Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I know:

  1. Quantum Mechanics (Griffiths Level, currently doing Sakurai Level)
  2. Mechanics (Newtonian+ Lagrangian/Hamiltonian but at level lower than Goldstein/Landau)
  3. Classical Electrodynamics (Griffiths + electro/magnetostatics from Jackson)
  4. Statistical Physics (Pathria)

I know very little relativity from undergrad mechanics class. Nothing about General Relativity, nothing about QFT, etc. I wish to reach string theory in a proper way without leaving any gaping holes in my education. What subjects should be studied in what order?

share|cite|improve this question

Before answering, please see our policy on resource recommendation questions. Please write substantial answers that detail the style, content, and prerequisites of the book, paper or other resource. Explain the nature of the resource so that readers can decide which one is best suited for them rather than relying on the opinions of others. Answers containing only a reference to a book or paper will be removed!

marked as duplicate by Qmechanic May 24 '14 at 11:37

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can try reading Zwiebach 'A first course in String theory' which is roughly at your level right now. Its very handwavy, but well thats the best you can hope for at this level.

Otherwise, to really learn the subject you will absolutely need 1) Grad level GR 2) Quantum II, + 2 semester long courses in QFT

And then you can start thinking about it.

Personally I find the above level a little loose, so to make it more comprehensive and less opaque i'd recommend in addition to the above, to have some experience in Semiclassical gravity (Wald or Birrel and Davies), Conformal field theory (Di Francesco) and Supersymmetry (Weinberg or Wess and Bagger)

share|cite|improve this answer

I would say Special Relativity, then General Relativity, and finally QFT.


Special Relativity -- I would recommend Wheeler & Taylor and Woodhouse

General Relativity -- Woodhouse

QFT -- Zee and Aitchison & Hey

There's also an undergrad physics book [junior level] on String Theory by Zwieback that's highly recommended by many.

share|cite|improve this answer
At what level are you involved in string theory? – John McVirgo May 4 '11 at 22:42

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.