PHY7097: Introduction to String Theory

My aim in this one semester course is to provide a first introduction to string theory for graduate students. This is a very rich subject and there are many approaches to it. In this course I will view string theory as a new way to describe the same physics that quantum field theory describes, as exemplified by the AdS/CFT correspondence. We will not have much time to explore very deeply its other role as a vehicle for the unification of gravity with the other forces of nature.

I expect to spend most of the semester developing string theory in flat space-time, starting with a thorough understanding of physical properties of the tree level scattering amplitudes for the various types of strings. This will lay a firm foundation for the consideration, toward the end of the semester, of curved backgrounds, such as Anti-deSitter space (AdS), which provide the key to understanding quantum field theory in the language of string. Below are links to course information, a syllabus, a convention and formula sheet.

My email address is:


Please note that an error in prob. 2 of set 2 has been fixed.

A typo, found by Francisco, in the solution for prob. 2 of set 4 has been corrected.

Homework Assignments

  • Problem Set 1, due   1 February 2008,
  • Problem Set 2, due   18 February 2008,
  • Problem Set 3, due   3 March 2008,
  • Problem Set 4, due   24 March 2008, Solution for problem 2: 4 gluon Neveu-Schwarz amplitude
  • Problem Set 5, due   8 April 2008,
  • Problem Set 6/Final Project, due   30 April 2008,
    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.

                                        - T. S. Eliot