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A First Course in String Theory

2nd Edition


  • Date Published: January 2009
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521880329

£ 53.99

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About the Authors
  • String theory made understandable. Barton Zwiebach is once again faithful to his goal of making string theory accessible to undergraduates. He presents the main concepts of string theory in a concrete and physical way to develop intuition before formalism, often through simplified and illustrative examples. Complete and thorough in its coverage, this new edition now includes AdS/CFT correspondence and introduces superstrings. It is perfectly suited to introductory courses in string theory for students with a background in mathematics and physics. New sections cover strings on orbifolds, cosmic strings, moduli stabilization, and the string theory landscape. Now with almost 300 problems and exercises, with password-protected solutions for instructors at

    • Includes completely new chapters on AdS/CFT correspondence and strong interactions, and an introduction to superstrings
    • A detailed and self-contained explanation of string theory at a level that is truly understandable to undergraduates
    • Presents the main concepts of string theory in a concrete and physical way, with over 100 worked examples and over 180 homework problems (with solutions for instructors)
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '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.' 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.' 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.' 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 …' The 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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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: January 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521880329
    • length: 694 pages
    • dimensions: 252 x 195 x 32 mm
    • weight: 1.62kg
    • contains: 86 b/w illus. 180 exercises
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    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

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    A First Course in String Theory

    Barton Zwiebach

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  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Advanced in Theoretical Physics
    • Cosmology
    • Directed Reading in String Theory
    • Exploring the Universe Lab
    • Gravitation and cosmology
    • Intro to String Theory
    • Introduction to String Theory
    • Modern Physics
    • Particle Physics
    • Particle theory
    • Seminar in Philosophy of Physics
    • Seminar on Advanced Topics in Physics
    • Supersymmetry and String Theory
  • Author

    Barton Zwiebach, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    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.

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