String Theory Math: Books to Learn the Math Behind It

In summary: If you are interested in learning more about string theory, you will need to have a good background in mathematics. This book is a good starting point, but there are many other books that are necessary to fully understand the theory.
  • #1
The Lorax
4
0
Hi, in my sparetime I've been reading lots about physics and more recently string theory/m-theory. I think I am understanding most of the concepts and implications of the theory and I was just wondering if anyone knew where I could get some books explaining the math behind the theory in detail.

Thanks for your time,
 
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  • #2
I'm not sure about books detailing the math in detail, but a wonderful book all about superstrings, hidden dimensions, and the quest for the ultimate theory is called The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene. I strongly recommend that you read this book if you are interested in string theory and m-theory.
 
  • #3
Thanks, haha. I've actually already read it, and it was probably the first book on the subject that I saw. It really inspired and captivated me, definatly a great book.
 
  • #4
In a word, lots. You'll need, at the very least, a good background in analysis, topology, algebraic topology, and differentiable manifolds. (Maybe a little bit of algebra, too, as certain abstract constructions require it, e.g. tensor products. However, I won't say that it is mandatory.) This will be just the starting point, as you'll then need to have more advanced math to understand the deepest parts of it. Once you get past all of these requirements, it's best to consult an advisor as to what you'd need to do next. Thing is, literature in upper mathematics is rather limited, and unless you have a good guide, you'll never be able to find the resources with which you need to learn.
 
  • #5
For a nice overview, see this link
http://www.superstringtheory.com/math/index.html

Don't forget to click to the next page.

The math you need for string theory takes years to master.
 
  • #6
I am not trying to scare you, but be warned: if you don't know the math behind the theory, you probably don't understand the theory. Many people have knocked on my door and they say they understand special relativity (which is, I'm sure people would agree, MORE intuitive concept) from reading some article and they want to learn more but they have no idea what math it requires. And after talking to them for three minutes I realize they just don't have the right intuition that comes with the theory. Even worse (it is not true for you probably), they state something completely different!

I don't know, but from my experience in general something sophisticated like a string theory you cannot understand without math. You just won't have the right intuition.

But if we know your math knowledge level perhaps someone can give you a good advice? After all, you will need it :biggrin:
 
  • #7
This book seems to be a reasonably gentle introduction to String Theory:

A First Course in String Theory by Barton Zwiebach, Cambridge U. Press

Here a gentle introduction means you are familiar with the mathematics of General Relativity.
 

Related to String Theory Math: Books to Learn the Math Behind It

1. What is string theory math?

String theory math is a mathematical framework that attempts to explain the fundamental nature of the universe by describing the behavior of subatomic particles as tiny, vibrating strings rather than point-like particles.

2. Why is learning the math behind string theory important?

Understanding the math behind string theory is important because it is the foundation of the theory itself. Without a solid understanding of the mathematical concepts involved, it is difficult to fully grasp the implications and potential of string theory.

3. What are some good books to learn the math behind string theory?

Some popular books for learning the math behind string theory include "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene, "String Theory Demystified" by David McMahon, and "A First Course in String Theory" by Barton Zwiebach.

4. Do I need a strong math background to understand string theory math?

While a strong math background can be helpful, it is not necessary to understand string theory math. Many books on the subject provide explanations and examples that are accessible to readers with a basic understanding of algebra and calculus.

5. Is string theory math a proven theory?

No, string theory math is still a theoretical framework and has not been proven through experimentation. It is still being studied and debated among scientists and much research is still needed to fully understand its implications.

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