# M-Theory (The Theory Formerly Known as Strings)

- Authors
- Publication Date
- Aug 18, 1996
- Identifiers
- DOI: 10.1016/S0920-5632(96)00583-X
- OAI: oai:cds.cern.ch:308935
- Source
- CERN Document Server
- Keywords
- Language
- English
- License
- Unknown
- External links

## Abstract

Superunification underwent a major paradigm shift in 1984 when eleven-dimensional supergravity was knocked off its pedastal by ten-dimensional superstrings. This last year has witnessed a new shift of equal proportions: perturbative ten-dimensional superstrings have in their turn been superseded by a new non-perturbative theory called {\it $M$-theory}, which describes supermembranes and superfivebranes, which subsumes all five consistent string theories and whose low energy limit is, ironically, eleven-dimensional supergravity. In particular, six-dimensional string/string duality follows from membrane/fivebrane duality by compactifying $M$-theory on $ S^1/Z_2 \times K3$ (heterotic/heterotic duality) or $ S^1 \times K3$ (Type $IIA$/heterotic duality) or $S^1/Z_2 \times T^4$ (heterotic/Type $IIA$ duality) or $S^1 \times T^4$ (Type $IIA$/Type $IIA$ duality).