The Birth of String Theory

Front Cover
Andrea Cappelli, Elena Castellani, Filippo Colomo, Paolo Di Vecchia
Cambridge University Press, Apr 12, 2012 - Science - 636 pages
2 Reviews
String theory is currently the best candidate for a unified theory of all forces and all forms of matter in nature. As such, it has become a focal point for physical and philosophical discussions. This unique book explores the history of the theory's early stages of development, as told by its main protagonists. The book journeys from the first version of the theory (the so-called dual resonance model) in the late sixties, as an attempt to describe the physics of strong interactions outside the framework of quantum field theory, to its reinterpretation around the mid-seventies as a quantum theory of gravity unified with the other forces, and its successive developments up to the superstring revolution in 1984. Providing important background information to current debates on the theory, this book is essential reading for students and researchers in physics, as well as historians and philosophers of science.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate



the analytic Smatrix
Part III The Dual Resonance Model
Part IV The string
Part V Beyond the bosonic string
Part VI The superstring
Part VII Preparing the string renaissance
Appendix A Theoretical tools of the Sixties
Appendix B The Veneziano amplitude
Appendix C From the string action to the Dual Resonance Model
Appendix D Worldsheet and targetspace supersymmetry
Appendix E The field theory limit

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Andrea Cappelli graduated in physics from the University of Florence in 1983 and received his PhD from the same university in 1987. He is currently Director of Research at the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Section of Florence. His field of research is quantum field theory, the main tool of theoretical physics that allows one to describe elementary particles and fundamental forces. In particular, he is interested in the exact solutions of this theory that are possible in low-dimensional systems and in presence of extended symmetries such as conformal invariance. Andrea Cappelli has also been studying applications of exact solutions: to string theory, the theory that could unify particle physics with gravity and to condensed-matter systems in one or two space dimensions that present novel non-perturbative phenomena, such as fractionally charged excitations and are interesting for technological applications. Cappelli has published 60 papers in international journals and has edited one book of conference proceedings. He has co-organized several international conferences in Italy and abroad and coordinates the national research project, 'Low-Dimensional Field Theory, Integrable Systems and Applications'. He is also editor of the Journal of High-Energy Physics (JHEP) and the Journal of Statistical Physics (JSTAT).

Elena Castellani is Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy, University of Florence. Her research work has focussed on such issues as symmetry, physical objects, reductionism and emergence, structuralism and realism.

Filippo Colomo is a Researcher at the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Florence. His current research interests lie in theoretical and mathematical physics.

Paolo Di Vecchia is Professor of Theoretical Particle Physics at Nordita, Stockholm, and at the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen. He has worked on several aspects of theoretical particle physics and has contributed to the development of string theory since its birth in 1968.

Bibliographic information