Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2010

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Rodgers, Vincent G

First Committee Member

Polyzou, Wayne N

Second Committee Member

Meurice, Yannick

Third Committee Member

Pryor, Craig E

Fourth Committee Member

Zayas, Leopoldo A Pando

Fifth Committee Member

Frohman, Charles


Superstring theory is one current, promising attempt at unifying gravity with the other three known forces: the electromagnetic force, and the weak and strong nuclear forces. Though this is still a work in progress, much effort has been put forth toward this goal. A set of specific tools which are used are gauge/gravity dualities. This thesis consists of a specific implementation of gauge/gravity dualities to describe k-strings of strongly coupled gauge theories as objects dual to Dpbranes embedded in confining supergravity backgrounds from low energy superstring field theory.

Along with superstring theory, k-strings are also commonly investigated with lattice gauge theory and Hamiltonian methods. A k$string is a colorless combination of quark-anti-quark source pairs, between which a color flux tube develops. The two most notable terms of the k-string energy are, for large quark anti-quark separation L, the tension term, proportional to L, and the Coulombic 1/L correction, known as the Luscher term.

This thesis provides an overview of superstring theories and how gauge/gravity dualities emerge from them. It shows in detail how these dualities can be used for the specific problem of calculating the k-string energy in 2+1 and 3+1 space-time dimensions as the energy of Dp-branes in the dual gravitational theory. A detailed review of k-string tension calculations is given where good agreement is found with lattice gauge theory and Hamiltonian methods. In reviewing the k-string tension, we also touch on how different representations of k-strings can be described with Dp-branes through gauge/gravity dualities. The main result of this thesis is how the Luscher term is found to emerge from the energy calculation of Dp-branes. In 2+1 space-time dimensions, we have Luscher term data to compare with from lattice gauge theory, where we find good agreement.


AdS, brane, lattice, QCD, string, strong


2, viii, 121 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 117-121).


Copyright 2010 Kory M Stiffler

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