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Joe's Little Book of String1 Class Notes, Phys 230A, String Theory, Winter 2010

Summary: Joe's Little Book of String1
Class Notes, Phys 230A, String Theory, Winter 2010
Last update: 3/8/10
When I wrote the Big Book of String, I had many goals. One was to make it very
readable, so you would pick it up, be unable to put it down, and after staying up all night
reading you would know string theory. But in spite of much effort, this didn't happen. The
desire to be general and systematic pulled in the opposite direction. So these notes are
intended to be the book I might have written, and I can leave many details to the Big Book.
In addition, the subject has moved on and broadened. Much of the current research does
not need heavy world-sheet machinery such as BRST. Some subjects still depend on this,
notably string field theory, the covariant treatment of the superstring, pure spinors, and the
topological string, but most applications of gauge/gravity duality do not. These are notes for
a ten week course, with the goal of presenting an introduction to the world-sheet approach
to string theory which is sufficiently complete to prepare you for 230B, which will focus on
gauge/gravity duality.
1 Overview
Our goal is to find the underlying laws of physics, from which all else descend. Right now we
have gotten to the three particle interactions, the SU(3)SU(2)U(1) Standard Model, plus
general relativity, with the quarks, leptons, and Higgs. This is fairly simple, fairly beautiful,
and explains almost everything, but it can't be the end: there are too many moving parts,


Source: Akhmedov, Azer - Department of Mathematics, University of California at Santa Barbara


Collections: Mathematics