Practical details about the course can be found in this note.

EXAM: there will be an oral exam or a written exam, depending on interest. This will be decided not later than one month before the end of the course.

Progress and outlook

Week | Section | Contents, roughly | ||
---|---|---|---|---|

1 | ob | Why string theory? Lightning review of the standard models of particle physics and cosmology. | ||

2 | 2 | Classical point particle. Classical string. Nambu-Goto and Polyakov actions. Symmetries | ||

3 | 3 | Quantization, canonically. Ordering. | ||

4 | 3 | Quantization continued. Lightcone gauge. Physical states. | ||

5 | 3 | Path integral quantization. Ghosts. Anomaly cancellation in critical dimension | ||

6 | 4 | Intro to CFT | ||

7 | 4 | More CFT, Operators vs states, OPE's | ||

8 | 4 | String theory as a CFT. Vertex operators | ||

9 | 5 | BRST quantization. Vertex operators of physical states | ||

10 | 16.1 - 16.3 (bosonic string only!) | Scattering amplitudes. Closed and open. Chan Patton factors. Field theory limit | ||

11 | 7, 8.1 - 8.3, 8.5 | Superstring theory. Definition, spectrum in lightcone gauge, GSO projection. Supersymmetry in target space | ||

12 | 4.3, 4.4. 6.5 | Boundary states in bosonic string. Forces between branes | ||

13 | 9.2, 9.3 10.1, 10.2 | Superstrings. D-branes as stable objects, "mass=charge". Toroidal compactification, T-duality |

The course comes with an exercise session on friday. Each wednesday before new exercises will appear below. You are expected to work on them so that in the session we can focus on the solutions.

Exercises:

- Exercise Sheet 0

- Exercise Sheet 1

- Exercise Sheet 2

- Exercise Sheet 3

- Exercise Sheet 4

- Exercise Sheet 5 to be handed in 19th of June at beginning of class !

- Exercise Sheet 6 Choose two of the five problems. To be handed in on or before the 13th of July!