Introduction to Superstrings and M-Theory / Edition 2

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Superstrings and M-theory: provocative and controversial, but unarguably one of the most interesting and active areas of research in current physics. Called by some, "the theory of everything," superstrings may solve a problem that has eluded physicists for the past 50 years, the final unification of the two great theories of the twentieth century, general relativity and quantum field theory.

Now, here is a thoroughly revised, second edition of a course-tested comprehensive introductory graduate text on superstrings which stresses the most current areas of interest, not covered in other presentations, including:

· Four-dimensional superstrings

· Kac-Moody algebras

· Teichmüller spaces and Calabi-Yau manifolds

· M-theory Membranes and D-branes

· Duality and BPS relations

· Matrix models

The book begins with a simple discussion of point particle theory, and uses Feynman path integrals to unify the presentation of superstrings. It has been updated throughout, and three new chapters on M-theory have been added.

Prerequisites are an acquaintance with quantum mechanics and relativity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the reviews
Foundations of Physics, on the first edition:
"... the dedicated reader...will be well versed in this fascinating area of theoretical physics."
Physics Today, on the first edition:
"...presents a pedagogical survey on string theory. It covers material from early developments to present-day research ... divided into three parts ... results of quantization, string field theory, and phenomenology ... an impressive effort..."

"Kaku’s book, at 568 pages, is a comprehensive, self-contained text on string theory…[It] contains useful summaries of mathematical topics such as index theory, cohomology, and Kahler manifolds. This is a book for the really serious student of string theory; the dedicated reader who emerges after page 568 will be well versed in this fascinating area of theoretical physics.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387985893
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 12/7/1998
  • Series: Graduate Texts in Contemporary Physics Series
  • Edition description: 2nd ed. 1999. Corr. 2nd printing 1999
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 587
  • Product dimensions: 1.44 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Table of Contents

I First Quantization and Path Integrals 1
1 Path Integrals and Point Particles 3
2 Nambu-Goto Strings 49
3 Superstrings 101
4 Conformal Field Theory and Kac-Moody Algebras 141
5 Multiloops and Teichmuller Spaces 178
II Second Quantization and the Search for Geometry 245
6 Light Cone Field Theory 247
7 BRST Field Theory 291
III Phenomenology and Model Building 335
8 Anomalies and the Atiyah-Singer Theorem 337
9 Heterotic Strings and Compactification 373
10 Calabi-Yau Spaces and Orbifolds 404
IV M-Theory 455
11 M-Theory and Duality 457
12 Compactifications and BPS States 482
13 Solitons, D-Branes, and Black Holes 511
App. A.1 A Brief Introduction to Group Theory 545
App. A.2 A Brief Introduction to General Relativity 557
App. A.3 A Brief Introduction to the Theory of Forms 561
App. A.4 A Brief Introduction to Supersymmetry 566
App. A.5 A Brief Introduction to Supergravity 573
App. A.6 Notation 577
References 579
Index 581
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