String Dualities and M-Theory

  • Ralph Blumenhagen
  • Dieter Lüst
  • Stefan Theisen
Part of the Theoretical and Mathematical Physics book series (TMP)


The five superstring theories which we have encountered so far will be argued to be different perturbative limits of one underlying theory, connected via a web of perturbative and non-perturbative dualities. We will discuss the concept of dualities and the role of BPS states in establishing non-perturbative dualities. We construct brane solutions of supergravity, discuss their BPS properties and identify those carrying R-R charge as D-branes. We discuss the place of eleven-dimensional supergravity in this duality web and the self-consistent evidence for the existence of a so far unknown eleven-dimensional quantum gravity theory, called M-theory. The known facts include that its low-energy effective field theory is given by eleven-dimensional supergravity and that it contains membranes and five-branes, which upon compactification are related to the branes of string theory. Two examples of the power of dualities will be discussed in the final two sections: F-theory, an interesting class of non-perturbative compactifications of type IIB string theory and the AdS-CFT correspondence. They derive their appeal and usefulness from the fact that non-perturbative effects can be related to simple geometric structures.


Gauge Group Open String Heterotic String Brane Solution Fundamental String 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph Blumenhagen
    • 1
  • Dieter Lüst
    • 2
  • Stefan Theisen
    • 3
  1. 1.Werner-Heisenberg-Institut Max-Planck-Institut für PhysikMünchenGermany
  2. 2.Arnold-Sommerfeld Zentrum für Theoretische PhysikLudwig-Maximilians Universität MünchenMünchenGermany
  3. 3.Albert-Einstein-Institut Max-Planck-Institut für GravitationsphysikGolmGermany

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