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Little Book of String Theory

by Steven S Gubser Princeton University Press
Pub Date:
02/2010
ISBN:
9780691142890
Format:
Hbk 184 pages
Price:
AU$37.99 NZ$39.99
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Instructors
& Academics:
The Little Book of String Theory offers a short, accessible, and entertaining introduction to one of the most talked-about areas of physics today. String theory has been called the ''theory of everything.'' It seeks to describe all the fundamental forces of nature. It encompasses gravity and quantum mechanics in one unifying theory. But it is unproven and fraught with controversy. After reading this book, you'll be able to draw your own conclusions about string theory.

Steve Gubser begins by explaining Einstein's famous equation E = mc2, quantum mechanics, and black holes. He then gives readers a crash course in string theory and the core ideas behind it. In plain English and with a minimum of mathematics, Gubser covers strings, branes, string dualities, extra dimensions, curved spacetime, quantum fluctuations, symmetry, and supersymmetry. He describes efforts to link string theory to experimental physics and uses analogies that nonscientists can understand. How does Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu relate to quantum mechanics? What would it be like to fall into a black hole? Why is dancing a waltz similar to contemplating a string duality? Find out in the pages of this book.

The Little Book of String Theory is the essential, most up-to-date beginner's guide to this elegant, multidimensional field of physics.


Introduction 1

Chapter One: Energy 11

Chapter Two: Quantum Mechanics 19

Chapter Three: Gravity and Black Holes 34

Chapter Four: String Theory 49

Chapter Five: Branes 69

Chapter Six: String Dualities 99

Chapter Seven: Supersymmetry and the LHC 117

Chapter Eight: Heavy Ions and the Fifth Dimension 140

Epilogue 159

Index 163

But how do we non-mathematicians sort frayed ends from tight theory? Read Steven S. Gubser's book. It's clear, concise, turns formulas into words and leaves readers informed, if still incredulous, at the ability of great minds to imagine the unimaginable.
Leigh Dayton, Australian
Steven S. Gubser is professor of physics at Princeton University.