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Last updated:

December 19, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This course introduces string theory to undergraduate and is based upon Prof. Zwiebach’s textbook entitled A First Course in String Theory.

Since string theory is quantum mechanics of a relativistic string, the foundations of the subject can be explained to students exposed to both special relativity and basic quantum mechanics. This course develops the aspects of string theory and makes it accessible to students familiar with basic electromagnetism and statistical mechanics

Course Curriculum

  • Announcements, introduction Unlimited
  • Energy and momentum Unlimited
  • Relativistic electrodynamics Unlimited
  • Gravitational potentials, compactification, and large extra dimensions Unlimited
  • Nonrelativistic strings and Lagrangian mechanics Unlimited
  • The relativistic point particle: Action, reparametrizations, and equations of motion Unlimited
  • Area formula for spatial surfaces Unlimited
  • Area formula for spatial surfaces (cont.) Unlimited
  • Change of variables Unlimited
  • Relativistic strings Unlimited
  • Static gauge, transverse velocity, and string action Unlimited
  • The sigma-parametrization Unlimited
  • Periodicity conditions for the motion of closed strings Unlimited
  • Momentum charges for the string Unlimited
  • Solution of the open string motion in the light-cone gauge Unlimited
  • Light-cone fields and particles Unlimited
  • Light-cone fields and particles (cont.) Unlimited
  • Open strings Unlimited
  • Critical dimension Unlimited
  • Closed strings Unlimited
  • Wrap-up of closed strings Unlimited
  • Superstrings (cont.) Unlimited
  • Closed strings Unlimited
  • Dp-branes Unlimited
  • Dp-branes (cont.) Unlimited
  • Final exam review Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology