Super-exceptional geometry: origin of heterotic M-theory and super-exceptional embedding construction of M5

Domenico Fiorenza, Hisham Sati, Urs Schreiber

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In the quest for the mathematical formulation of M-theory, we consider three major open problems: a first-principles construction of the single (abelian) M5-brane Lagrangian density, the origin of the gauge field in heterotic M-theory, and the supersymmetric enhancement of exceptional M-geometry. By combining techniques from homotopy theory and from supergeometry to what we call super-exceptional geometry within super-homotopy theory, we present an elegant joint solution to all three problems. This leads to a unified description of the Nambu-Goto, Perry-Schwarz, and topological Yang-Mills Lagrangians in the topologically nontrivial setting. After explaining how charge quantization of the C-field in Cohomotopy reveals D’Auria-Fré’s “hidden supergroup” of 11d supergravity as the super-exceptional target space, in the sense of Bandos, for M5-brane sigma-models, we prove, in exceptional generalization of the doubly-supersymmetric super-embedding formalism, that a Perry-Schwarz-type Lagrangian for single (abelian) N = (1, 0) M5-branes emerges as the super-exceptional trivialization of the M5-brane cocycle along the super-exceptional embedding of the “half ” M5-brane locus, super-exceptionally compactified on the Hořava-Witten circle fiber. From inspection of the resulting 5d super Yang-Mills Lagrangian we find that the extra fermion field appearing in super-exceptional M-geometry, whose physical interpretation had remained open, is the M-theoretic avatar of the gaugino field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • M-Theory
  • Superspaces
  • p-branes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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