Welcome to 8.821 for Fall 2008.

annotated syllabus

lecture notes

problem sets and solutions

notes and supplementary references

Lectures: TR 11-12:30, Room 56-191

Summary: It turns out that string theory is useful. This will be a one-semester class about gauge/gravity duality (often called AdS/CFT) and its applications. It will be more of a special-topics class than last year's 8.821. An attempt will be made to keep the content independent of last year's 8.821 class.

Preparation: GR, QFT or sufficient willingness to temporarily suspend disbelief. Previous exposure to string theory recommended but not essential.

Coursework: Exams are silly. There will be three kinds of coursework this semester:

Syllabus and references: pdf.

String theory references: J. Polchinski, String Theory, 2 vols., Cambridge U. Press.

M. Green, J. Schwarz, E. Witten, Superstring Theory, 2 vols., Cambridge U. Press.

A. M. Polyakov, Gauge Fields and Strings, Harwood.

D. Lust and S. Theisen, Lectures on String Theory, out of print. Ask me.

M. Peskin's TASI lectures.

P. Ginsparg's CFT lectures.

A. Uranga's lecture notes.

B. Zwiebach, A First Course in String Theory

E. Kiritsis, String Theory in a Nutshell

Beckers, Schwarz, String Theory and M-Theory: A Modern Introduction