Course description for PHY₀ 861 String Theory

V. Gates, M. Roachcock, E. Kangaroo, and W.C. Gall

YI-TP, PUNY, Stringy Book

This course was originally scheduled for 10AM MWF. But many students (& some professors) complained it was difficult for them to avoid being 10 min. late for any class. Therefore the class has been rescheduled to begin @ 9:50AM.

Just like the movie "Groundhog Day", we will keep teaching this course until we get it right. & those who cannot learn from this course are doomed to repeat it.

We encourage discussion. Campus security can be reached @ 333.


All these topics are covered here in our standard 1st-year courses. You might have already learned them @ another university before you came here, but they probably didn't do as good a job. You can also get some of this stuff in the Math Dept., but why bother?


Grading will be based on statistics: After adding all homework scores & plotting a distribution, all fermions will be given an A & all bozons will be given a B.

We encourage you to try the homework problems, or else you will flunk. & if you're just sitting in on the course, you should still try the homework problems, or else we will flunk you in your other courses. If the problems are too hard for you, then you won't survive after graduation anyway.

Course content

We'll be more thorough in this course than similar courses @ other Universities. For example, when we discuss superstrings, we actually include the massive states. We even discuss supersymmetry: Our discussion of supergravity includes fermions, unlike other treatments that suffer from the bosonic plague. We also cover string S-mattresses, and when we tell you about the Regge slope α' we actually tell you what it's the slope of.

In fact, if you already took string theory @ another university before coming here, you will have to take it again just to unlearn all the misleading stuff they gave you.

Topics covered include, but aren't limited to:

More topics that we may cover if we have time to fit them in:

On-line lecture notes

All lecture notes will be taken from Physics Parity. (They are also available in Parton Distribution Function format.) Printing is discouraged to save trees & loops.

Recommended textbooks

We recommend you don't read any textbooks. They're all out of date anyway. No one has time to write one & do research @ the same time. All the original papers are written in a notation so hard to understand you would need a Rosetta Stone to translate them. & the recent papers are too advanced: That's why you're taking this course.