This contribution, aimed mostly at experimental particle physicists, reviews some of the main ideas and results of string theory in a non-technical language. It originates from the talks presented by the authors at the electroweak session of the 2002 Moriond Meeting, here merged in an attempt to provide a more complete and concise view of the subject and updated to include a brief account of some recent developments.
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Some recent books on the Standard Model: Mandl F. and Shaw G., Quantum Field Theory (Wiley Chichester, UK) 1984; Peskin M. E. and Schroeder D. V., An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory (Addison-Wesley, Reading) 1995; Weinberg S., The Quantum Theory of Fields (Cambridge University Press, UK) 1995.
Two books on General Relativity: Weinberg W., Gravitation and Cosmology (John Wiley & Sons, New York, USA) 1972; Wald R. M., General Relativity (Chicago University Press, USA) 1984.
A review on the ultraviolet problem of quantum gravity: Alvarez E., “Quantum Gravity: A Pedagogical Introduction To Some Recent Results,” Rev. Mod. Phys., 61 (1989) 561.
Two recent reviews of the BEH mechanism, with historical remarks: Brout R., A brief course in spontaneous symmetry breaking. I: The paleolitic age, arXiv:hep-th/0203096; Englert F., A brief course in spontaneous symmetry breaking. II: Modern times: The BEH mechanism, arXiv:hep-th/0203097.
Some technical books on string theory: Green M. B., Schwarz J. H. and Witten E., Superstring Theory, 2 vols. (Cambridge University Press, UK) 1987; Polchinski J., String Theory, 2 vols. (Cambridge University Press, UK) 1998; Kiritsis E., Introduction to superstring theory, arXiv:hep-th/9709062, String theory in a nutshell (Princeton University Press) 2007; Lust D. and Theisen S., “Lectures On String Theory,” Lect. Notes Phys., 346 (1989) 1; Zwiebach B., A first course in String Theory (Cambridge University Press) 2003; Becker K., Becker M. and Schwarz J. H., String theory and M theory (Cambridge University Press) 2007.
Some important old reviews on string theory: Jacob M. (Editor), Dual Theory (North-Holland, Amsterdam, Netherlands) 1974; Scherk J., “An Introduction To The Theory Of Dual Models And Strings,” Rev. Mod. Phys., 47 (1975) 123.
A popular book on string theory: Greene B. R., The Elegant Universe (W.W. Norton & Co, New York, USA) 1999.
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Some reviews on the cosmological constant problem: Weinberg S., “The Cosmological Constant Problem,” Rev. Mod. Phys., 61 (1989) 1; Witten E., The cosmological constant from the viewpoint of string theory, arXiv:hep- ph/0002297; Carroll S. M., “The cosmological constant,” Living Rev. Rel., 4 (2001) 1 [arXiv:astro-ph/0004075].
Two reviews on open strings and their applications: Dudas E., “Theory and phenomenology of type I strings and M-theory,” Class. Quantum Grav., 17 (2000) R41 [arXiv:hep-ph/0006190]; Angelantonj C. and Sagnotti A., Open strings, arXiv:hep-th/0204089.
Some books and reviews on field theory solitons: Rajaraman R., Solitons and Instantons (North-Holland, Amsterdam, Netherlands) 1982; Coleman S., Aspects of Symmetry (Cambridge University Press, UK) 1985; ‘T Hooft G., Monopoles, instantons and confinement, arXiv:hep-th/0010225.
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A less technical review on D-branes: Sevrin A., From strings to branes: a primer, in “Les Arcs 2000, Electroweak Interactions and Unified Theories”.
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Some reviews on the AdS/CFT correspondence: Witten E., New perspectives in the quest for unification, arXiv:hep-ph/9812208; Aharony O., Gubser S. S., Maldagena J. M., Ooguri H. and Oz Y., “Large N field theories, string theory and gravity,” Phys. Rep., 323 (2000) 183 [arXiv:hep-th/9905111]; Bianghi M., “(Non-)perturbative tests of the AdS/CFT correspondence,” Nucl. Phys. Proc. Suppl., 102 (2001) 56 [arXiv:hep-th/0103112].
Some reviews on black holes in string theory: Maldagena J. M., Black holes in string thorny, arXiv:hep-th/9607235; Callan C., Black holes in string theories: some surprising new developments, in “Les Arcs 1997, Electroweak Interactions and Unified Theories ”, p. 185; David J. R., Mandal G. and Wadia S. R., Microscopic formulation of blackholes in string theory, arXiv:hep-th/0203048.
A recent review on the holographic principle: Bousso R., The holographic principle, arXiv:hep-th/0203101.
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Some reviews on large extra dimensions and open strings: Lykken J. D., “String model building in the age of D-branes,” Nucl. Phys. Proc. Suppl. A, 52 (1997) 271 [arXiv:hep-th/9607144]; IBANEZ L. E., New perspectives in string phenomenology from dualities, arXiv:hep-ph/9804236; IBANEZ L. E., “The second string (phenomenology) revolution,” Class. Quantum Grav., 17 (2000) 1117 [arXiv:hep- ph/9911499]; Antoniadis I., String and D-brane physics at low energy, arXiv:hep- th/0102202; Antoniadis I. and Benakli K., “Large dimensions and string physics in future colliders,” Int. J. Mod. Phys. A, 15 (2000) 4237 [arXiv:hep-ph/0007226]; Bachas C. P., “Scales of string theory,” Class. Quantum Grav., 17 (2000) 951 [arXiv:hep-th/0001093]; Ibanez L. E., Standard model engineering with intersecting branes, arXiv:hep-ph/0109082; BLUMENHAGEN R., Kors B., Lust D. and Ott T., Intersecting brane worlds on tori and orbifolds, arXiv:hep-th/0112015.
This text originated as a write up of talks given by the authors at the 2002 Moriond Electro-Weak meeting. We are grateful to the organizers for their encouragement to merge our contributions in this short review aimed mostly at experimental particle physicists. The work of the first author was supported in part by INFN and by the European Commission FP6 RTN programme HPRN-CT-2004-512194 and by the INTAScontract 03-51-6346. The work of the second author was supported in part by the European Commission FP6 RTN programme MRTN-CT-2004-005104, in part by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office through the Interuniversity Attraction Pole P6/11, and in part by the “FWO-Vlaanderen” through project G.0428.06. We are grateful to C. Angelantonj, J. Lemonne, J. Troost, G. Stefanucci and F. Zwirner for useful suggestions and comments on the manuscript. when this paper first appeared the first author was at dipartimento di fisica, universita di roma “tor vergata”. finally, we are grateful to L. Cifarelli for her interest in this review and for her kind invitation to publish it in the present form in rivista del nuovo cimento.
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Sagnotti, A., Sevrin, A. Strings, gravity and particle physics. Riv. Nuovo Cim. 31, 423–455 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1393/ncr/i2008-10034-0
- PACS 01.30.Rr–Surveys and tutorial papers; resource letters
- PACS 03.70.+k–Theory of quantized fields
- PACS 04.50.−h–Higher-dimensional gravity and other theories of gravity
- PACS 04.60.−m–Quantum gravity