Instructor: Petr Horava

ANNOUNCEMENT: In **Fall 2002** I will teach a
slightly more advanced
string theory course, again as Phys 250. That course will discuss more
modern aspects of string theory via its relation to M-theory, with a
particular focus on heterotic M-theory.

NEW (5/23): Solutions to homework assignments IV, V and VI have been posted.

NEW (5/22): The grades have been assigned, and submitted via bearfacts.

In the assignment of grades, the following scale has been used:

90% and more: A+

80% and more: A

70% and more: A-

60% and more: B+

50% and more: B, etc.

Those of you who want their term papers back should email me :-)

This course introduces the basic concepts and techniques of string theory, both perturbative and non-perturbative.

The grader/tutor for this course is Uday Varadarajan (udayv@socrates.berkeley.edu). He is available to answer your questions about what was discussed in class (and possibly other aspects of string theory you may want to know about) by email or in person.

shortcut to the homework assignments

The **final grade** will be based on homework assignments (60%) and
a final paper (40%).

The **homework assignments** will be posted on this web page every other
Thursday, and will be related to the subjects discussed in the previous two
weeks in class. The completed assignments will always be due the following
Thursday in class.

The **final paper** should be a summary of your understanding (2 pages or
more, typed) of a research paper that you select from
a list available
here. This list currently contains 25 papers. Each student should select
one article from that list and let me know by email (by the end of February
at the latest) his/her choice. I will try to coordinate things such that each
article is assigned to only one student. Towards the end of the semester,
I will discuss the paper
with each student individually; unfortunately, a public presentation of each
paper in front of the class would be too time-consuming, and we will not
attempt it. On the other hand, if you are interested in hearing about an
article assigned to somebody else, I strongly encourage you to discuss the
article with that person.

A **complete alternative to homework and paper** is offered, in the
form of a bonus
assignment, as a challenge to those students who are already too advanced
for this introductory course, and may have already done all the possible
homework assignments in their previous study of string theory. This bonus
assignment is at the level of a simple research project in (mostly
perturbative) string theory, and to my knowledge its results are not
explicitly published anywhere in the literature.

horava@socrates.berkeley.edu