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.
Peter West is a Professor at King's College London. He is a pioneer in the development of supersymmetry and its application to strings and branes.
Preface; 1. The point particle; 2. The classical bosonic string; 3. The quantum bosonic string; 4. The light-cone approach; 5. Clifford algebras and spinors; 6. The classical superstring; 7. The quantum superstring; 8. Conformal symmetry and two-dimensional field theory; 9. Conformal symmetry and string theory; 10. String compactification and the heterotic string; 11. The physical states and the no ghost theorem; 12. Gauge covariant string theory; 13. Supergravity theories in 4, 10 and 11 dimensions; 14. Brane dynamics; 15. D-branes; 16. String theory and Lie algebras; 17. Symmetries of string theory; 18. String interactions; Appendices; Index.