Registration for exercise sessions now open via the Physics Übungsgruppenverwaltungssystemportal
First lecture on October 19
This course is a basic introduction to string theory. Topics to be covered include: Quantization of the bosonic string, string interactions, the superstring, space-time effective actions, string compactifications, D-branes and string dualities, AdS/CFT correspondence. (We won't do all of this.)
Prerequisites: Thorough knowledge of classical theoretical physics, including quantum mechanics and relativity as ingredients of quantum field theory. An understanding of particle physics and some mathematical background will also be useful. We recommend vaccination against Covid-19.
This course is listed as a specialization module in the physics Master programme, and as an
"Aufbaumodul" in the mathematics Master focus area "Modular forms, complex analysis, and
The course will be evaluated based on a
final oral exam 24h take-home final exam. Tentative
submission deadline: February 16, 2022 @ noon. The exam will be
uploaded on February 21 at 12 noon, submission deadline: February 22, 2022 also at 12 noon.
To be admitted to the exam, you have to be registered (via the Physics Übungsgruppenverwaltungssystemportal) for the exercise sessions and submit valid solutions to at least 50% of homework problems.
We intend to upload problems sets on Mondays at noon (give or take). Submission deadline is the following Monday, at noon (sharp).
Prof. J. Walcher, Email
Tutor: Raphael Senghaas, Email
Time and Place:
Lectures on Tuesday & Thursday, 11-13, INF 308 HS 2,
neither streamed nor recorded.
(Low video quality) recordings of the lecture are provided on account of current attendance regulations.
Exercise sessions on Wednesday, 14-16, INF 308 HS 2
Timo Weigand's Lecture Notes Introduction to String Theory
Green-Schwarz-Witten Superstring Theory (2 vols.)
Polchinski, String Theory (2 vols.) (see also: Joe's Little Book of String)
Blumenhagen-Lüst-Theisen, Basic concepts of string theory
|October 18||Introduction, Relativistic Actions||Lecture 1&2||Homework 1|
|October 25||Classical strings, Polyakov action, Symmetries||Lecture 3&4||Homework 2|
|November 1||Mode expansion, Quantization, Virasoro anomaly||Lecture 5&6||Homework 3|
|November 8||OCQ, string spectrum, Light-cone gauge||Lecture 7&8||Homework 4|
|November 15||BRST & cohomology, No ghost theorem||Lecture 9&10||Homework 5|
|November 22||String interactions, CFT and OPE||Lecture 11&12||Homework 6|
|November 29||etc., pp.||Lecture 13&14||Homework 7|
|December 6||Veneziano amplitude, moduli||Lecture 15||Homework 8|
|December 13||gauge fixing, ghosts||Lecture 16||Homework 9|
|December 20||loop amplitudes||Lecture 17||Homework 10|
|January 10||Compactification, T-duality||Lecture 18&19||Homework 11|
|January 17||D-branes 1, D-branes 2||Lecture 20||Homework 12|
|January 24||D-branes 3, Orbifolds, supersymmetry||Lecture 21&22||Homework 13|
|January 31||Ramond and Neveu-Schwarz, GSO||Lecture 23&24||Homework 14|
|February 7||IIB or not IIB||Lecture 25|