8.821 | Fall 2008 | Graduate

String Theory

Lecture Notes

Each lecture, one person volunteered to be the scribe for that lecture, and was responsible for taking notes and preparing them in LaTeX. After (hopefully minor) revisions, the instructor posted them for the rest of the students to see. To help in writing up the lectures notes, the instructor gave the scribe a copy of his written notes, and sometimes an audio recording of the lecture as well.

Notes are used with the permission of the student scribe.

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

Course Info

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