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A Primer on String Theory

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Since its conception in the 1960s, string theory has been hailed as one of the most promising routes we have to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity. This book provides a concise introduction to string theory explaining central concepts, mathematical tools and covering recent developments in physics including compactifications and gauge/string dualities. With string theory being a multidisciplinary field interfacing with high energy physics, mathematics and quantum field theory, this book is ideal for both students with no previous knowledge of the field and scholars from other disciplines who are looking for an introduction to basic concepts.

. A self-contained text which keeps advanced mathematical background to a minimum, making it easy to follow

. Provides a modern treatment of string theory which builds foundations to enable understanding of important recent developments

. An excellent text for self-study, providing concrete calculations and exercises, and covering topics from undergraduate level to topical research in mathematical physics

Edition Number:
Schomerus Volker
Release Year:

Volker Schomerus holds a joint position as a Senior Researcher in the DESY Theory Group, and a Professor of Mathematical Physics at Universitat Hamburg. His work focuses on string theory at the interface to high energy physics, mathematics and statistical physics, for which he has received several distinctions, including the Guy-Lussac–Humboldt award in 2010. He is also co-author of the monograph Boundary Conformal Field Theory and the World-Sheet Approach to D-Branes (Cambridge, 2013).


1. Historical introduction and overview
Part I. Strings in Flat Backgrounds:
2. The classical closed bosonic string
3. Free bosonic quantum field theory
4. Covariant quantization
5. Light-cone quantization
6. Branes and quantization of open strings
7. Open strings and gauge theory
8. Free fermionic quantum field theory
9. Supersymmetry in ten dimensions
10. Construction of type IIA/B superstrings
11. Branes in type II superstring theory
12. Construction of heterotic superstrings
Part II. Strings in Curved Backgrounds:
13. Introduction to conformal field theory
14. Modular invariants and orbifolds
15. Closed strings on the 3-sphere
16. Calabi-Yau spaces
17. Calabi–Yau compactifications
18. String dualities
19. Gauge/string dualities
20. AdS/CFT correspondence

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