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M-Theory as a Holographic Field Theory

  • Horava, Petr
Published Article
Publication Date
Nov 09, 1998
Submission Date
Dec 12, 1997
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.59.046004
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We suggest that M-theory could be non-perturbatively equivalent to a local quantum field theory. More precisely, we present a ``renormalizable'' gauge theory in eleven dimensions, and show that it exhibits various properties expected of quantum M-theory, most notably the holographic principle of 't~Hooft and Susskind. The theory also satisfies Mach's principle: A macroscopically large space-time (and the inertia of low-energy excitations) is generated by a large number of ``partons'' in the microscopic theory. We argue that at low energies in large eleven dimensions, the theory should be effectively described by eleven-dimensional supergravity. This effective description breaks down at much lower energies than naively expected, precisely when the system saturates the Bekenstein bound on energy density. We show that the number of partons scales like the area of the surface surrounding the system, and discuss how this holographic reduction of degrees of freedom affects the cosmological constant problem. We propose the holographic field theory as a candidate for a covariant, non-perturbative formulation of quantum M-theory.

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