### Abstract

The equations of motion and the Bianchi identity of the C-field in M-theory are encoded in terms of the signature operator. We then reformulate the topological part of the action in M-theory using the signature, which leads to connections to the geometry of the underlying manifold, including positive scalar curvature. This results in a variation on the miraculous cancellation formula of Alvarez-Gaumé and Witten in 12 dimensions and leads naturally to the Kreck-Stolz s-invariant in 11 dimensions. Hence M-theory detects the diffeomorphism type of 11-dimensional (and seven-dimensional) manifolds and in the restriction to parallelizable manifolds classifies topological 11 spheres. Furthermore, requiring the phase of the partition function to be anomaly-free imposes restrictions on allowed values of the s-invariant. Relating to string theory in ten dimensions amounts to viewing the bounding theory as a disk bundle, for which we study the corresponding phase in this formulation.

Original language | English (US) |
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Article number | 126010 |

Journal | Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology |

Volume | 83 |

Issue number | 12 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Jun 22 2011 |

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)