Introduction to string theory

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I am in the last year of MSc. and would like to read string theory. I have the Zwiebach Book, but along with it what other advanced book can be followed, which can be a complimentary to Zwiebach. I would like a more mathematically rigorous book or lecture notes along with Zwiebach.

Specifically, mention whether the book discusses string theory

• Rigorously?

• Intuitively?

What's the scope of the book? Does it cover the advanced materials, e.g. Matrix string theory, F-theory, string field theory, etc. Maybe even String Phenomenology?

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user Jaswin

asked May 26, 2012
recategorized Apr 24, 2014
I`ve started the Demystified Book because I like the fine grained step by step derivations and calculations therein.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user Dilaton
See this list of textbooks on string theory: motls.blogspot.com/2006/11/string-theory-textbooks.html - A recent explosion of books on strings etc.: motls.blogspot.com/2012/04/…

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user Luboš Motl

3 Answers

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The canonical textbook is the two-volume set by Polchinski. David Tong has very nice notes up following this text.

You should be able to find various review articles on the arXiv as well, for instance:

http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0207249

http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0207142

Hope that helps...

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user eherrtelle59
answered May 26, 2012 by (0 points)
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Mathematical rigor is not the most important thing when first learning strings, there are many things that are not possible to formulate rigorously, because the best language for doing this isn't known. In addition to Polchinsky (which is excellent), I recommend reading Green Schwarz and Witten, and also the original papers, since these have points of view which are not found in later articles, but are profound and important.

These are found in two very good reprint volumes: "Dual Models", and "Superstrings" (although much of vol II is well covered in Green Schwarz and Witten and Polchinsky). These are essential for properly understanding the subject, even today. The issue is the Regge ideas and the S-matrix ideas which are glossed over in later treatments.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user Ron Maimon
answered May 26, 2012 by (7,720 points)
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The Best Sources

Becker, Becker, Schwarz, String Theory and M-theory has a wide scope (from classical bosonic strings to BFSS Matrix theory (and a bit of Matrix string theory), and a bit about F-theory) and discusses the topics very intuitively. I've not read GSW, but I've heard that BBS is a modification to that (old) book. Can be downloaded from http://www.gen.lib.rus.ec (not a pirate).

McMahon String Theory Demystified has a rather wide scope but relatively less depth. Could once be downloaded from a pirate site, which no longer exists.

Mohaupt Introduction to String Theory has a limited scope and depth, but covers the gravitational implications of string theory rather deeply. Can be downloaded here: http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0207249v1.pdf

Kaku Strings, Conformal fields, and M-theory is an extremely rigorous, rather unintuitive, rather wide and deep, source for learning string theory.

Two More Sources

http://math.berkeley.edu/~kwray/papers/string_theory.pdf

http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/0207142v1.pdf

For String Field Theory

I am planning to read this lecture notes with a supposedly better (PDF only, no abstract page) version here.

Also, these lectures by Shiraz Minwala were suggested by Larry Harson in the comments.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user Dimensio1n0

answered Aug 25, 2013 by (1,985 points)
@DIMension10 How about adding these video lectures by Shiraz Minwalla? The charisma of this guy is very infectious, and I hope these videos don't get lost

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user Larry Harson
@LarryHarson: Ok, I've added it in. Good to see how having stopped tr... : ) Don't worry about them getting lost; They'll probably be on the Wayback Machine, if they're not, I'll just add them in right now.

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-07 16:40 (UCT), posted by SE-user Dimensio1n0

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