1st Edition

The World in Eleven Dimensions Supergravity, supermembranes and M-theory

By M.J Duff Copyright 1999
    525 Pages
    by CRC Press

    A unified theory embracing all physical phenomena is a major goal of theoretical physics. In the early 1980s, many physicists looked to eleven-dimensional supergravity in the hope that it might provide that elusive superunified theory. In 1984 supergravity was knocked off its pedestal by ten-dimensional superstrings, one-dimensional objects whose vibrational modes represent the elementary particles. Superstrings provided a perturbative finite theory of gravity which, after compactification to four spacetime dimensions, seemed in principle capable of explaining the Standard Model. Despite these major successes, however, nagging doubts persisted about superstrings. Then in 1987 and 1992 the elementary supermembrane and its dual partner, the solitonic superfivebrane, were discovered. These are supersymmetric extended objects with respectively two and five dimensions moving in an eleven-dimensional spacetime.

    Over the period since 1996, perturbative superstrings have been superseded by a new nonperturbative called M-theory, which describes supermembranes and superfivebranes, subsumes string theories, and has as its low-energy limit, eleven-dimensional supergravity. M-theory represents the most exciting development in the subject since 1984 when the superstring revolution first burst on the scene.

    The first book devoted to M-theory, The World in Eleven Dimensions: Supergravity, Supermembranes and M-Theory brings together seminal papers that have shaped our current understanding of this eleven-dimensional world, from supergravity through supermembranes to M-theory. Each chapter includes commentaries intended to explain the importance of these papers and to place them in a wider perspective. Each chapter also has an extensive bibliography. The book is of interest to researchers and postgraduate students in particle physics, mathematical physics, gravitation, and cosmology.


    Supersymmetries and their representations
    Nahm 1978
    Supergravity theory in eleven-dimensions
    Cremmer, Julia, and Scherk 1978
    Search for a realistic Kaluza-Klein theory
    Witten 1981
    N=8 supergravity breaks down to N=1
    Awada, Duff, and Pope 1983
    Compactification of D=11 supergravity on K3 × T3
    Duff, Nilsson, and Pope 1983
    Exact pp-wave solutions of 11-dimensional supergravity
    Hull 1984
    N=4 remaining supersymmetry in Kaluza-Klein monopole background in D=11 supergravity
    Han and Koh 1985


    Supermembranes and eleven-dimensional supergravity
    Bergshoeff, Sezgin and Townsend 1987
    On the quantum mechanics of supermembranes
    de Wit, Hoppe, and Nicolai 1988
    Multimembrane solutions of d=11 supergravity
    Duff and Stelle 1991
    Open p-branes
    Strominger 1996
    D-branes from M-branes
    Townsend 1996


    Black p-brane solutions of d=11 supergravity theory
    Gueven 1992
    Eleven-dimensional origin of string/string duality: a one loop test
    Duff, Liu, and Minasian 1995
    One loop in eleven dimensions
    Green, Gutperle, and Vanhove 1997
    Five-branes and M-theory on an orbifold
    Witten 1996
    Covariant field equations of the M-theory fivebrane
    Howe, Sezgin, and West 1997


    Superstrings in d=10 from supermembranes in d=11
    Duff, Howe, Inami, and Stelle 1987
    Duality rotations in membrane theory
    Duff and Lu 1990
    Unity of superstring dualities
    Hull and Townsend 1995
    The eleven-dimensional supermembrane revisited
    Townsend 1995


    Intersecting M-branes
    Papadopoulos and Townsend 1996
    Harmonic superpositions of M-branes
    Tseytlin 1996
    The black branes of M-theory
    Duff, Lu, and Pope 1996
    Intersecting M-branes as four-dimensional black holes
    Klebanov and Tseytlin 1996


    String theory dynamics in various dimensions
    Witten 1995
    P-brane democracy
    Townsend 1996
    The power of M-theory
    Schwarz 1996
    Heterotic and Type I string dynamics from eleven dimensions
    Horava and Witten 1996
    M-theory: the theory formerly known as strings
    Duff 1996
    M-theory as a matrix model: a conjecture
    Banks, Fischler, Shenker, and Susskind 1997
    Solutions of four-dimensional field theories via M-theory
    Witten 1997
    The large N limit of superconformal field theories and supergravity
    Maldacena 1998


    M. J. Duff

    "It is a pleasure to review this reprint volume which contains almost all major milestones in the 22 year history of this subject. It can serve as a very useful one-spot reference for advanced readers as well as an excellent fast-track introduction to the subject for new entrants … The editor's comments in the beginning of the chapters are quite instructive and as intended do, indeed, give a wider perspective. The list of references at the end of every commentary is extensive though not quite exhaustive."
    -Dileep Jatkar, Classical and Quantum Gravity