AM 527b, Winter 2009

Introduction to the Bosonic String

Time & Place: F, 10:00am-1:00pm, Alice Room, PI, first lecture: January 16, 2009

Instructor: Alex Buchel, office: (UWO):MC 264, Ext: 88794, (PI): 251a E-mail: abuchel[at]

Office hours: by appointment

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Prerequisites Course Outline Text Course Evaluation Feedback


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:
II. Conformal field theory:
III. The Polyakov path integral:
IV. The string spectrum:
V. The string S-matrix:
VI. Tree-level amplitudes:
VII. One-loop amplitudes:
VIII. Toroidal compactification and T-duality:
IX. High order amplitudes (if time permits):


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 to the instructor regarding the quality, speed, and content of presentation is especially appreciated during the semester!