In this thesis, two aspects of string theory are discussed, tensionless strings and supersymmetric sigma models.
The equivalent to a massless particle in string theory is a tensionless string. Even almost 30 years after it was first mentioned, it is still quite poorly understood. We discuss how tensionless strings give rise to exact solutions to supergravity and solve closed tensionless string theory in the ten dimensional maximally supersymmetric plane wave background, a contraction of AdS(5)xS(5) where tensionless strings are of great interest due to their proposed relation to higher spin gauge theory via the AdS/CFT correspondence.
For a sigma model, the amount of supersymmetry on its worldsheet restricts the geometry of the target space. For N=(2,2) supersymmetry, for example, the target space has to be bi-hermitian. Recently, with generalized complex geometry, a new mathematical framework was developed that is especially suited to discuss the target space geometry of sigma models in a Hamiltonian formulation. Bi-hermitian geometry is so-called generalized Kähler geometry but the relation is involved. We discuss various amounts of supersymmetry in phase space and show that this relation can be established by considering the equivalence between the Hamilton and Lagrange formulation of the sigma model. In the study of generalized supersymmetric sigma models, we find objects that favor a geometrical interpretation beyond generalized complex geometry.