8.821 | Fall 2008 | Graduate

String Theory


1 What you need to know about string theory
2 D3-branes at small and large coupling
3 AdS/CFT from scratch, no strings
4 What holds up the throat?
5 How to defend yourself from a supersymmetric field theory
6 About the N = 4 SYM theory
7 Big picture of correspondence; strings and strong interactions
8 ’t Hooft counting
9 Scale and conformal invariance in field theory
10 CFT in D > 2 (cont.)
11 Geometry of AdS
12 Geometry of AdS (cont.); Poincaré patch; wave equation in AdS
13 Masses of fields and dimensions of operators; BF-allowed tachyons
14 How to compute two-point correlators of scalar operators
15 Preview of real-time issues; two-point functions in momentum space (cont.); more on low-mass2 fields in AdS
16 Three-point functions, anomalies; expectation values
17 Wilson loops
18 Wilson loops (cont.)
19 Pointlike probes of the bulk; Baryons and branes in AdS; ‘Non-spherical horizons’
20 Brief survey of other examples of the correspondence (M2, M5, D1-D5, Dp, branes at singularities); a model of confinement
21 Confinement (cont.): how to measure the spectrum, proof of mass gap
22 Black hole mechanics, classical and quantum
23 AdS black holes and thermal gauge theory; equation of state, free energy and stress tensor
24 Hawking effect for interacting field theories and BH thermodynamics
25 AdS black holes and thermal gauge theory: Polyakov-Susskind loop, screening, quasinormal modes, Hawking-page transition

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2008
Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets with Solutions
Lecture Notes