The Little Book of String Theory offers a short, accessible, and entertaining introduction to one of the most talked-about areas of physics today. String theory has been called the "theory of everything." It seeks to describe all the fundamental forces of nature. It encompasses gravity and quantum mechanics in one unifying theory. But it is unproven and fraught with controversy. After reading this book, you'll be able to draw your own conclusions about string theory.
Steve Gubser begins by explaining Einstein's famous equation E = mc2, quantum mechanics, and black holes. He then gives readers a crash course in string theory and the core ideas behind it. In plain English and with a minimum of mathematics, Gubser covers strings, branes, string dualities, extra dimensions, curved spacetime, quantum fluctuations, symmetry, and supersymmetry. He describes efforts to link string theory to experimental physics and uses analogies that nonscientists can understand. How does Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu relate to quantum mechanics? What would it be like to fall into a black hole? Why is dancing a waltz similar to contemplating a string duality? Find out in the pages of this book.
The Little Book of String Theory is the essential, most up-to-date beginner's guide to this elegant, multidimensional field of physics.
"The Little Book of String Theory by theoretical physicist Steven Gubser puts into words the abstract maths of some of the most challenging areas of physics, from energy and quantum mechanics to branes, supersymmetry and multiple dimensions."--Nature
"Princeton theoretical physicist Steven S. Gubser opens The Little Book of String Theory with a simple--and highly accurate--sentence: 'String theory is a mystery.' You won't get very far into this excellent book before you'll be agreeing with him completely."--Washington Post
"Gubser does a masterly job of introducing string theory in simple terms and without using math. His goal is not to convert people to the cause but to help them better understand the ideas. Cars on a freeway, the vibration of piano strings, and buoys in the ocean are among the examples from everyday life used to explain difficult concepts. This concise yet clear introduction to a conceptually difficult topic is recommended for lay readers in physics and for popular science collections."--Library Journal
"This is an excellent introduction to string theory for those who are looking for a highly academic explanation. . . . For those new to string theory, this book is full of information and humor and will help readers see the universe in an entirely new way."--ForeWord
"You will probably finish the book more confused than when you started, but in the best possible way: with profound questions and a desire to learn more."--New Scientist
Table of Contents:
Chapter One: Energy 11
Chapter Two: Quantum Mechanics 19
Chapter Three: Gravity and Black Holes 34
Chapter Four: String Theory 49
Chapter Five: Branes 69
Chapter Six: String Dualities 99
Chapter Seven: Supersymmetry and the LHC 117
Chapter Eight: Heavy Ions and the Fifth Dimension 140
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