M-theory is _not_ a string theory

These five theories have all been known since the middle of the 1980s. Some relationships between them were found soon after their discovery, but a clearer picture emerged only in the late 1990s. The limit of type II theory as the string coupling is taken to infinity was shown to give a theory in eleven dimensions. This theory is called M-theory, with the meaning of M to be decided when the nature of the theory becomes clear. It is known, however, the M-theory is _not_ a string theory. M-theory contains membranes (2-branes) and 5-branes, and these branes are not D-branes. M-theory may end up playing a prominent role in understanding string theory. The discovery of many other relationships between the five string theories listed above and M-theory has made it clear that we really have just _one theory_. This is a fundamental result: there is a unique theory, and the five superstrings and M-theory are different limits of this unique theory.

— Second Edition p.325

— A First Course in String Theory



2018.04.05 Thursday ACHK