The World in Eleven Dimensions : Supergravity, supermembranes and M-theory book cover
1st Edition

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

ISBN 9780750306720
Published January 1, 1999 by CRC Press
525 Pages

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Book Description

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Over the period since 1996, perturbative superstrings have been superseded by a new nonperturbative called M-theory, which describes supermembranes and superfivebranes, subsumes string theories, and has as its low-energy limit,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.

Table of Contents


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

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"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