8.251 String Theory for Undergraduates

Spring 2007

Building a torus from a cylinder of circumference 2pi and length T.
A torus is built from a cylinder of circumference 2π and length T by gluing the edges with a twist angle θ. The set of inequivalent tori is represented by the points in the orange region. In all these tori the shortest geodesic has length greater than or equal to 2π. (Image by MIT OCW.)

Course Description

This course introduces string theory to undergraduate and is based upon Prof. Zwiebach's textbook entitled A First Course in String Theory. Since string theory is quantum mechanics of a relativistic string, the foundations of the subject can be explained to students exposed to both special relativity and basic quantum mechanics. This course develops the aspects of string theory and makes it accessible to students familiar with basic electromagnetism and statistical mechanics.
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Staff

Instructors:
Prof. Barton Zwiebach
Prof. Alan Guth

Course Meeting Times

Lectures:
Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session

Level

Undergraduate