String Theory, Volume 1: An Introduction to the Bosonic String

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Overview

The two volumes that comprise String Theory provide an up-to-date, comprehensive account of string theory. Volume 1 provides a thorough introduction to the bosonic string, based on the Polyakov path integral and conformal field theory. The first four chapters introduce the central ideas of string theory, the tools of conformal field theory, the Polyakov path integral, and the covariant quantization of the string. The book then treats string interactions: the general formalism, and detailed treatments of the tree level and one loop amplitudes. Toroidal compactification and many important aspects of string physics, such as T-duality and D-branes are also covered, as are higher-order amplitudes, including an analysis of their finiteness and unitarity, and various nonperturbative ideas. The volume closes with an appendix giving a short course on path integral methods, followed by annotated references, and a detailed glossary.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...the most comprehensive text addressing the discoveries of the superstring revolutions of the early to mid 1990's, which mark the beginnings of 'modern' string theory."
Donald Marolf, University of California Santa Barbara, American Journal of Physics

"Physicists believe that the best hope for a fundamental theory of nature—including unification of quantum mechanics with general relativity and elementary particle theory—lies in string theory. This elegant mathematical physics subject is expounded by Joseph Polchinski in two volumes from Cambridge University Press...Written for advanced students and researchers, this set provides thorough and up-to-date knowledge."
American Scientist

"...this is an impressive book. It is notable for its consistent line of development and the clarity and insight with which topics are treated...It is hard to think of a better text in an advanced graduate area, and it is rare to have one written by a master of the subject. It is worth pointing out that the book also contains a collection of useful problems, a glossary, and an unusually complete index."
Physics Today

"We would like to stress the pedagogical value of the present book. The approach taken is modern and pleasantly systematic, and it covers a broad class of results in a unified language. A set of exercises at the end of each chapter complements the discussions in the main text. On the other hand, the introduction of techniques and concepts essential in the context of superstrings makes it a useful reference for researchers in the field."
Mathematical Reviews

"Polchinski’s books are a classic textbook on string theory. And I recommend it to you if you want to start the study of string theory... the first volume is an excellent textbook and a great introduction to string theory. Presents some deep chapters, but overall a great book for any student interested in entering the world of string theory. The book is consistent with the objective set out, well written for graduate students and probably one of the best textbooks on the market about string theory and shall remain so for a long time. these two books are great and of excellent quality. The book is consistent with the goal set in the early chapters, presents clear language with few errors and with a high degree of mathematical rigor. The book contains an excellent range of problems and an excellent glossary and the educational value of this book is incalculable. Definitely these books are references for the study in string theory and it will stay with this position."
Philosophy, Religion and Science Book Reviews Blog

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword; Preface; Notation; 1. A first look at strings; 2. Conformal field theory; 3. The Polyakov path integral; 4. The string spectrum; 5. The string S-matrix; 6. Tree-level amplitudes; 7. One-loop amplitudes; 8. Toroidal compactification and T-duality; 9. Higher order amplitudes; Appendix A: a short course on path integrals; References; Glossary; Index.

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