String Theory and Duality

A Talk by Steuard Jensen, 6 Apr 2006

I gave this talk to students and faculty at Skidmore College while interviewing for a visiting professor position there. My goal was to explain the basic idea of string theory (and to some degree, of part of my own research) in a way that physics majors in their junior year or so could follow. It seemed to be quite well received.

The talk itself is clearly inspired by my earlier talk to the MIT Alumni Club in Chicago. However, I rearranged the material considerably, taking a less "historical" approach and spending much less time on pre-string physics. I also substantially reduced the number of slides: in the MIT Club talk, I felt rushed, and for this I was targeting 45 minutes or so. For this version, I wrote the talk using Apple's Keynote 3 presentation software, which worked beautifully and was a pleasure to present with.

I have not provided the same sort of annotations or speaker notes with these slides that I have with my MIT Club talk. If you want the full explanation, take a look over there; when there's a reasonably similar slide in the earlier talk, I've given a link to it here. I'm putting these slides online mainly because I like this new organization scheme.


  1. Introduction
  2. Relativity and Extra Dimensions
  3. Particles and Strings
  4. T-Duality and its Implications
  5. Conclusions

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Copyright © 2004 by Steuard Jensen.