Lecture Notes

These lecture notes were prepared in LaTeX by Bryan Owens, an MIT student. He used handwritten notes taken in class by Kayla Jacobs, an MIT graduate, in producing them. Professor Zwiebach has not thoroughly proofread these notes but believes they will be useful to people that want to know what goes on during lecture and what material gets covered

SES # TOPICS LECTURE NOTES
1

Announcements, introduction

Lorentz transformations

Light-cone coordinates

( PDF )
2

Energy and momentum

Compact dimensions, orbifolds

Quantum mechanics and the square well

( PDF )
3

Relativistic electrodynamics

Gauss’ law

Gravitation and Planck’s length

( PDF )
4 Gravitational potentials, compactification, and large extra dimensions ( PDF )
5 Nonrelativistic strings and Lagrangian mechanics ( PDF )
6 The relativistic point particle: Action, reparametrizations, and equations of motion ( PDF )
7 Area formula for spatial surfaces ( PDF )
8 Area formula for spatial surfaces (cont.) ( PDF )
9 Change of variables ( PDF )
10 Relativistic strings: Nambu-Goto action, equations of motion and boundary conditions ( PDF )
11

Static gauge, transverse velocity, and string action

Motion of free open string endpoints

( PDF )
12

The sigma-parametrization

Equations of motion and virasoro constraints

General motion for open strings

Rotating open strings

( PDF )
13

Periodicity conditions for the motion of closed strings

The formation of cusps

Conserved currents in E&M

Conserved charges in lagrangian mechanics

( PDF )
14

Momentum charges for the string

Lorentz charges for the strings

Angular momentum of the rotating string

Discuss alpha’ and the string length l_s

General gauges: fixing tau and natural units

( PDF )
15 Solution of the open string motion in the light-cone gauge ( PDF )
16 Light-cone fields and particles ( PDF )
17 Light-cone fields and particles (cont.) ( PDF )
18 Open strings ( PDF )
19

Critical dimension

Constructing the state space

Tachyons

( PDF )
20 Closed strings ( PDF )
21

Wrap-up of closed strings

Superstrings

( PDF )
22 Superstrings (cont.) ( PDF )
23

Closed strings

Heterotic string theory

( PDF )
24

Dp-branes

Parallel Dp’s

( PDF )
25 Dp-branes (cont.) ( PDF )
26 Final exam review ( PDF )

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment Problem Sets
grading Exams with Solutions
notes Lecture Notes