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?


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

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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)


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.

  • $\begingroup$ At what level are you involved in string theory? $\endgroup$ – John McVirgo May 4 '11 at 22:42

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