Summary and Info
Intended mainly for advanced graduate students in theoretical physics, this comprehensive volume covers recent advances in string theory and field theory dualities. It is based on the annual lectures given at the School of the Theoretical Advanced Study Institute (2003) a traditional event that brings together graduate students in high energy physics for an intensive course given by leaders in their fields. The first lecture by Paul Aspinwall is a description of branes in Calabi-Yau manifolds, which includes an introduction to the modern ideas of derived categories and their relation to D-branes. Juan Maldacena's second lecture is a short introduction to the AdS/CFT correspondence with a short discussion on its plane wave limit. Tachyon condensation for open strings is discussed in the third lecture by Ashoke Sen while Eva Silverstein provides a useful summary of the various attempts to produce four-dimensional physics out of string theory and M-theory in the fourth lecture. Matthew Strassler's fifth lecture is a careful discussion of a theory that has played a very important role in recent developments in string theory - a quantum field theory that produces a duality cascade which also has a large N gravity description. The sixth lecture by Washington Taylor explains how to perform perturbative computations using string field theory. The written presentation of these lectures is detailed yet straightforward, and they will be of great use to both students and experienced researchers in high-energy theoretical physics.