Time & Place: F, 10:00am1:00pm, Alice Room, PI, first lecture: January 16, 2009Instructor: Alex Buchel, office: (UWO):MC 264, Ext: 88794, (PI): 251a Email: abuchel[at]uwo.ca
Office hours: by appointment
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Prerequisites:
This course is geared for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students enrolled in Collaborative Ph.D. Program in Theoretical Physics. Required previous course work: Quantum Field Theory (AM516 or equivalent)
Course outline:
I. A first look at strings:a. Action principles
b. The open string spectrum
c. Closed and unoriented stringsII. Conformal field theory:a. Massless scalars in two dimensions
b. The operator product expansion
c. Ward identities and Noether's theorem
d. Conformal invariance
e. Free CFTs
f. The Virasoro algebra
g. Mode expansions
h. Vertex operatorsIII. The Polyakov path integral:a. Sums over worldsheets
b. The Polyakov path integral
c. Gauge fixing
d. The Weyl anomaly
e. Scattering amplitudes
f. Vertex operators
g. Strings in curved spacetimeIV. The string spectrum:a. Old covariant quantization
b. BRST quantization
c. BRST quantization of the string
d. The noghost theoremV. The string Smatrix:a. The circle and the torus
b. Moduli and Riemann surfaces
c. The measure for moduliVI. Treelevel amplitudes:a. Riemann surfaces
b. Scalar expectation values
c. The bc CFT
d. The Veneziano amplitude
e. ChanPaton factors and gauge interactions
f. Closed string tree amplitudes
g. General resultsVII. Oneloop amplitudes:a. Riemann surfaces
b. CFT on the torus
c. The torus amplitude
d. Open and unoriented oneloop graphsVIII. Toroidal compactification and Tduality:a. Toroidal compactification in field theory
b. Toroidal compactification in CFT
c. Closed strings and Tduality
d. Compactification of several dimensions
e. Orientifolds
f. Open strings
g. Dbranes
h. Tduality of unoriented theoriesIX. High order amplitudes (if time permits):a. General treelevel amplitudes
b. Higher genus Riemann surfaces
c. General amplitudes
d. String field theory
e. Large order behavior
f. High energy and high temperature
g. Low dimensions and noncritical strings
Text:
The primary text is the book:
"String theory. Vol. 1: An introduction to the bosonic string'' J. Polchinski (Santa Barbara, KITP) . 1998. 402pp. Cambridge, UK: Univ. Pr. (1998) 402 p.
The book is on reserve in Allyn & Betty Taylor Library (1 day loan). Additional resources will be posted on/linked to the course webpage.
Course evaluation:
The course evaluation will be based on several (to be determined) regular problem sets that will be handed in during the term. There is no final exam.
Feedback:
Feedback to the instructor regarding the quality, speed, and content of presentation is especially appreciated during the semester!