Teaching language: English
Application code: 85118
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule:
B
Minimum participants: 5
Maximum participants: 20
Status, available places (updated regularly): Yes
Module 

Credit distribution 

Examination dates 
Sp1 
Sp2 
Sp3 
Sp4 
Summer course 
No Sp 
0101 
Written and oral assignments 
7,5c 
Grading: TH 


7,5c







In programs
MPPHS PHYSICS, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPPHS PHYSICS, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)
Examiner:
Bengt E W Nilsson
Go to Course Homepage
Eligibility
General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.
Specific entry requirements
English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.
Course specific prerequisites
This course assumes that the student has passed courses in Quantum Physics, Mathematical physics, Electromagnetism and Subatomic physics at the Bachelor level. Special requirements for this course is Special relativity while Quantum mechanics and Gravitation and cosmology at master level are very useful but not necessary to follow the course.
Aim
The purpose of this course is to give an gentle introduction to string theory and the fundamental questions about nature that can only be answered using strings. This is done using a minimum of advanced mathematical methods.
Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)
After having passed the course 'String theory' the student should have acquired some understanding of the basic clash between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, and how this clash is resolved in string theory. The student should then have obtained a set of mathematical tools making it possible to
compute various physical effects in string theory, and knowledge of how the gravitational force and the standard model of elementary particles are extracted from
string theory and its so called Dbranes. He/she should also be able to quantize the dynamical string theory and express it in terms of the infinite dimensional Virasoro algebra. Also very important is the expected ability to discuss and evaluate the good and weak points of string theory and its relation to physics in fourdimensional spacetime.
Content
The course begins with an introductory discussion of the fundamental
problems encountered when trying to understand our universe in terms
of standard (quantum) field theory methods of elementary particle
physics, and how string theory
may solve them. String theory is then introduced and quantized in the
most simple way possible and with a minimum of mathematics. Some of
its properties are studied in particular its connection to higher
dimensional physics and Dbranes, a kind of dynamical surfaces.
Dimensional reduction to fourdimensional spacetime is another central
topic that is discussed. More advanced material like conformal field theory, low energy
supergravity och scattering amplitudes are briefly mentioned but not studied in detail.
Organisation
The lectures cover the most relevant material of the course
while computational methods and skills are developed by solving
a number of home problems.
Literature
B. Zwiebach, 'A first course in string theory' (Cambridge university press, 2nd edit. 2009)
Examination including compulsory elements
Home problems and a mandatory oral exam
The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.