Closed String

This poem first appeared on Lake Waban Blue here.


This picture was taken at the California Institute of Technology where I hung out while I was studying string theory as a graduate student at UCLA.  I recently wrote this poem on a worldsheet.  If you look at the first line of each stanza, it describes a closed string (like a rubber band) sweeping out a worldsheet.  Strings, one-dimensional objects as opposed to point particles, are the smallest components in string theory, a theory which unifies all the forces.  Particles are created by the vibrations of the strings.  You can calculate string interactions using worldsheets, much like Feynman diagrams.  However, they smooth out singularities and remove infinities.

Life should be
an elegant routine
between the poles of the day

Of one dimension
Paths should be
a directed plan
a vector from the origin to the destination

Encircling a point
We should be
sharing our centers
to all dimensions

With a defined radius
our Family & Friends should be
attached and not abandoned
not to be left as singular

Of points around
our Knowledge should be
traversing from Vermeer to Britten
a mind’s voyage through space-time

Sweeping out a two-dimensional surface
our words should be
painting characters on the canvas
like the elegant solutions to equations

A worldsheet, a dynamic object
our minds should be
as we focus with discipline
and accept the charged currents of change

For a theory of everything
the forces between should be
though we are not
the theory is perfect.


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