Re: Superstring Theory Explanation

Michael S. Lorrey (
Tue, 16 Feb 1999 09:37:36 -0500

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> So the double pairs in some sense correspond to the usual distance
> measures, while the other pairs are more of "mixtures" that occur when
> the coordinate system is not perfectly aligned with the curvature of
> space (locally, you can always set up coordinates to make the tensor
> diagonal, but it doesn't work in general globally).

Ah, ok. Thanks.

> Now, g is symmetric (that is part of the definition, actually),
> g_ij=g_ji, and in 4-dimensional space that means you can only have 10
> independent components.
> However, I'm not entirely certain the 10 components of g explain why
> there are 10 (11) dimensions in string theory, the last paper I read
> about it ("M-theory for laymen" or something similar, available from
> just made me more confused.

Yeah, its intimidating as to the confidence they have in the 'layman' to understand what they are talking about. Then again, it is a government page....mix physicistese with bureaucratese and its a wonder its readable at all. ;)