Decoupling of degenerate positive-norm states in Witten’s string field theory

Hsien Chung Kao*, Jen Chi Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We show that the degenerate positive-norm physical propagating fields of the open bosonic string can be gauged to the higher rank fields at the same mass level. As a result, their scattering amplitudes can be determined from those of the higher spin fields. This phenomenon arises from the existence of two types of zero-norm states with the same Young representations as those of the degenerate positive-norm states in the old covariant first quantized (OCFQ) spectrum. This is demonstrated by using the lowest order gauge transformation of Witten’s string field theory (WSFT) up to the fourth massive level (spin-five), and is found to be consistent with conformal field theory calculation based on the first quantized generalized sigma-model approach. In particular, on-shell conditions of zero-norm states in the OCFQ stringy gauge transformation are found to correspond, in a one-to-one manner, to the background ghost fields in off-shell gauge transformation of WSFT. The implication of decoupling of scalar modes on Sen’s conjectures is also briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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