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The first half of this subject is an introduction to two-dimensional conformal field theory with emphasis on the operator formalism and explicit calculations. The second half is an introduction to string theory based on the first half. For concreteness, the representation theory of Virasoro algebra and bosonic strings will be emphasized.
Intended learning outcomes
After completing this subject students should:
- have learnt the basics of two-dimensional Conformal Field Theory (CFT), including basic representation of Virasoro algebra, the Hilbert space of states, of free bosons, and conformal blocks;
- have learnt the basic theory of bosonic strings, including the origin of the critical dimension, computations of tree amplitudes, etc;
- appreciate the role of role of conformal field theory in string theory;
- have the ability to pursue further studies in these and related areas.
In addition to learning specific skills that will assist students in their future careers in science, they will have the opportunity to develop generic skills that will assist them in any future career path. These include:
- problem-solving skills: the ability to engage with unfamiliar problems and identify relevant solution strategies;
- analytical skills: the ability to construct and express logical arguments and to work in abstract or general terms to increase the clarity and efficiency of analysis;
- collaborative skills: the ability to work in a team;
- time-management skills: the ability to meet regular deadlines while balancing competing commitments.
Last updated: 3 November 2022