Physics 230B - Quantum Field Theory II,
with Emphasis on Dualities

Basic Info

Time: Tue and Thu, 11:10am-12:30pm (lectures), Fri 3:10-4pm (discussions).
Place: All lectures and discussions take place in 402 Le Conte Hall (i.e., not in the originally announced 385 Le Conte).
Due to the conflict with the Department picnic, the discussion originally scheduled for Fri, Sept 29 has been moved to Thu, Oct 5, 6pm (402 Le Conte).

Instructor: Petr Hořava (email:
Offices - campus: 401 Le Conte Hall; LBNL: 50A-5107.

The list of papers available for reading assignments (to be presented by students in the discussion sessions) has finally been posted. Up to two students will be assigned per discussion session, on a first-come/first-serve basis. Please make your selections before September 28, and let me know by email. Your selection will not be official until confirmed by me.

A somewhat detailed list of topics covered in individual lectures, together with a list of useful references and other remarks, is here. Updates will continue to appear during the course of the semester.

This course is designed as a logical continuation of the material covered in 230A, with emphasis on nonperturbative aspects of quantum field theory, in particular, various duality symmetries. A preliminary syllabus can be found here.

The prerequisites for the course are: Quantum field theory at the level of 230A (or equivalent). In addition, it would be useful to have some rudimentary knowledge of basics of string theory, for example at the level of the first volume of
M.B. Green, J.H. Schwarz and E. Witten, Superstring Theory I & II (Cambridge U.P., 1987).
No prior knowledge of dualities in field or string theory is assumed.

The material of this course is not covered by any single textbook, and we will have to rely on a combination of various review articles, lecture notes from Summer schools, and original research papers. Useful references will be posted on this website in due time.

Homework Assignments

will not be given in this course. Instead, a menu of reading assignments (covering additional material not discussed explicitly in lectures) has been offered on this website. Each student will choose one paper from the list, and then present their content coherently in one of the discussion sessions. Such student presentations (hopefully with some follow-up discussion) will be the main content of all the discussion sessions.