Syllabus for String Theory I

Strängteori I

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1FA161
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1F
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2011-03-10
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2020-02-10
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2020
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits. Quantum Field Theory. Advanced Quantum Field Theory is recommended.
  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to

  • explain what questions/problems can be addressed by string theory
  • explain the different properties of relativistic point-particles and strings
  • explain how the quantum string constitutes a consistent theory of quantum gravity
  • explain the description of the string from a worldsheet and a targetspace point of view
  • solve the string equations of motion subject to given initial and boundary conditions
  • explain the implications of conformal symmetry in 2 dimensions
  • get the general idea when reading the basic research papers that introduce and develop bosonic string theory


Description and classical motion of the relativistic point particle and the relativistic string; worldsheet and targetspace points of view; light-cone description; quantisation of the point particle, the open and the closed string; conformal field theory.




Homework assignments.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Polchinski, Joseph Gerard String theory. : Vol. 1 An introduction to the bosonic string

    First paperback edition 2005: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,., 2005

    Find in the library


  • Polchinski, Joseph Gerard. String theory. : Vol. 2 Superstring theory and beyond

    First paperback edition 2005: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,., 2005

    Find in the library

  • Blumenhagen, Ralph; L|st, D.; Theisen, S. Basic concepts of string theory

    Berlin: Springer, 2012.

    Find in the library

  • Tong, David String theory

    University of Cambridge, 2009