The historical origins of string theory

String Theory (Fall, 2010)

September 20, 2010

In the first lecture of the series Professor Susskind explains the historical origins of string theory.   Hadrons are observed to come in angular momentum sequences where a plot of angular momentum against mass squared is a straight line.  These plots are known as Regge plots.    A mechanical model that matches the observed straight line is a stretchable string connecting two masses.   The lecture ends with a model of the relativistic motion of such a string.


  • Mesons as quarks connected by strings (gluon tubes)
  • The infinite momentum frame, also known as the light cone frame
  • The Hamiltonian of a string