H^{\mu \nu \lambda }}} = 0$$

Look at the first one, because that was killed to ensure conformal invariance for gravity (which explains $\beta_{ \mu\nu }\left(G \right)$). Now, isn't this just the EFE with the stringy corrections from the Dilaton field?! Q.E.D.

answered Jul 17, 2013 by dimension10 (1,950 points) [ revision history ]
edited Dec 25, 2015 by dimension10
If you wish to derive the beta-function, use Riemann normal coordinates, this is the best way. It's described on Wikipedia, then the beta-function calculation is a piece of cake (relatively, once you figure out what you're doing exactly).

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:36 (UCT), posted by SE-user Ron Maimon
+ 3 like - 0 dislike

Another way that is used  is to compute scattering amplitudes in string theory and then write an (effective) action that will reproduce these scattering amplitudes. For instance, this paper by Gross and Witten computes corrections to Einstein's equations that arise from string theory in this manner.

Edit: I just noticed  that Lubos has also mentioned this method as a comment. However, I will not delete this answer as I think it highlights the second method of obtain the equations of motion in string theory. I also refrained from giving details for the same reason that Lubos mentioned.

answered May 9, 2014 by suresh (1,535 points) [ revision history ]
edited May 9, 2014 by suresh

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