Phys859: Introduction to String Theory and M-Theory

Fall 2002, Section XXXX, MARS #XXXXX
Mon,Wed: 1:30pm-2:45pm, Room PHY 4102

Instructor: Dr. Melanie Becker
Room 4125, Phone 301-405-1774
Office hours: Tuesdays (9:00am-11:00am).

General course information

Prerequisites: Some knowledge of quantum mechanics and general relativity will be required.

Textbooks: M.B.Green, J.H.Schwarz and E.Witten, Superstring Theory, vol 1,2 (Cambridge University Press), ISBN: 0521-357527.

Additional Textbooks: J.Polchinski, String Theory, vol 1,2 (Cambridge University Press), ISBN: 0521-63303-6.

E-mail: Students are encouraged to make use of e-mail for quick correspondence with me regarding lecture material and homework problems.

Office Hours: Students can generally find me after class in my office. Please stop by if you have any additional questions regarding the lecture or the homework material.

Homework: Assigned biweekly and due on Wednesdays before class. Late homework is not accepted. You are encouraged to discuss the homework with others, but what you finally hand in should be your own work.  Sources (e.g. textbooks or classmates) should be cited when used heavily in a homework solution. Please make sure you include your name and the homework and course numbers and staple the pages together.

Exams: One final exam which you can solve at home.

Grading:  Based on homework (50%) and final (50%).
I expect the letter grades to correspond to (roughly) (A) 100-80%, (B) 80-60%, (C) 60-40%.

Topics to be covered
         If time is available, some or all of:
-Nambu Goto Action, Polyakov Action 
-Quantization of the Bosonic String 
-The Structure of String Perturbation Theory 
-Superstrings with Worldsheet Supersymmetry 
-Superstrings with Space-time Supersymmetry 
-Type I-, Type II-Superstrings  
-Heterotic Superstring  
-Super P-Branes and D-Branes  
-Kaluza-Klein Compactification of Higher Dimensions  
-Algebraic Geometry: Calabi-Yau Manifolds 
-From Superstrings to M-Theory and F-Theory;
-Superstring Phenomenology 

Calendar (with topics covered & homework)
Week   Monday  Wednesday  Homework
1.      9/2 No Class  
Labor Day  
2.      9/9 Bosonic String:  
Nambu Goto and Polyakov Action  
Symmetries of Action 
Mode Expansions 
Boundary Conditions
3.   9/16 Quantization of the Bosonic 
String and its Spectrum  
Why D=26?  
4.   9/23 Conformal Field Theory Conformal Field Theory hw2 
5.   9/30 Worldsheet Susy 
Worldsheet Susy  
6.   10/7 Space-Time Susy  
in Superstrings
Space-Time Susy  
in Superstrings
7.10/14 Type I-and Type-II Strings Non-Abelian Gauge Symmetry  
8.  10/21 Heterotic String Toroidal Compactification hm4
9.10/28 Low Energy Supergravity Anomalies  
10. 11/4 String Perturbation Theory String Perturbation Theory hm5
11. 11/11 String Perturbation Theory String Perturbation Theory  
12.  11/18 D-Branes D-Branes hw6
13.11/25 M-Theory M-Theory  
14. 12/2 Calabi-Yau Compactification Calabi-Yau Compactification Final Exam
15.12/9 Physics in Four Dimensions Physics in Four Dimensions