We derive an explicit formula for the evaluation of the classical closed string action for any off-shell string field, and for the calculation of arbitrary off-shell amplitudes. The formulae require a parametrization, in terms of some moduli space coordinates, of the family of local coordinates needed to insert the off-shell states on Riemann surfaces. We discuss in detail the evaluation of the tachyon potential as a power series in the tachyon field. The expansion coefficients in this series are shown to be geometrical invariants of Strebel quadratic differentials whose variational properties imply that closed string polyhedra, among all possible choices of string vertices, yield a tachyon potential which is as small as possible order by order in the string coupling constant. Our discussion emphasizes the geometrical meaning of off-shell amplitudes.
Nuclear Physics B
- Pub Date:
- February 1995
- High Energy Physics - Theory
- 42 pages, phyzzx macropackage. A correction made that implies that the tachyon potential is unbounded below and unlikely to have a local minimum. An extra reference added