Mathematics and Physics in Heidelberg Fakultät für Mathematik und Informatik Fakultät für Mathematik und Informatik Mathematisches Institut Karl-Theodor-Brücke Surprise Fakultät für Physik und Astronomie Fakultät für Physik und Astronomie Institut für Theoretische Physik Universität Heidelberg Universität Heidelberg Universität Heidelberg
Obgleich unser Internetauftritt umgezogen ist, erhalten wir diese Seiten im status quo April 2023 als Referenz für die Zukunft.

Lecture course in the Winter Semester 2022/23 (Diese Veranstaltung findet in englischer Sprache statt!)

String Theory


Registration for exercise sessions now open via the Physics Übungsgruppenverwaltungssystemportal

First lecture on October 18


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.

Credits: 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 mathematical physics".
The course will be evaluated based on a 24h take-home final exam. Tentative submission deadline: February 14, 2023 @ 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).

Instructor: Prof. J. Walcher, Email
Tutor: Hannes Keppler, Email

Time and Place:
Lectures on Tuesday & Thursday, 11-13, Philosophenweg 12, gHS. (Low video quality) recordings from last year's course are available on MaMpf and might or might not be renewed this time around. Exercise sessions on Wednesday, 16-18, Philosophenweg 12, gHS.

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

Plan (tentative!)

Week Lecture Notes Problem set Answers
October 17 Introduction, Relativistic Actions Lecture 1&2 Homework 1
October 24 Classical strings, Polyakov action, Symmetries Lecture 3&4 Homework 2
October 31 Mode expansion, Quantization, Virasoro anomaly Lecture 5&6 Homework 3