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Syllabus for

Academic year
FFM485 - String theory
Owner: TTFYA
5,0 Credits (ECTS 7,5)
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Level: D

Teaching language: English
Minimum participants: 5
Maximum participants: 20

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 No Sp
0101 Written and oral assignments 5,0 c Grading: TH   5,0 c    

In programs



Professor  Bengt E W Nilsson


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

Quantum mechanics (FKA 081) and Special relativity are highly recommended, while Gravitation and cosmology (FFM 071), is useful but not necessary.


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.


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, and how string theory may solve them.
String theory is then introduced 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 D-branes,
a kind of dynamical surfaces. Also dimensional reduction to four-dimensional spacetime is central topic. More advanced material like conformal field theory, low energy supergravity, scattering amplitudes, and the Virasoro algebra are discussed briefly. Comments on non-perturbative aspects and the connection to eleven dimensional M-theory is briefly explained.


Two lectures and an exercise class per week.


B. Zwiebach, "A first course in string theory"
(Cambridge university press 2004)
This is a fantastic book which introduces string theory with a minimum of mathematics and advanced physics.
Lecture notes and some recommended review articles on the net. See home page of the lecturer and the link to this years Master course on
String theory/M theory.


Home problems plus an optional oral

Page manager Published: Thu 03 Nov 2022.