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

- Authors
- Type
- Published Article
- Publication Date
- Oct 04, 1996
- Submission Date
- Aug 18, 1996
- Identifiers
- DOI: 10.1142/S0217751X96002583
- arXiv ID: hep-th/9608117
- Source
- arXiv
- License
- Unknown
- External links

## Abstract

Superunification underwent a major paradigm shift in 1984 when eleven-dimensional supergravity was knocked off its pedestal 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year has witnessed a new shift of equal proportions: perturbative ten-dimensional superstrings have in their turn been superseded by a new non-perturbative theory called {\it $M$-theory}, which describes supermembranes and superfivebranes, which subsumes all five consistent string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).