MIT OpenCourseWare
  • OCW home
  • Course List
  • about OCW
  • Help
  • Feedback
  • Support MIT OCW

8.251 String Theory for Undergraduates, Spring 2005

A torus is built from a cylinder of circumference.

A torus is built from a cylinder of circumference 2π and length T by gluing the edges with a twist angle θ. The set of inequivalent tori is represented by the points in the orange region. In all these tori the shortest geodesic has length greater than or equal to 2π. (Image by Prof. Barton Zwiebach.)

Highlights of this Course

This course features assigned readings from the required text, assignments, and exams.

Course Description

This course introduces string theory to undergraduate and is based upon Prof. Zwiebach's textbook entitled A First Course in String Theory. Since string theory is quantum mechanics of a relativistic string, the foundations of the subject can be explained to students exposed to both special relativity and basic quantum mechanics. This course develops the aspects of string theory and makes it accessible to students familiar with basic electromagnetism and statistical mechanics.

Technical Requirements

Software to view the .tex files on this course site can be accessed via the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (CTAN) and the TeX Users Group Web site. Postscript viewer software, such as Ghostscript/Ghostview, can be used to view the .ps files found on this course site.



Prof. Barton Zwiebach

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session

One session / week
1 hour / session




Send feedback about OCW or this course.