Decoupling of degenerate positive-norm states in string theory

Jen-Chi Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations


The spin-two and scalar physical propagating fields of the third massive level of the open bosonic string are shown to be mere gauge artifacts of the higher-spin fields at the same mass level. This is demonstrated by requiring the worldsheet conformal symmetry in the weak-background-field approximation and is argued to be a -model four-loop result. It is conjectured that this phenomenon comes from the well-known ambiguity in defining the positive-norm states due to the existence of zero-norm states in the same Young representation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1636-1638
Number of pages3
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1990

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