Volume 2: Superstring Theory and Beyond, begins with an introduction to supersymmetric string theories and goes on to a broad presentation of the important advances of recent years. The book first introduces the type I, type II, and heterotic superstring theories and their interactions. It then goes on to present important recent discoveries about strongly coupled strings, beginning with a detailed treatment of D-branes and their dynamics, and covering string duality, M-theory, and black hole entropy, and discusses many classic results in conformal field theory. The final four chapters are concerned with four-dimensional string theories, and have two goals: to show how some of the simplest string models connect with previous ideas for unifying the Standard Model; and to collect many important and beautiful general results on world-sheet and spacetime symmetries.
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String theory has advanced rapidly over the last 15 years and is increasingly seen as the best, and perhaps only, route to the complete unification of the four fundamental forces--the so-called "theory of everything". This text provides, in two volumes, a thoroughly modern and comprehensive introduction to strings and superstrings, and brings the reader up to date on the latest developments in string duality, M-theory, D-branes, and the application of string theory to black hole quantum mechanics. The author is one of the world's top string theorists, and is also known as a clear and cogent writer. The two volumes are written at a level appropriate to graduate students in physics. This is the first major textbook on strings since the two volume work of Green, Schwartz and Witten 10 years ago (which sold extraordinarily well, reprinting within a month of publication). The main market for the book is theoretical physicists, particle physicists, astrophysicists, cosmologists and applied mathematicians. However, this is an accessible book on one of the most fundamental questions in physics by a top researcher. It has all the ingredients to be a best seller.Review:
"The present volume succeeds in giving a detailed yet comprehensive account of our current knowledge of superstring dynamics. The topics covered range from the basic construction of the theories to the most recent discoveries on their non-perturbative behaviour. The discussion is remarkably self-contained (the volume even contains a useful appendix on spinors and supersymmetry in several dimensions), and thus may serve as an introduction to the subject, and as an excellent reference for researchers in the field."
"Polchinski's books are a classic textbook on string theory. And I recommend it to you if you want to start the study of string theory... the first volume is an excellent textbook and a great introduction to string theory. Presents some deep chapters, but overall a great book for any student interested in entering the world of string theory. The book is consistent with the objective set out, well written for graduate students and probably one of the best textbooks on the market about string theory and shall remain so for a long time. these two books are great and of excellent quality. The book is consistent with the goal set in the early chapters, presents clear language with few errors and with a high degree of mathematical rigor. The book contains an excellent range of problems and an excellent glossary and the educational value of this book is incalculable. Definitely these books are references for the study in string theory and it will stay with this position."
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