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Want to learn about string theory

  1. Jul 2, 2017 #1
    Hello !
    I have just graduated from high school but I have a big interest in the strings theory. I am trying to understand its roots aka from where/ how did it come!
    To that I Need some references for my research, references to make me understand the bases only !
    Thank you!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2017 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    As my high school physics teacher said, this is "beyond the scope of this course, the next one, and the one after that". You're about twenty or thirty courses away from where you need to be.
  4. Jul 2, 2017 #3
    Well, to fully understand the "why"s and "how"s, I believe you'd have to be a theoretical physicist. But I did read a book that gave me some good first insights into it, so I guess it can help you.
    The book is: "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene.
    But before you read that, if you'd like to have a better first look into quantum mechanics, I'd recommend : "Big Bang" by Simon Singh.
    The later is the book that got me into physics in the first place. It starts off slowly, but it covers much physics up to the present (or at least up to 2005), ranging through astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology and quantum theory.
    Other than that, I'd recommend getting a PhD. And watching some Youtube videos (Sixty Symbols and PB Space Time are great channels)
  5. Jul 3, 2017 #4
    The only undergraduate-level book that tries to teach string theory that I am aware of is by Professor Zwiebach at MIT:


    There is an MIT OpenCourseWare University course that is based on the book, using the first edition from 2007:


    However, even this is a bit of a misnomer because the 'average' undergraduate senior at MIT is likely in the top 1% of all students in the country.

    You need to have three years of college-level math and physics at a high level (as in MIT level, hardcore stuff) to have a reasonable chance of understanding most of what is in the simplest textbook on string theory. Even that is a slightly watered-down version of the theory.

    Professor Zwiebach taught an online course on quantum mechanics that was pretty challenging - it was actually at the level of the real course taught at MIT.

    If you are a second year student in college you *might* have a reasonable chance at understanding physics at that level.

    I fear that if you try to dive into string theory you would be like a JV high school student who gets tackled by a NFL linebacker. You are not ready for things at that level if you just graduated from high school. You will most likely get crushed.
  6. Jul 3, 2017 #5
    So no way !!????
  7. Jul 3, 2017 #6
    Thank you and I am taking your words into consideration!
  8. Jul 3, 2017 #7
    Yeah I also found the documentaries of the first book! Thank you sooo match!!
  9. Jul 3, 2017 #8


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    There have been numerous posts here on PF about how his books cause more confusion than illumination, so @Mary curie I recommend against them. Do a forum search for his name if you want to see what I mean. For example I particularly recommend reading this entire thread (it's not too long).

  10. Jul 4, 2017 #9

    Vanadium 50

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    No right away.

    I'm not saying you can't ever learn it, but you can't jump to the end. There's a lot of middle left to cover.
  11. Jul 6, 2017 #10


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    Hi, Mary curie!

    "Physics is the path to string theory. Physics leads to quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics leads to particle physics. Particle physics leads to string theory. String theory leads to suffering." - Master Yoda on String Theory

    Seriously, here are two introductory clips which briefly describe some of what you are asking about:

    Brian Cox and Leonard Susskind on String Theory

    Superstrings (Fermilab)
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  12. Jan 29, 2018 #11
    @Mary curie , you are enthusiasm is good . But its not the right time for you to start learning it . If you do start things will be very very complicated to you . You must build yourself appropriately first .
  13. Feb 5, 2018 #12
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