Links and Refs
Standard Model
Nobel Prizes
String Theory
Extra dimensions
Black holes

 String Theory links

String Theory on Wikipedia

A nice but rather technical free introduction to the physics of string theory, including many links to related domains, and with some highly knowledgeable contributors.

The so-called official string theory web site

This site is the most active string theory site for the layman. It has tons of very useful information that is related in one way or another to string theory. The forum is an excellent place for string theory discussions, although it is plagued by crackpots and know-it-alls. The site contains rare and interesting material that almost justifies its name.

Schwartz at Caltech

John Schwartz was one of the first to realize that string theory could be a viable theory of quantum gravity. On his Caltech site he explains string theory at a level that might be understandable to grad students in physics. It goes without saying he is one of the leading experts in the field, and he gives a nice, concise introduction to the main physical ideas.

ENS, Paris

The ENS in a Paris profits from an excellent summary (in French) by an enthousastic former student of the subject.

List of blogs by (and mostly for) experts

List of shorter introductions by experts

Lists of other, related links

  • The Yahoo directory on strings includes a lot of useful links and a democratic chunk of junk.
  • A generally effective method is to skim through the Superstring Directory of all the main search engines (including Google, Yahoo, Altavista)..


A random collection of experts with an accessible profile and often useful string links:  
      Lubos Motl
Clifford Johnson   Sunil Mukhi Bengt Nilsson
John Schwarz Warren Siegel
Jan Pieter Van der Schaar
Joe Polchinski

General Relativity and Black Hole links

Andrew Hamilton's Homepage

This professional site is a useful entry point into sites on the web related to Black Holes. I gladly made use of excellent pictures provided by this expert.

There are many more excellent sites on General Relativity and Black Holes that are not too difficult to find.

Links recommended by readers

On Relativity


Gamov Mr. Thompson Fantastic tales of the strange world of relativity and quantum mechanics
Richard Feynman QED Amazingly simple introduction to the first component of the Standard Model, electromagnetism.
Gerard 't Hooft Bouwstenen van de Schepping (Dutch) Excellent explanation of the secrets of the Standard Model by a modest genius.
- Quarks Thorough introduction into the strongly interacting particles of the Standard Model
Stephen Hawking A Brief History of Time Excellent introduction to aspects of special and general relativity.
Alan Guth - Readable introduction to the theory of inflation
Brian Greene The Elegant Universe A bestseller, and rightly so.
Jacques Bricquemont and Alain Sokal Impostures Intellectuelles (French) For those still looking for arguments to counter the postmodernists.
Roger Penrose The Emperor's New Mind Controversial attempt to interpret physics in a broader framework
Abraham Pais Subtle is the Lord Superb biography of the most successful physicist ever.
Richard Feynman Surely, you're joking Mr. Feynman ? Entertaining anecdotes from the interesting life of Richard Feynman
To be able to read the technical books, the reader should acquaint herself first with the mathematics of Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Hilbert spaces, Differential Geometry, etcetera. These are standard subjects in mathematics on which a zillion bad and good books can be found.
A rudimentary knowledge of the physics of Electromagnetism, Classical Mechanics, Waves and Optics, Quantum Mechanics, etcetera, will likewise be necessary to read the following books.
It is possible to learn these fields systematically, or to learn them "on the go". When you try to read one of the books below, and fail miserably, write down the terms you don't understand and try to find the appropriate more elementary math or phys book that explains them.
Of course, a school might do a lot of that difficult work for you.
Peskin and Schroeder QFT Standard reference in the nineties and zeroes
Weinberg The quantum theory of fields I, II, III More axioms and indices than needed for the student, but extremely useful systematic reference.
Mandl and Shaw QFT Elementary QFT
Bjorken and Drell QFT Older textbook, still useful
Wald GR Classic textbook
Weinberg GR and C Classic textbook
Misner, Thorne and Wheeler GR Classic textbook
Carroll Lectures on GR Excellent lectures, free on the web -- look also at other papers by the same author.
Green, Schwarz, Witten Superstring theory I, II Excellent textbook from the eighties.
Joe Polchinski String theory I, II More up to date, complementary to GSW.
Barton Zwiebach A First Course in String Theory A pedagogical book by an excellent physicist and teacher, suited for advanced undergraduate and grad students.