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Centre for Particle Theory

String Theory

16 Lectures Prof. S. Ross

This will carry on from the Conformal Field Theory course earlier in the Epiphany term which introduces string theory. We will cover the basic aspects of string theory beginning with the bosonic string and moving to the superstring. Focus will be on understanding the spectrum of these theories and perturbative string interactions.

Outline of the course

Bosonic string
Quantization of the bosonic string, physical state conditions, spectrum of physical states. Chan-Paton factors for open strings.
Interactions and vertex operators.
Compactification and T-duality for the bosonic string.
D-branes, Dirac-Born-Infeld action.

Superstrings
Fermions, R and NS sectors. Physical state conditions, GSO projection. Spectrum of physical states, construction of IIA, IIB, type I superstrings.
T-duality and D-branes for the superstring.

Books for the course

M. Green, J. Schwarz and E. Witten, Superstring theory, Vols. 1 and 2 (CUP, 1986)
J. Polchinski, String Theory, Vols. 1 & 2 (CUP, 1998)
K. Becker, M. Becker and J. Schwarz, String theory and M-theory, (CUP 2007)

Other books/articles which may be of interest:

D. Tong, String Theory, arXiv:0908.0333

CPT