Barton Zwiebach is once again faithful to his goal of making string theory accessible to undergraduates. Complete and thorough in its coverage, the author presents the main concepts of string theory in a concrete and physical way in order to develop intuition before formalism, often through simplified and illustrative examples. This new edition now includes AdS/CFT correspondence, which is the hottest area of string theory right now as well as introducing superstrings. The text is perfectly suited to introductory courses in string theory for students with a background in mathematics and physics. New sections cover strings on orbifolds, cosmic strings, moduli stabilization, and the string theory landscape.
By Dr. Lee D. Carlson - September 11, 2004
This book indeed does the impossible, for it introduces, at a level accessible to undergraduate physics and mathematics students, a subject that ranks as the most formidable construction ever attempted in mathematical physics. Using highly esoteric mathematical concepts, string theory, and its modern metamorphosis, M-theory, requires a high concentration of mental effort and long periods of time to assimilate. It has been difficult for students and those who are curious about string theory to find books or papers that are effective in explaining it from a perspective that gives insight into its many intricacies. This book is one of the few that does that, and it deserves the highest ranking of any of the books in mathematical physics that are currently in print. The author, a noted contributor to the field, has produced a book that will certainly motivate many to take up the subject of string theory, and these individuals can be introduced to it early in their education, instead of... read more
By Physics Graduate Student - July 13, 2004
Highly recommended! Dr. Zwiebach's book is an excellent resource for individuals with at least an undergraduate education in physics who are interested in pursuing string theory and related topics. Advanced students in other disciplines can also benefit with some hard work. It is very well organized, starting with the necessary mathematics and relativistic formalism/notation later used in calculations. The book is very rewarding, leading the student with great detail through derivations and avoiding the common "it can easily be shown that..." statements found in other books. The most enjoyable thing is that you really can begin grasping the basics of string theory and branes. After going through this book (maybe in a one year course) the reader should be prepared enough to start looking at other books such as Hatfield, Polchinski, and Green et. al.
A New Kind of Physics
By Larry Musa - March 13, 2006
Zwiebach has written a book on string theory specifically for advanced undergraduates, and on this merit alone, there is a temptation to give many stars to this text, and this I believe is reflected in the existing reviews. Well deserved praise to Zwiebach for performing this valuable service for the physics community. It will be especially useful to serious undergraduates on helping them decide on whether or not to embark on string theory as a field of research. It provides a faster than normal overview into the subject. Instead of having to invest years in learning the subject, and then (maybe) decide if you do or don't believe this is the correct approach to unification of the fundamental laws, you can decide (maybe) sooner than later if your research efforts could have been directed to greener pastures, or if you are indeed safely on the path to the `holy grail' of physics.
Traditionally, advanced topics in theoretical physics require an undergraduate to first prepare... read more
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Aimed at the novice rather than the connoisseur and stressing the role of examples and motivation, this text is suitable not only for use in a graduate course, but also for self-study in the subject ...