Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

, Volume 20, Issue 3–4, pp 149–164 | Cite as

On M-Theory

  • Hermann Nicolai


This contribution gives a personal view on recent attempts to find a unified framework for non-perturbative string theories, with special emphasis on the hidden symmetries of supergravity and their possible role in this endeavor. A reformulation ofd = 11 supergravity with enlarged tangent space symmetry SO(1, 2) × SO(16) is discussed from this perspective, as well as an ansatz to construct yet further versions with SO(1, 1) × SO(16) and possibly even SO(1, 1)+ × ISO(16) tangent space symmetry. It is suggested that upon “third quantization”, dimensionally reduced maximal supergravity may have an equally important role to play in this unification as the dimensionally reduced maximally supersymmetricSU(∞) Yang Mills theory.

Key words

Supergravity hidden symmetries superstrings 


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermann Nicolai
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut, für GravitationsphysikGolmGermany

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