Heterotic string theory
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In string theory, a heterotic string is a closed string (or loop) which is a hybrid ('heterotic') of a superstring and a bosonic string. There are two kinds of heterotic string, the heterotic SO(32) and the heterotic E_{8} × E_{8}, abbreviated to HO and HE. Heterotic string theory was first developed in 1985 by David Gross, Jeffrey Harvey, Emil Martinec, and Ryan Rohm (the socalled "Princeton String Quartet"^{[1]}), in one of the key papers that fueled the first superstring revolution.
In string theory, the leftmoving and the rightmoving excitations are completely decoupled,^{[2]} and it is possible to construct a string theory whose leftmoving (counterclockwise) excitations are treated as a bosonic string propagating in D = 26 dimensions, while the rightmoving (clockwise) excitations are treated as a superstring in D = 10 dimensions.
The mismatched 16 dimensions must be compactified on an even, selfdual lattice (a discrete subgroup of a linear space). There are two possible even selfdual lattices in 16 dimensions, and it leads to two types of the heterotic string. They differ by the gauge group in 10 dimensions. One gauge group is SO(32) (the HO string) while the other is E_{8} × E_{8} (the HE string).^{[3]}
These two gauge groups also turned out to be the only two anomalyfree gauge groups that can be coupled to the N = 1 supergravity in 10 dimensions other than U(1)^{496} and E_{8} × U(1)^{248}, which is suspected to lie in the swampland.
Every heterotic string must be a closed string, not an open string; it is not possible to define any boundary conditions that would relate the leftmoving and the rightmoving excitations because they have a different character.
A heterotic string is embedded in the membrane that creates harmonics on the string which translate into mass and energy through mechanisms discussed above.
String duality
String duality is a class of symmetries in physics that link different string theories. In the 1990s, it was realized that the strong coupling limit of the HO theory is type I string theory — a theory that also contains open strings; this relation is called Sduality. The HO and HE theories are also related by Tduality.
Because the various superstring theories were shown to be related by dualities, it was proposed that each type of string was a different limit of a single underlying theory called Mtheory.
References
 ↑ Dennis Overbye, "String theory, at 20, explains it all (or not)". NY Times, 20041207
 ↑ String Theory and MTheory by Becker, Becker and Schwarz (2006), p. 253
 ↑ Joseph Polchinski (1998). String Theory: Volume 2, p. 45.