String Theory I - Material for the year 2019-2020

2019-2020
Lecturer(s): 
Prof. Christopher Beem
General Prerequisites: 

Quantum Field Theory (MT)

Course Term: 
Hilary
Course Weight: 
1.00 unit(s)

Assessment type:

Course Overview: 

Areas: PT
Sequels: String Theory II (TT), Introduction to Gauge-String Duality (TT)
Please submit your homework here via the 'assignments' tab.
Visiting and Short Option Students Only: Please e-mail your work to your TA/Tutor by the required deadline, copying in mmathphys@maths.ox.ac.uk

Course Synopsis: 

Historical background, Dolan-Horn-Schmid duality, the Veneziano and Virasoro-Shapiro amplitudes. Nambu-Goto and Polyakov world-sheet actions, equations of motion and constraints, open and closed strings and their corresponding boundary conditions. Old covariant quantization: the Virasoro algebra, physical state conditions, ghosts, critical spacetime dimension, and spacetime particle spectrum. Basic considerations of light-cone gauge quantization. Vertex operators and string scattering amplitudes. Strings in background fields, spacetime effective action. Circle compactification, elementary consideration of D-branes, T-duality.

Reading List: 

1. M. Green, J. Schwartz, and E. Witten, Superstring Theory Volume 1: Introduction*
2. J. Polchinski, String Theory Volume 1: An Introduction to the Bosonic String
3. B. Zwiebach, A First Course in String Theory