Theoretical physicist Lennaert Huiszoon has described a new family of strings in research conducted at the National Institute for Nuclear Physics and High Energy Physics. He investigated so-called open strings which can describe elementary particles with a strong interaction.
With string theory, physicists are trying to construct a unifying theory for gravity and quantum mechanics. The theory describes extremely heavy and very small objects such as the universe shortly after the Big Bang or black holes. According to string theory our universe has ten dimensions: three spatial dimensions, one time dimension and six dimensions which are possibly rolled up into thin cylinders.
One of the problems of string theory is that five different versions of it exist! Four of these are theories with closed strings, which can be visualised with elastic bands that move in space-time. The fifth theory has open strings, which can be visualised with elastic bands cut open. In string theory the physics is limited to the splitting and joining of strings. This is the interaction between elementary particles. The greater the number of branches, the stronger the interaction between the particles. To make the calculations feasible, string theorists only examine weak interactions, in other words strings with few branches.
Michel Philippens | EurekAlert!
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