Textbook
The required text for this class is:
Zwiebach, Barton. A First Course in String Theory. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780521831437.
All readings are assigned out of this book.
Additional Reference
A new readable book at the graduate level is:
Becker, Katrin, Melanie Becker, and John H. Schwarz. String Theory and MTheory: A Modern Introduction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780521860697.
SES #  TOPICS  READINGS 

1 
Announcements, introduction Lorentz transformations Lightcone coordinates 
Sections 2.12.3 
2 
Energy and momentum Compact dimensions, orbifolds Quantum mechanics and the square well 
Sections 2.42.9 
3 
Relativistic electrodynamics Gauss’ law Gravitation and Planck’s length 
Sections 3.13.6 
4  Gravitational potentials, compactification, and large extra dimensions  Sections 3.73.10 
5  Nonrelativistic strings and Lagrangian mechanics  Chapter 4 
6  The relativistic point particle: Action, reparametrizations, and equations of motion  Chapter 5 
7  Area formula for spatial surfaces  
8  Area formula for spatial surfaces (cont.)  
9  Change of variables  
10  Relativistic strings: NambuGoto action, equations of motion and boundary conditions  Sections 6.16.5 
11 
Static gauge, transverse velocity, and string action Motion of free open string endpoints 
Sections 6.66.9 
12 
The sigmaparametrization Equations of motion and virasoro constraints General motion for open strings Rotating open strings 
Chapter 7 
Test 1  
13 
Periodicity conditions for the motion of closed strings The formation of cusps Conserved currents in E&M Conserved charges in lagrangian mechanics 

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 
Sections 8.48.6, 9.1 
15  Solution of the open string motion in the lightcone gauge  Sections 9.29.4 
16  Lightcone fields and particles  Sections 9.510.1 
17  Lightcone fields and particles (cont.)  Sections 10.210.4 
18  Open strings  
19 
Critical dimension Constructing the state space Tachyons 

20  Closed strings  
21 
Wrapup of closed strings Superstrings 

Test 2  
22  Superstrings (cont.)  
23 
Closed strings Heterotic string theory 

24 
Dpbranes Parallel Dp’s 

25  Dpbranes (cont.)  
26  Final exam review  
Final exam week 