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

The World in Eleven Dimensions

Supergravity, supermembranes and M-theory, 1st Edition

By M.J Duff

CRC Press

513 pages

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Hardback: 9780750306720
pub: 1999-01-01
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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Over the period since 1996, perturbative superstrings have been superseded by a new nonperturbative called M-theory, which describes supermembranes and superfivebranes, subsumes string theories, and has as its low-energy limit,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.


"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

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

About the Series

Series in High Energy Physics, Cosmology and Gravitation

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Nuclear Physics
SCIENCE / Physics