Delays in Open String Field Theory

  • Beaujean F
  • Moeller N
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We study the dynamics of light-like tachyon condensation in a linear dilaton background using level-truncated open string field theory. The equations of motion are found to be delay differential equations. This observation allows us to employ well-established mathematical methods that we briefly review. At level zero, the equation of motion is of the so-called retarded type and a solution can be found very efficiently, even in the far light-cone future. At levels higher than zero however, the equations are not of the retarded type. We show that this implies the existence of exponentially growing modes in the non-perturbative vacuum, possibly rendering light-like rolling unstable. However, a brute force calculation using exponential series suggests that for the particular initial condition of the tachyon sitting in the false vacuum in the infinite light-cone past, the rolling is unaffected by the unstable modes and still converges to the non-perturbative vacuum, in agreement with the solution of Hellerman and Schnabl. Finally, we show that the growing modes introduce non-locality mixing present with future, and we are led to conjecture that in the infinite level limit, the non-locality in a light-like linear dilaton background is a discrete version of the smearing non-locality found in covariant open string field theory in flat space.

Author-supplied keywords

  • delay differential equations
  • light-like tachyon rolling
  • string field theory
  • tachyon condensation

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  • Frederik Beaujean

  • Nicolas Moeller

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