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A First Course in String Theory


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Table of Contents

Foreword; Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I. Basics: 1. A brief introduction; 2. Special relativity and extra dimensions; 3. Electromagnetism and gravitation in various dimensions; 4. Nonrelativistic strings; 5. The relativistic point particle; 6. Relativistic strings; 7. Strong parameterization and classical motion; 8. World-sheet currents; 9. Light-cone relativistic strings; 10. Light-cone fields and particles; 11. The relativistic quantum point particle; 12, Relativistic quantum closed strings; 13. Relativistic quantum closed strings; 14. A look at relativistic superstrings; Part II. Developments: 15. D-branes and gauge fields; 16. String charge and electric charge; 17. T-duality of closed strings; 18. T-duality of open strings; 19. Electromagnetism fields in D-branes; 20. Nonlinear and Born-Infeld electrodynamics; 21. Strong theory and particle physics; 22. String thermodynamics and black holes; 23. Strong interactions and AdS/CFT; 24. Covariant string quantization; 25. String interactions and Riemann surfaces; 26. Loop amplitudes in string theory; References; Index.

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Once again faithful to its goal of making string theory accessible to undergraduates - and now also covers AdS/CFT correspondence.

About the Author

Barton Zwiebach is Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His central contributions have been in the area of string field theory, where he did the early work on the construction of the field theory of open strings and then developed the field theory of closed strings. He has also made important contributions to the subjects of D-branes with exceptional symmetry and tachyon condensation.


'A refreshingly different approach to string theory that requires remarkably little previous knowledge of quantum theory or relativity. This highlights fundamental features of the theory that make it so radically different from theories based on point-like particles. This book makes the subject amenable to undergraduates but it will also appeal greatly to beginning researchers who may be overwhelmed by the standard textbooks.' Professor Michael Green, University of Cambridge 'Barton Zwiebach has written a careful and thorough introduction to string theory that is suitable for a full-year course at the advanced undergraduate level. There has been much demand for a book about string theory at this level, and this one should go a long way towards meeting that demand.' Professor John Schwarz, California Institute of Technology 'There is a great curiosity about string theory, not only among physics undergraduates but also among professional scientists outside of the field. This audience needs a text that goes much further than the popular accounts but without the full technical detail of a graduate text. Zwiebach's book meets this need in a clear and accessible manner. It is well-grounded in familiar physical concepts, and proceeds through some of the most timely and exciting aspects of the subject.' Professor Joseph Polchinski, University of California, Santa Barbara 'Zwiebach, a respected researcher in the field and a much beloved teacher at MIT, is truly faithful to his goal of making string theory accessible to advanced undergraduates - the test develops intuition before formalism, usually through simplified and illustrative examples ... Zwiebach avoids the temptation of including topics that would weigh the book down and make many students rush it back to the shelf and quit the course.' Physics Today '... well-written ... takes us through the hottest topics in string theory research, requiring only a solid background in mechanics and some basic quantum mechanics. ... This is not just one more text in the ever-growing canon of popular books on string theory ...' Times Higher Education Supplement '... the book provides an excellent basis for an introductory course on string theory and is well-suited for self-study by graduate students or any physicist who wants to learn the basics of string theory.' Zentralblatt MATH '... excellent introduction by Zwiebach... aimed at advanced undergraduates who have some background in quantum mechanics and special relativity, but have not necessarily mastered quantum field theory and general relativity yet ... the book ... is a very thorough introduction to the subject ... Equipped with this background, the reader can safely start to tackle the books by Green, Schwarz and Witten and by Polchinski.' Marcel L Vonk, Mathematical Reviews Clippings

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