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String Theory

Book Description

String Theory comprises two volumes which give a comprehensive and pedagogic account of the subject. Volume 1 provides a thorough introduction to the bosonic string. The first four chapters introduce the central ideas of string theory, the tools of conformal field theory and of the Polyakov path integral, and the covariant quantization of the string. The next three chapters treat string interactions: the general formalism, and detailed treatments of the tree level and one loop amplitudes. Chapter eight covers toroidal compactification and many important aspects of string physics, such as T-duality and D-branes. Chapter nine treats higher-order amplitudes, including an analysis of their finiteness and unitarity, and various nonperturbative ideas. An appendix giving a short course on path integral methods is included. This is an essential text and reference for graduate students and researchers interested in modern superstring theory.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Preface
  8. Notation
  9. 1 A first look at strings
    1. 1.1 Why strings?
    2. 1.2 Action principles
    3. 1.3 The open string spectrum
    4. 1.4 Closed and unoriented strings
    5. Exercises
  10. 2 Conformal field theory
    1. 2.1 Massless scalars in two dimensions
    2. 2.2 The operator product expansion
    3. 2.3 Ward identities and Noether’s theorem
    4. 2.4 Conformal invariance
    5. 2.5 Free CFTs
    6. 2.6 The Virasoro algebra
    7. 2.7 Mode expansions
    8. 2.8 Vertex operators
    9. 2.9 More on states and operators
    10. Exercises
  11. 3 The Polyakov path integral
    1. 3.1 Sums over world-sheets
    2. 3.2 The Polyakov path integral
    3. 3.3 Gauge fixing
    4. 3.4 The Weyl anomaly
    5. 3.5 Scattering amplitudes
    6. 3.6 Vertex operators
    7. 3.7 Strings in curved spacetime
    8. Exercises
  12. 4 The string spectrum
    1. 4.1 Old covariant quantization
    2. 4.2 BRST quantization
    3. 4.3 BRST quantization of the string
    4. 4.4 The no-ghost theorem
    5. Exercises
  13. 5 The string S-matrix
    1. 5.1 The circle and the torus
    2. 5.2 Moduli and Riemann surfaces
    3. 5.3 The measure for moduli
    4. 5.4 More about the measure
    5. Exercises
  14. 6 Tree-level amplitudes
    1. 6.1 Riemann surfaces
    2. 6.2 Scalar expectation values
    3. 6.3 The bc CFT
    4. 6.4 The Veneziano amplitude
    5. 6.5 Chan–Paton factors and gauge interactions
    6. 6.6 Closed string tree amplitudes
    7. 6.7 General results
    8. Exercises
  15. 7 One-loop amplitudes
    1. 7.1 Riemann surfaces
    2. 7.2 CFT on the torus
    3. 7.3 The torus amplitude
    4. 7.4 Open and unoriented one-loop graphs
    5. Exercises
  16. 8 Toroidal compactification and T -duality
    1. 8.1 Toroidal compactification in field theory
    2. 8.2 Toroidal compactification in CFT
    3. 8.3 Closed strings and T -duality
    4. 8.4 Compactification of several dimensions
    5. 8.5 Orbifolds
    6. 8.6 Open strings
    7. 8.7 D-branes
    8. 8.8 T -duality of unoriented theories
    9. Exercises
  17. 9 Higher order amplitudes
    1. 9.1 General tree-level amplitudes
    2. 9.2 Higher genus Riemann surfaces
    3. 9.3 Sewing and cutting world-sheets
    4. 9.4 Sewing and cutting CFTs
    5. 9.5 General amplitudes
    6. 9.6 String field theory
    7. 9.7 Large order behavior
    8. 9.8 High energy and high temperature
    9. 9.9 Low dimensions and noncritical strings
    10. Exercises
  18. Appendix A: A short course on path integrals
    1. A.1 Bosonic fields
    2. A.2 Fermionic fields
    3. Exercises
  19. References
  20. Glossary
  21. Index