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Revue de presse

"This single-volume new textbook on string theory will provide a solid and broad foundation to those who aspire to learn essential physical aspects on string theory with efficiency and depth. It is refreshing to see that this textbook contains lots of material which rarely appears in other string theory textbooks. This textbook is very helpful and pedagogical and it is strongly recommended for individuals and coursework."
Jihye Seo, Mathematical Reviews

Présentation de l'éditeur

Supersymmetry, strings and branes are believed to be the essential ingredients in a single unified consistent theory of physics. This book gives a detailed, step-by-step introduction to the theoretical foundations required for research in strings and branes. After a study of the different formulations of the bosonic and supersymmetric point particles, the classical and quantum bosonic and supersymmetric string theories are presented. This book includes accounts of brane dynamics and D-branes and the T, S and U duality symmetries of string theory. The historical derivation of string theory is given as well as the sum over the world-sheet approach to the interacting string. More advanced topics include string field theory and Kac–Moody symmetries. The book contains pedagogical accounts of conformal quantum field theory, supergravity theories, Clifford algebras and spinors, and Lie algebras. It is essential reading for graduate students and researchers wanting to learn strings and branes.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 16 commentaires
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Branes engaged 21 avril 2013
Par Mike - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
Though this is called an introduction to strings and branes, this book in not for the untrained reader. Graduate level mathematics is a basic requirement to understand this book - for example the starting point of the book uses metric tensor notation to formulate the Dirac quantization of a classical bosonic point particle in Minkowski space-time. The book does not cover more advanced topics like Calabi-Yau compactifications, string based black hole computations and the AdS-CFT duality, but the topics that are covered are presented in a comprehensive manner that should be straightforward to follow given the caveat with respect to the comprehension of mathematical notation mentioned earlier. The author leads the reader from the formulations of simple non-interacting particles and builds on those techniques to describe constraints, extra degrees of freedom and interactions. Overall, an excellent introduction for the graduate-level mathematical/theoretical physicist.

A Guide to Feynman Diagrams in the Many-Body Problem (Dover Books on Physics) is a handy companion book to support the material.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Flashbacks to college... 27 janvier 2013
Par Adam Wood - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
First off, this is not for the general reader. The last page that I remember not having an equation on it was the preface. Seriously. :) I'm interested in string theory, but I'm not a physicist and am now in my 40's, so I admit that I enjoy the "glossy" overviews of the theory. While I am an engineer and took several physics classes in my youth, I'm now content with the general theories and am more a fan of Brian Greene and his ability to convey the theory to the masses.

I had the privilege to receive this book for free as part of the Vine program, and I jumped at the chance to read up on strings and branes. I find the topic fascinating, and I thought that it might provide me with some good insight. I didn't pick up on the part of the description that mentions graduate students - it really is meant for study at that level. My mistake, and clearly I'm not the smartest reviewer here. :D

There is a lot of detail in this book. Truthfully, more than I'll ever need. If you are interested in the theories and the math behind them, this is a good choice. It really is for college-level study. If you are just interested in the general concepts, this is not a good choice. This is intended for people who want a much deeper understanding of the theories and the mathematics behind them. So, if you're brave, order a copy and get your NoDoz ready. The mid-term exam is next Friday. ;)
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent, serious, detailed introduction 1 décembre 2014
Par Reader - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This is an excellent introduction to modern string theory. Accurate, precise, and gets into details that other introductions to string theory pass over in silence. Becker, Becker and Schwarz move too fast over the basics, and their coverage of conformal field theory, the operator product expansion, etc, is too perfunctory. West covers all these topics in detail and has a better treatment of the conformal Ward identities than Di Francesco et al.

The most elementary, serious introduction to string theory is Zwiebach's book which suits upper undergraduates. But Zwiebach, while excellent for its purposes, does not go too far into the subject, does not cover conformal field theory, covariant quantization, etc. West's book takes off from the point where Zwiebach ends.

Polchinski's book is too heavy going for first year graduate students. Kritisis is too fast for beginners. Volume 1 of Green, Schwarz and Witten is excellent, but I find that West has more details. Their volume 2 is advanced, but covers topics that are by now outdated. Ortin's book is excellent, but is basically a (super)gravity textbook. Another excellent textbook that is not so well known is Brian Hatfield's book. Its first half is devoted to quantum field theory, primarily from a path integral point of view, while its second half is a very careful treatment of the bosonic string, primarily from Polyakov's point of view. I think that one can read Hatfield's book before West's, and the right sequence to learn string theory may be Zwiebach, Hatfield, West, then Polchisnki.
Ultimate Question answered 15 février 2015
Par bernie - Publié sur
This book is just too real. We are always bombarded with quasi-science or pabulum fed physics. And even when we take the real thing in class they never quite get around to actually explaining Strings and Branes without a lot of colorful metaphors.

Even though this book is just an introduction and I have no need to go further. It hits the deck running and gives formulas of substance. I have to admit that some of the terms I am just now getting exposed to so as some people keep a dictionary handy when they read I find I need an encyclopedia.

Warning your world is about to change as you plow through each chapter and you can never go back to what they never taught you in school.

You are only as good as the tools you use and this book cannot be any better than its author. So as with all books you need to know a bit about whom researched and wrote the book. There are better in-depth descriptions of Professor Peter West FRS "Professor in Theoretical Physics" at King's College, London.

The book its self may one day have an electronic version. But for now it is a joy to hold by any lover of "real" books. It is hardcover and nice white paper that looks to be acid free. The type is crisp and clear making the formulas easy to read. There are a few monochrome diagrams. All the references you need as to the source material is in the book. Each chapter is informative to the last paragraph without all the hokey questions found in many text books.

You will find this book a keeper. After perusing from front to back you will want to keep this as a reference.

For people that just have to know The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything, this is an excellent place to start.

More light reading by the author
Introduction To Supersymmetry And Supergravity (Revised And Extended 2Nd Edition) (Revised and Enlarged 2nd Edition)
This is an excellent tutorial on the theoretical physics of unified physics ... strings and branes 5 février 2013
Par D. Fowler - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
Some theoretical physicists have what they see as an exciting new "theory of everything," string theory, that they feel will unify two seemingly diametrically opposed theories, quantum mechanics and general relativity. The theory of everything must unify nature's fundamental forces (gravitational, electromagnetic, and nuclear). Stephen Hawking is very interested in string theory. Gianguido Dall'Agata will be discussing the discovery of the SO(8) gauged theories of supergravity at King's College this month. This discussion has yet to take place and therefore is not a factor in this introductory book on strings and branes.

West in his discussion of string interactions, ultimately concludes that "One of the unusual aspects of string theory is that the theory used to calculate string scattering is often more complicated than the result itself, namely the the string scattering amplitudes." Throughout the book mathematical models are used to illustrate physics equations and formulae. Supersymmetric theories not discussed in the book can be found in West's complimentary book, Introduction to Supersymmetry and Supergravity. Additionally, topics not discussed in this book are Calabi-Yau Compactification (differential geometry required here), string-based black hole entropy computations and the AdS-CFT duality.


1 The point particle

* The bosonic point particle, the classical point particle and its Dirac quantisation, the BRST quantization of the point partic, the super point particle, the spinning particle, the Brink-Schwarz superparticle, superspace formulation of the point particle, the twistor approach to the massless point particle, twistors in four and three dimensions, the twistor point actions.

2 The classical bosonic string

* The dynamics, the closed string, the open string, the energy-momentum and angular momentum of the string, a classical solution of the open string.

3 The quantum bosonic string

* The old covariant methods, the open string, the closed string, the BRST approach, the BRST action, the world-sheet energy-momentum tensor and BRST charge, the physical state condition.

4 The light-cone approach

* The classical string in the light-cone, the quantum string in the light-cone, Lorentz symmetry, light-cone string field theory.

5 Clifford algebras and spinors

* Clifford algebras, Clifford algebras in even dimensions, spinors in even dimensions, Clifford algebras in odd dimensions, central charges, Clifford algebras in space-times of arbitrary signature.

6 The classical superstring

* The Neveu-Schwarz-Ramond (NS-R) formulation, the open superstring, the closed superstring, the Green-Schwarz formulation.

7 The quantum superstring

* The old covariant approach to the open superstring, the NS sector, the R sector, the GSO projector for the open string, the old covariant approach to the close superstring.

8 Conformal symmetry and two-dimensional field theory

* Conformal transformations, conformal transformations in D dimensions, conformal transformations in two dimensions, conformally invariant two-dimensional field theories, conformally invariant two-dimentional classical theories, conformal Ward identities, constraints due to global conformal transformations, transformations of the energy-momentum tensor, operator product expansions, commutators, descendants, states, modes, and primary fields, representations of the Virasoro algebra and minimal models.

9 Conformal symmetry and string theory

* Free field theories, the free scalar, the free fermion, first order systems, application to string theory, mapping the string to the Riemann sphere, construction of string theories, the free field representation of the minimal models.

10 String compactification and the heterotic string

* Compactification on a circle, Torus compactification, compactification in the presence of background fields, description of th emoduli space, Heterotic compactification, the heterotic string.

11 The physical states and the no-ghost theorem

* Ttheno-ghost theorem, the zero-norm physical states, the physical state projector, the cohomology of Q.

12 Gauge covariant string theory

* The problem, the solution, derivation fo the solution, the gauge covariant closed string, the gauge covariant superstring.

13 Supergravity theories in four, ten and eleven dimensions

* Four ways to construct supergravity theories, the Noether method, the on-shell superspace method, gauging of space-time groups, dimensional reduction, non-linear realisations, eleven-dimensional supergravity, the IIA supergravity theory, the IIB supergravity theory, the algebra and field content, the equations of motion, the SL.(w,R) version, symmetries of the maximal supergravitry theories in dimensions less than ten, TypeI supergravity and supersymmetric Yang-Mills theories in ten dimensions, solutions of the supergravity theories, solutions in a generic theory, brane solutions in eleven-dimensional supergravity, brandsolutions in the ten-dimensional maximal supergravity theories, brane charges and the preservation of supersymmetry.

14 Brand dynamics

* Bosonic branes, types of superbranes, simple superbranes, D-branes, branes in M theory, solutions of the 5-brand of M theory, the 3-brane, the self-dual string, five-brane dynamics and the low energy effective action of the N = 2 Yang-Mills theory.

15 D-branes

* Bosonic D-branes, super D-branes in the NS-R formulation, D-Branes in the Green-Schwarz formulation

16 String theory and Lie algebras

* Finite dimensional and affine Lie algebras, a review of finite-dimensional Lie algebras and lattices, representations of finite dimensional semi-simple Lie algebras, Affine Liealgebras, Kac-Moody algebras, Lorentzian algebras, very extended and over-extended Lie algebras, weights and inverse Cartan matrix of E (subscript n), low level analysis of Lorentzian Kac-Moody algebras, the adjoint representations, all representations, the Kac-Moody algebra E (subscript 11), the Cartan involution invariant subalgebra of a Kac-Moody algebra, string vertex operators and Lie algebras

17 Symmetries of string theory

* T duality, electromagnetic duality, S and U duality, M theory, E theory, the eleven-dimensional theory, the IIA and IIB theories, the common origin of the eleven-dimensional IIA and IIB theories, theories in less than ten dimensions, duality symmetries and conditions, brane charges, the l (subscript 1) representation and generalised space-time, Weyl transformations of E (subscript 11) and the non-linear realisation fo its Cartan sub-algebra.

18 String interactions

* Duality, factorisation and the origins of string theory, the path integral approach, the group theoretic approach, interacting open string field theory, light-cone string field theory, mapping the interacting string, a brief discussion of interacting gauge covariant string theory.

Appendix A The Dirac and BRST methods of quantisation

Appentix B Two-dimensional light-cone and spinor conventions

Appendix C The Relationship between S (2) and the Riemann sphere

Appendix D Some properties of the classical Lie algebras

In the back matter there is an index and chapter by chapter references that the reader may wish to access for further exploration of the topic.
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