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String Theory book [Feb. 10th, 2008|12:55 am]
Physics Chicks

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[leigh_a]
I'm searching for a good introductory book on String Theory. Any suggestions? It need not cover all the nuts and bolts, just the fundamental ideas.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: cthulhu_dream
2008-02-10 11:14 am (UTC)
Do you want a textbook or a layman's version?

The Elegant Universe is a good layman's version. I can't help if you are after a textbook.
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[User Picture]From: mizalaina
2008-02-10 02:01 pm (UTC)
I second "The Elegant Universe".
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[User Picture]From: leigh_a
2008-02-11 12:24 am (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion!
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[User Picture]From: stargzr_htn
2008-02-10 10:29 pm (UTC)
I think Brian Greene may have another book called THE FABRIC OF THE UNIVERSE or something like that, which might have even more on string theory. Also, doesn't Lisa Randall have a book?
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[User Picture]From: leigh_a
2008-02-11 12:24 am (UTC)
I'll look into that. Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: stargzr_htn
2008-02-11 12:54 am (UTC)
Okay, here's what I have on my shelf. All popular level, no texts here:

These I have read & like:
Brian Greene - THE FABRIC OF THE COSMOS
Paul Steinhardt & Neil Turok - THE ENDLESS UNIVERSE, BEYOND THE BIG BANG

These are on the to-do list:
F. David Peat - SUPERSTRINGS AND THE SEARCH FOR THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
Leonard Susskind - THE COSMIC LANDSCAPE; STRING THEORY AND THE ILLUSION OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN

These two are critical of string theory, but pretty good:
Lee Smolin - THE TROUBLE WITH PHYSICS
Peter Woit - NOT EVEN WRONG; THE FAILURE OF STRING THEORY & THE SEARCH FOR UNITY IN PHYSICAL LAW

Hope this helps.
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[User Picture]From: leigh_a
2008-02-11 12:55 am (UTC)
Cool, thanks!
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[User Picture]From: g_minus_2
2008-04-16 05:17 am (UTC)
At the popular level, Brian Greene's Elegant Universe is probably the best bet. Lisa Randall's Warped Passages is certainly good but isn't really about string theory.

I'd actually say not to bother with the books by Susskind, Smolin, and Woit that stargzr_htn mentioned up thread. They're all of them playing out an academic war in the popular press, overselling their respective positions, and there are much better and more reliable ways to learn about the actual science.

At a textbook level, Barton Zwiebach has a string theory text designed for undergraduates, and the introductory chapter to the textbook by Green, Schwarz, and Witten does fairly well at conveying the basic ideas and successes of string theory in an intuitive matter.

In case it's useful, the classic texts are the one by Green, Schwarz, and Witten, and the somewhat more modern text by Polchinski. (Clifford Johnson also has a textbook, but that one I haven't read.)
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[User Picture]From: leigh_a
2008-04-16 05:21 am (UTC)
Wow, thanks for the suggestions/insight!
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[User Picture]From: semi_hitokiri
2009-02-22 01:27 pm (UTC)
There's a professor at the college I go to and he specializes in String Theory. I haven't read the books yet, so I don't know if this helps but try looking up any string theory books by Michio Kaku.

There are ISBNs for the String Theory book here (Just scroll all the way down):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michio_Kaku
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