Zwiebach's string theory book

In summary, the author of the book "A first course in string theory" has just acquired Zwiebach's book and found it to be very clear and easy to follow. He has found that Zwiebach does not use supersymmetry, but instead relies more heavily on the mathematics behind string theory formulas. The coverage of topics is very good, and he likes the toy model of the bosonic string that Zwiebach provides. He found the coverage of thermodynamics and t-duality to be particularly helpful.
  • #1
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Hello people

I have just acquired Zwiebach's "A first course in string theory". I am actually very busy with honours (4th year) coursework and research, so I cannot really get down to reading substantial chunks of it whenever I want to. :mad: Apparently, it covers (and maybe extends) the MIT undergraduate string theory course. I decided to purchase the book for self-study because, as far as I know, there is no university offering a string theory course or anything close to something like a string theory course in Australia at graduate level, or at any whatsoever level, though I know of a couple of students who are actually pursuing graduate studies in quantum gravity theories (LQG, QG for example) at Melbourne Uni, where I actually am (well, I am from the Astrophysics group, but my interest in strings stems from my dual interest in mathematics and physics :cool:). How many of you out there have had a look at the book, or even used it for study? Also, is it possible to get solutions to the problem anywhere on the web? I would really appreciate any comment regarding the book.
Thanks. :biggrin:
 
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  • #2
I am an undergraduate applied physics student and intend to write an article about string theory for the periodic magazine of my faculty. My search trhough the string theory literature naturally lead me to Zwiebach's book, as it is afaik the only book that is intended for (advanced) undergraduates and covers also the mathematics and quantization of string theory. As I have a very strict time-schedule, I scanned most of the book, and made none of the exercises. But my general impression is that it is quite ok.

Zwiebachs style is clear and easy to follow, and my impression is that he has a very down to Earth opinion about the role of string theory in physics (especially compared to B.Green, I read his 'elegant universe' first...man, this guy is enthousiastic about it...). Zwiebachs treatment of string theory is quite formal, and in my opinion more based on the mathematics than the physics behind formula. This has the advantage of leaving no doubt about the validity of certain formula. But sometimes this also slows down the argument. In my opinion he could have used some more physical arguments instead of formal derivations. Sometimes he does make some approximations and just reasons with words, but then he first appologises.

The coverage of topics is very good. Most of the time it's about bosonic strings and he does not use supersymmetry. But I guess including this would make it a more advanced course. So I was already very pleased with this toy model of the bosonic string, which gives you a real flavour of the way string theory describes the world. I especially liked the examples he used of string theory calculations, like a classical relativistic rotating string. I also enjoyed reading the chapters about string thermodynamics (Ch16 where he also indicates the current development of a string calculation that seems to be in favour of the string theoretical description of black holes) and the chpater about T-duality (Ch 17 about strings wrapped around curled up dimensions, this is great stuff for in a pub...).

So my general impression is quite ok, although he is sometimes a bit too mathematical for my taste, and uses too few physical arguments. But I guess string theory is right now more mathematics than physics...

For the answers to problems you could maybe get them by sending an email to solutions@cambridge.org by telling them you are a teacher (you are teaching yourself string theory right!)
 
  • #3
Solutions to Zwiebach's exercises

Thanks da_willem for the email address (solutions@cambridge.org). I sent them an email asking for access, and they kindly replied with the following info, which I provide here for those interested:

Go to: http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521831431&ss=res

Click on "solutions". You will be prompted for a username and password. Enter the following:

Username: lecturer
Password: cambr1dge (note: spelt with a 1, not an i)

The solutions available so far are from chapter 1 up to and including chapter 16. They are available as downloadable PDF files. The rest, according to the correspondent, will be posted as soon as received from Zwiebach. Enjoy.

I had incredible luck today. I went to a second-hand book shop and I obtained Green et al.'s "Supertring Theory - Volume 1: Introduction" (CUP) and the 2-volume "Superstrings - The first 15 years of superstring theory" (World Scientific), edited by John Schwarz, all for just AUD$ 50 ! I think a (frustrated?) physicist recently dumped his books there.. lol
 
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  • #4
Da Willem, your review was helpful, thank you.
 
  • #5
Zweibach solutions

That password no longer works. Does anyone have a new password? Or better yet, could someone make a page with the pdf's of the soutions?
 
  • #6
Write them an e-mail telling you're some PhD student somewhere with interest in ST and wanted a good book to get you from scrap,but still find some exercises difficult and then kindly ask for the necessary info (password or something) to get the solutions...

Daniel.
 
  • #7
nitin said:
I have just acquired Zwiebach's "A first course in string theory". [snip] How many of you out there have had a look at the book, or even used it for study?

I joined Physics Forum quite recently, and I hope that my response is not too late for you to see.

I am presently using Zwiebach's book for self-study. I am going quite slowly - I have read thoroughly the first 6 chapters and have written up personal (and thus probably erroneous at times) solutions for the majority (but certainly not all) of the exercises and problems for these chapters. I have also skimmed parts of a number of other chapters.

Zwiebach has put in a great deal of effort and thought in order to make the book very pedagogical. I am not a strong proponent of string theory, but I have enjoyed this book very much. Last fall, this book, supplement by material from the prof, was used as the text for an introductory graduate course at the University of Toronto.

Regards,
George
 
  • #8
I've written to solutions@cambridge.org, but they never responded. If anyone has a username/password or the PDF's of the solutions, that'd be awesome.
 
  • #9
You might try emailing Zweibach directly and asking him to add solutions to his page at MIT OpenCourseWare. He's already got his problem sets posted, so maybe he'll put the solutions up.

http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/8-251String-Theory-for-UndergraduatesSpring2003/CourseHome/index.htm [Broken]
 
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  • #10
Sorry to bring up such an old thread, but I just started working through Zwiebach's text, and it would be great to have a copy of the solutions to reference. Does anyone have a password to the cambridge site or a copy of the solutions she'd be willing to share?

Thanks,
Will
 
  • #11
yaqh said:
Sorry to bring up such an old thread, but I just started working through Zwiebach's text, and it would be great to have a copy of the solutions to reference. Does anyone have a password to the cambridge site or a copy of the solutions she'd be willing to share?

Thanks,
Will

I stopped working through Zwiebach right after I made post #7 - life got in the way. I assume the Cambridge solutions are available only to instructors.

I encourage you to start working your way through from the beginning, doing as many execises and problems as you can while you move along. A number of these exercises and problems are fairly straightforward.

Regards,
George
 
  • #12
George Jones said:
I encourage you to start working your way through from the beginning, doing as many execises and problems as you can while you move along. A number of these exercises and problems are fairly straightforward.

Well, that's what I'm doing. Working independently, though, it's always reassuring to be able to check my solutions.

Will
 
  • #13
Hi yaqh and others

I have the solutions to almost all of the end-of-chapter problems. Given that a significant number of people have been seeking solutions, I'm willing to take the risk and supply the solutions to the exercises in Zwiebach's book to whoever is interested. The solutions are:
1) not copyrighted, as far as I can tell (so I think there's legally no problem to make it available to many)
2) are in PDF format
3) are more than 7 Mb large in toto (zipped)

To those interested, please post your emails on this thread. One thing though.. I would be very unhappy if you spread my email around, so please refrain from doing so.


Nitin
 
  • #14
nitin said:
Hi yaqh and others

I have the solutions to almost all of the end-of-chapter problems. Given that a significant number of people have been seeking solutions, I'm willing to take the risk and supply the solutions to the exercises in Zwiebach's book to whoever is interested. The solutions are:
1) not copyrighted, as far as I can tell (so I think there's legally no problem to make it available to many)
2) are in PDF format
3) are more than 7 Mb large in toto (zipped)

To those interested, please post your emails on this thread. One thing though.. I would be very unhappy if you spread my email around, so please refrain from doing so.


Nitin

I am interested: arivero@unizar.es
 
  • #16
Sweet

My email is tiptonw at neverland dot ncssm dot edu

Thanks!
 
  • #17
Interested in Zwiebach solutions!

Hey Nitin or anyone who has the solutions as well,

I would be very grateful if you would send me the solutions to Zwiebach's "A first course in string theory".

My email is svt1983[AT]gmail.com


I owe you one!
 
  • #18
Interested in solution to Zwiebach

Hey Nitin or anyone who also has the solutions,

I would be very grateful if you could send me the answers to Zwiebach's "A first course in string theory"!

My email is svt1983[AT]gmail[DOT]com


I owe you one!

thanx
 
  • #20
nitin said:
Hi yaqh and others

I have the solutions to almost all of the end-of-chapter problems. Given that a significant number of people have been seeking solutions, I'm willing to take the risk and supply the solutions to the exercises in Zwiebach's book to whoever is interested. The solutions are:
1) not copyrighted, as far as I can tell (so I think there's legally no problem to make it available to many)
2) are in PDF format
3) are more than 7 Mb large in toto (zipped)

To those interested, please post your emails on this thread. One thing though.. I would be very unhappy if you spread my email around, so please refrain from doing so.


Nitin

Thank you very much for the very kind offer Nitin!

I would like very much to receive a copy. My e-mail address is Patrick.Labelle@gmail.com
 
  • #21
if anyone could send the solutions to tm0451 at hotmail dot com, that would be appreciated!
 
  • #22
Mike2 said:
Yes, I would be interested in the answers too:
mjake@sirus.removethis.com
I still haven't received my answer yet. Still waiting in hope:

mjake[at]sirus[dot]com

Thanks in advance.
 
  • #23
arivero and Mike2
My email bounced back from your account on my 2 attempts. You should have ensured that your accounts have enough free space or can handle ~7Mb emails. Please provide me with another email (and make sure this time it gets to you); I don't have much time and ressource to waste.
 
  • #24
al.rivero@gmail.com

Interesting to know that the official email account is bouncing. Thanks

nitin said:
arivero and Mike2
My email bounced back from your account on my 2 attempts. You should have ensured that your accounts have enough free space or can handle ~7Mb emails. Please provide me with another email (and make sure this time it gets to you); I don't have much time and ressource to waste.
 
  • #25
Ah, the book has circulated in P2P networks in a strange format, .DJVU

ed2k://|file|Zwiebach%20B.%20A%20first%20course%20in%20string%20theory%28T%29%28369s%29.djvu|1929938|73878C991B8B67DC6D035E7D710D6EF4|/[/URL]

The .DJVU format is a scan format as tiff or jpg, but it has the advantage of having an OCR layer, so you can do searches for words in the text, being thus a good complement to the printed edition.

More curiously, there is a circulating pdf with searches too, not an scan but on OCR or a typeset from the TeX.

[url=ed2k://|file|First%20Course%20in%20string%20theory%20-%20B.%20Zwiebach.pdf|2549577|803EFD9175EA7F46FF41351A1D89F3CC|/
]ed2k://|file|First%20Course%20in%20string%20theory%20-%20B.%20Zwiebach.pdf|2549577|803EFD9175EA7F46FF41351A1D89F3CC|/[/url]

Also a searchable Polchinski in .djvu circulates around. For the GSW I have only seen a Russian edition. I find useful this kind of tools because I will move soon this summer and I need to have the reference material readily available in my PDA.
 
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  • #26
String Theory

I too would be interested in the pdf solutions since I am taking this as an indendant reading course as a beginning grad student in physics. I would appreciate it to check my solutions, I don't have to tell u that for a handfull of the problems i am quite unsure of my work which makes me skeptical and is tearing my brain:grumpy: . Thanks! My email is
ray_2368@hotmail.com
I should have no problem receiving about 7 mb since hotmail has a max of 250 or something, graci!
 
  • #27
As nitin has already send some ZIPs to the first email directions (including mine) I'd suggest further petitioners to choose randomly any of them and ask them, this should discharge work from nitin and also discharge the thread.
 
  • #28
If sending the solutions directly to someone's email is problematic then I suggest you use:

http://www.yousendit.com

It is a free email service that allows you to send an email message with a large attachment (< 100MB) to any email address or addresses. The way it works is you upload the attachment to their servers, they send out an email to the reciever with a link to download the attachment from their servers; you might want to try it out. You could probably send out the solutions to nearly everyone in this thread in one shot.

By the way could I also obtain the solutions to Zwiebach's "A first course in string theory"? My email address is FSC729@yahoo.com

Thank You

John G.
 
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  • #29
Does anyone have the solutions to chapter 20 and 21?
If so, could you send them to me? Even if it meant that you have to scan your handwritten work. Doesn't sound desperate, does it?

thanks!

S.
 
  • #30
I got my copy (zipped of course) through yousendit. Thanks to everyboidy who contributed.

I am going to delete the post with my email address.
 
  • #31
me too, please...

--edit
thanks
 
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  • #32
Hi

A quick message to say that I will ignore any request of solutions to exercises in Zwiebach's "A First Course in String Theory" on this thread from now on (because I will no longer read postings here). arivero and about 5 others, as far as I know, are now in possession of the same solutions.

Nitin
 
  • #33
I'll put the zip file available for download via emule, of course you will need a little patience.

Here is a link:

"ed2k://|file|Zwiebach%20A%20First%20Course%20In%20String%20Theory%20Solutions.zip|7971999|C97CE9675F0F2675EF54CE097C44B078|h=VAIT6YOMWMX6FXBO6Q4FCRFLHW36TQNI|/|sources,24.23.209.54:4662|/"[/URL]


John G.
 
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  • #34
FSC729 said:
I'll put the zip file available for download via emule, of course you will need a little patience.

Here is a link:

"ed2k://|file|Zwiebach%20A%20First%20Course%20In%20String%20Theory%20Solutions.zip|7971999|C97CE9675F0F2675EF54CE097C44B078|h=VAIT6YOMWMX6FXBO6Q4FCRFLHW36TQNI|/|sources,24.23.209.54:4662|/"[/URL]


John G.[/QUOTE]

Fine. A search in emule will reveal too the existence of .pdf and .djvu versions of a short version of the book (last chapters are lacking), vey useful to do searches in the whole text.
 
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