String Theory Demystified

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-09-11
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
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UNRAVEL the mystery of STRING THEORY Trying to understand string theory but ending up with your brain in knots? Here's your lifeline! This straightforward guide explains the fundamental principles behind this cutting-edge concept. String Theory Demystified elucidates the goal of the theory--to combine general relativity and quantum theory into a single, unified framework. You'll learn about classical strings, conformal field theory, quantization, compactification, and T duality. The book covers supersymmetry and superstrings, D-branes, the holographic principle, and cosmology. Hundreds of examples and illustrations make it easy to understand the material, and end-of-chapter quizzes and a final exam help reinforce learning. This fast and easy guide offers: Numerous figures to illustrate key concepts Sample problems with worked solutions Coverage of equations of motion, the energy-momentum tensor, and conserved currents A discussion of the Randall-Sundrum model A time-saving approach to performing better on an exam or at workSimple enough for a beginner, but challenging enough for an advanced student, String Theory Demystified is your key to comprehending this theory of everything.

Author Biography

David McMahon (Albuquerque, NM) works as a researcher in the National Laboratories on nuclear energy. He has advanced degrees in physics and applied mathematics, and has authored several titles for McGraw-Hill, most recently: Quantum Mechanics Demystified, Relativity Demystified, Linear Algebra Demystified, Signals and Systems Demystified, and Statics and Dynamics Demystified.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
A Quick Overview of General Relativityp. 2
A Quick Primer on Quantum Theoryp. 3
The Standard Modelp. 8
Quantizing the Gravitational Fieldp. 8
Some Basic Analysis in String Theoryp. 10
Unification and Fundamental Constantsp. 11
String Theory Overviewp. 12
Summaryp. 18
Quizp. 18
The Classical String I: Equations of Motionp. 21
The Relativistic Point Particlep. 22
Strings in Space-Timep. 28
Equations of Motion for the Stringp. 32
The Polyakov Actionp. 36
Mathematical Aside: The Euler Characteristicp. 36
Light-Cone Coordinatesp. 39
Solutions of the Wave Equationp. 43
Open Strings with Free Endpointsp. 44
Closed Stringsp. 46
Open Strings with Fixed Endpointsp. 47
Poisson Bracketsp. 49
Quizp. 49
The Classical String II: Symmetries and Worldsheet Currentsp. 51
The Energy-Momentum Tensorp. 52
Symmetries of the Polyakov Actionp. 53
Transforming to a Flat Worldsheet Metricp. 59
Conserved Currents from Poincare Invariancep. 63
The Hamiltonianp. 67
Summaryp. 67
Quizp. 67
String Quantizationp. 69
Covariant Quantizationp. 70
Light-Cone Quantizationp. 85
Summaryp. 87
Quizp. 87
Conformal Field Theory Part Ip. 89
The Role of Conformal Field Theory in String Theoryp. 92
Wick Rotationsp. 93
Complex Coordinatesp. 94
Generators of Conformal Transformationsp. 98
The Two-Dimensional Conformal Groupp. 100
Central Extensionp. 104
Closed String Conformal Field Theoryp. 105
Wick Expansionp. 107
Operator Product Expansionp. 110
Summaryp. 114
Quizp. 114
BRST Quantizationp. 115
BRST Operators and Introductory Remarksp. 116
BRST-Invariant Statesp. 118
BRST in String Theory-CFTp. 120
BRST Transformationsp. 121
No-Ghost Theoremp. 125
Summaryp. 125
Quizp. 126
RNS Superstringsp. 127
The Superstring Actionp. 128
Conserved Currentsp. 133
The Energy-Momentum Tensorp. 136
Mode Expansions and Boundary Conditionsp. 140
Super-Virasoro Generatorsp. 143
Canonical Quantizationp. 144
The Super-Virasoro Algebrap. 145
The Open String Spectrump. 147
GSO Projectionp. 148
Critical Dimensionp. 149
Summaryp. 150
Quizp. 150
Compactification and T-Dualityp. 153
Compactification of the 25th Dimensionp. 153
Modified Mass Spectrump. 155
T-Duality for Closed Stringsp. 159
Open Strings and T-Dualityp. 162
D-Branesp. 164
Summaryp. 165
Quizp. 165
Superstring Theory Continuedp. 167
Superspace and Superfieldsp. 168
Superfield for Worldsheet Supersymmetryp. 171
Grassman Integrationp. 173
A Manifestly Supersymmetric Actionp. 174
The Green-Schwarz Actionp. 175
Space-Time Supersymmetry and Stringsp. 180
Light-Cone Gaugep. 181
Canonical Quantizationp. 184
Summaryp. 185
Quizp. 186
A Summary of Superstring Theoryp. 187
A Summary of Superstring Theoryp. 187
Superstring Theoryp. 190
Dualitiesp. 192
Quizp. 193
Type II String Theoriesp. 195
The R and NS Sectorsp. 195
The Spin Fieldp. 200
Type II A String Theoryp. 201
Type II B Theoryp. 203
The Massless Spectrum of Different Sectorsp. 203
Summaryp. 204
Quizp. 205
Heterotic String Theoryp. 207
The Action for SO(32) Theoryp. 208
Quantization of SO(32) Theoryp. 209
The Spectrump. 214
Compactification and Quantized Momentump. 216
Summaryp. 219
Quizp. 219
D-Branesp. 221
The Space-Time Arenap. 223
Quantizationp. 225
D-Branes in Superstring Theoryp. 230
Multiple D-Branesp. 230
Tachyons and D-Brane Decayp. 235
Summaryp. 237
Quizp. 237
Black Holesp. 239
Black Holes in General Relativityp. 240
Charged Black Holesp. 243
The Laws of Black Hole Mechanicsp. 246
Computing the Temperature of a Black Holep. 247
Entropy Calculations for Black Holes with String Theoryp. 249
Summaryp. 253
Quizp. 253
The Holographic Principle and AdS/CFT Correspondencep. 255
A Statement of the Holographic Principlep. 256
A Qualitative Description of AdS/CFT Correspondencep. 257
The Holographic Principle and M-Theoryp. 258
More Correspondencep. 260
Summaryp. 262
Quizp. 262
String Theory and Cosmologyp. 265
Einstein's Equationsp. 266
Inflationp. 266
The Kasner Metricp. 268
The Randall-Sundrum Modelp. 273
Brane Worlds and the Ekpyrotic Universep. 275
Summaryp. 277
Quizp. 278
Final Examp. 279
Quiz Solutionsp. 285
Final Exam Solutionsp. 291
Referencesp. 297
Indexp. 299
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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