String theory

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see also Colloquia, Conformal Field Theory, String theory for non-physicists

Contents

books

String Theory in a nutshell
by Elias Kiritsis, (Princeton University Press, 2007, Errata)
This book is an up to date presentation of the main parts of modern string theory, targeting specialized students and postdocs entering or working in string theory. It contains also a large set of problems, as well as chapters on black-hole microstate counting, matrix models and an extendent exposition of the AdS/CFT correspondence.

String Theory and M-Theory: A Modern Introduction
by Katrin Becker, Melanie Becker and John Schwarz (CUP, 2006)
This is a book that is intended to be a comprehensive introduction to the subject of string theory in a modern fashion, with rather rapid discussions of many modern developments including AdS/CFT. As such, it includes a lot of material with relatively less detailed explanation, which serves its purpose as an introduction very well. However, one does need some further readings to completely understand everything this book is trying to say.

A First Course in String Theory
by Barton Zwiebach, (CUP, 2003)
This book is intended for the advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate level. No familiarity with quantum field theory is assumed (although Zwiebach does assume a working knowledge of quantum mechanics). It focuses on the study of single strings and their interactions, which can be understood in some detail. Of necessity, however, it is impossible to address many advanced topics.

String Theory
Volume 1: An Introduction to the Bosonic String
Volume 2: Superstring Theory and Beyond
by Joe Polchinski (two volumes, CUP, 1998, errata)
This book addresses the discoveries of the superstring revolutions of the early to mid 1990s, which mark the beginnings of modern string theory. Volume 1 quantises the bosonic string and uses this setting to introduce T-duality and D-branes without the complications of fermions. The first three chapters of volume 2 introduce superstrings, but quickly move beyond. The rest of the second book provides an introduction to nearly all modern string topics pre-dating the AdS/CFT duality. In particular, it includes D-branes, Orbifolds, Black Hole Entropy, and Mirror symmetry.
Some of the errata were corrected in the reprinting in 2000.
A solution manual for Polchinski's "String Theory"
by Matthew Headrick (0812.4408 [hep-th], 114 pages)

Superstring Theory
Volume 1: Introduction
Volume 2: Loop Amplitudes, Anomalies and Phenomenology
by Michael Green, John Schwarz and Edward Witten (two volumes, CUP, 1988)
Volume 1 is the first of a classic two-volume string text by founders in the field. Though there are now many more modern texts, it containing many details that more recent texts must skim through to discuss modern topics. Volume 1 is concerned mainly with the free string, though it treats both bosonic and supersymmetric versions. Volume 2 addresses the details of loop calculations, but also discusses low-energy effective theories (in particular, supergravity) and compactifications (especially on Calabi-Yau manifolds).

Supersymmetry and String Theory: Beyond the Standard Model
by Michael Dine (CUP, 2007)

Gravity and Strings
by Tomás Ortín (CUP, 2004)

Introduction to Superstring Theory
by E. Kiritsis (Leuven University Press, 1998, hep-th/9709062, 244 pages, 22 figures)
Also available from the arXiv. Kiritsis provides a pedagogical introduction starting with the point particle and the bosonic string, and then proceeds through conformal field theory and the superstring. Advanced topics treated include T- duality, anomalies, compactification and supersymmetry breaking, loop corrections, and non-perturbative dualities.

Lectures on String Theory
by D. Lüst and S. Theisen (Springer-Verlag, 1989)
This very useful text features a short route to the superstring and includes an excellent treatment of the heterotic string.

Quantum Field Theory of Point Particles and Strings
by B. Hatfield (Perseus Publishing, 1998)
An updated version of Hatfield's 1992 book, the first half quickly reviews quantum field theory while the second introduces the very basics of strings.

Gauge fields and Strings
by A. M. Polyakov (Harwood Academic Publishers, 1987)
This classic work uses a detailed treatment of quantum field theory in terms of first-quantized particles to make a natural transition to the first quantized string. Details of path-integral measures and other fundamentals are well-presented.

Introduction to Superstrings and M-Theory
by M. Kaku (Springer Verlag, 1999)
This updated version of an earlier text begins with the basics and, after some development, addresses advanced topics such as compactifications and M-theory. As a one-volume text, it cannot be comprehensive and, as a result, has a rather light discussion of D-branes.

Strings, Conformal Fields, and M-Theory
by M. Kaku (Springer Verlag, 2000)
The intent of this text is to build on Introduction to Superstrings and M-theory, addressing a number of more modern topics and illustrating the relationship to a broad range of related topics.

reviews

Introduction to String Theory
by Timo Weigand
Based on Winter term 2011/12 lectures at Heidelberg University.

An Introduction to String Theory
by James Bedford (1107.3967 [hep-th], 100 pages)
Based on DAMTP Part III lectures by Michael Green in 2003.

DAMTP Part III 2009 Lectures on String Theory
by David Tong

String Theory: A Framework for Quantum Gravity and Various Applications
by Spenta R. Wadia (0809.1036, 38 pages, 5 figures)

Introductory Lectures on String Theory
by A.A. Tseytlin (0808.0663, 38 pages, 21 figures)

Superstring theories
by Constantin Bachas, Jan Troost (physics/0605105, 12 pages, 5 figures)
concise review for Encyclopedia of Mathematical Physics (Elsevier, 2006)

String Theory
by Eric D'Hoker (downloadable from the Quantum Field Theory program at IAS: Spring Term 1997)

Les Houches Lectures on Fields, Strings and Duality
by R. Dijkgraaf (hep-th/9703136, 152 pages, 31 figures)

Introduction to Non-perturbative String Theory
by Elias Kiritsis (hep-th/9708130, 60 pages, 4 figures)

String Primer
by E. Alvarez and P. Meessen (hep-th/9810240, 87 pages, 4 figures)

TASI Lectures on Perturbative String Theories
by Hirosi Ooguri, Zheng Yin (hep-th/9612254, 80 pages)

What is String Theory?
by Joseph Polchinski (hep-th/9411028, 153 pages, 30 figures)

An Introduction to the Covariant Quantization of Superstrings
by P.A. Grassi, G. Policastro, P. van Nieuwenhuizen (hep-th/0302147, 23 pages)

Lectures on Two-Loop Superstrings
by Eric D'Hoker, D.H. Phong (hep-th/0211111, 37 pages, 3 figures)

ICTP Lectures on Covariant Quantization of the Superstring
by Nathan Berkovits (hep-th/0209059, 43 pages)

Open Strings
by Carlo Angelantonj, Augusto Sagnotti (hep-th/0204089, 156 pages)

TASI Lectures on Perturbative String Theory and Ramond-Ramond Flux
by L. Dolan (hep-th/0201209, 39 pages)

An Introduction to Conformal Field Theory
by Matthias R Gaberdiel (hep-th/9910156, 69 pages)

A New Description of the Superstring
by Nathan Berkovits (hep-th/9604123)

Introduction to Superstring Theory
by E. Kiritsis (hep-th/9709062, 244 pages, 22 figures)
Also available as a book. Kiritsis provides a pedagogical introduction starting with the point particle and the bosonic string, and then proceeds through conformal field theory and the superstring. Advanced topics treated include T- duality, anomalies, compactification and supersymmetry breaking, loop corrections, and non-perturbative dualities.

An Introduction to Non-perturbative String Theory
by Ashoke Sen (hep-th/9802051, 129 pages, 22 figures)

Introduction to Superstring Theory
by John H. Schwarz (hep-ex/0008017, 44 pages)

Strings, Branes and Extra Dimensions
by Stefan Forste (hep-th/0110055, 238 pages)

String Theory or Field Theory?
by A. Marshakov (hep-th/0212114, 56 pages, 18 figures)

String theory: an update
by Jan de Boer (hep-th/0210224, 20 pages, 2 figures)

Introduction to String Theory
by Thomas Mohaupt (hep-th/0207249, 78 pages)

BUSSTEPP Lectures on String Theory
by Richard J. Szabo (hep-th/0207142, 90 pages, 24 figures)

Introduction to M-theory for relativists and cosmologists
by Nobuyoshi Ohta (gr-qc/0205036, 28 pages, 7 figures)

Topics on Strings, Branes and Calabi-Yau Compactifications
by Hugo Garcia-Compean, Oscar Loaiza-Brito (hep-th/0010046, 50 pages, no figures)

Lectures on Strings, D-branes and Gauge Theories
by Hugo Garcia-Compean, Oscar Loaiza-Brito (hep-th/0003019, 38 pages, no figures)

An introduction to perturbative and non-perturbative string theory
by Ignatios Antoniadis, Guillaume Ovarlez (hep-th/9906108, 17 pages)

Supergravity, Brane Dynamics and String Duality
by P. West (hep-th/9811101, 109 pages, 2 figures)

Introduction to M Theory
by Miao Li (hep-th/9811019, 76 pages)

String Primer
by E. Alvarez, P. Meessen (hep-th/9810240, 87 pages, 4 figures)

Lectures on Strings and Dualities
by Cumrun Vafa (hep-th/9702201, 53 pages)

Fields, Strings and Branes
by C. Gomez, R. Hernandez (hep-th/9711102, 176 pages, 6 figures)

Les Houches Lectures on Fields, Strings and Duality
by R. Dijkgraaf (hep-th/9703136, 152 pages, 31 figures)

Introduction to String Theory
by Angel Uranga (Graduate Course in String Theory, 528 pages)

String Theory
by Sunil Mukhi (BUSSTEPP 2003 Lectures, 147 pages). Downloadable from BUSSTEPP 2003 Website

The birth of string theory
by Paolo Di Vecchia (0704.0101, 60 pages)
Covers developments that in the years 1968 to 1974 led from the Veneziano model to the bosonic string.