This article reviews the matrix model of M theory. M theory is an 11dimensional quantum theory of gravity that is believed to underlie all superstring theories. M theory is currently the most plausible candidate for a theory of fundamental physics which reconciles gravity and quantum field theory in a realistic fashion. Evidence for M theory is still only circumstantial—no complete backgroundindependent formulation of the theory exists as yet. Matrix theory was first developed as a regularized theory of a supersymmetric quantum membrane. More recently, it has appeared in a different guise as the discrete lightcone quantization of M theory in flat space. These two approaches to matrix theory are described in detail and compared. It is shown that matrix theory is a welldefinedquantum theory that reduces to a supersymmetric theory of gravity at low energies. Although its fundamental degrees of freedom are essentially pointlike, higherdimensional fluctuating objects (branes) arise through the nonAbelian structure of the matrix degrees of freedom. The problem of formulating matrix theory in a general spacetime background is discussed, and the connections between matrix theory and other related models are reviewed.

Authors: Taylor W.  Pages: 43 Year: 2001 
Tags: m(atrix) theory theory fundamental quantum mechanics matrix   Customers who bought this item also bought: 