String theory wrapup

String Theory (Fall, 2010)

January 10, 2011

Professor Susskind starts with the philosophy of reductionism, where complex objects are broken down in to larger numbers of smaller objects with more fundamental rules of behavior.   While this philosophy has served physics well,  Professor Susskind argues that modern theories spell the end of reductionism.   What is fundamental depends on the situation or energy scale, or whatever is most “useful” for predicting behavior.   This change extends to string theory, which contains dualities between strings and D1-branes.

(Note: this final lecture of String Theory was delivered in Winter, 2011 as the first lecture of Cosmology and Black Holes.  The lecture only appears here in this course.)

  • The end of reductionism
  • Geometric gymnastics with strings and D-branes