The Rational Higher Structure of M-theory: LMS/EPSRC Durham Symposium on Higher Structures in M-Theory

Domenico Fiorenza, Hisham Sati, Urs Schreiber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We review how core structures of string/M-theory emerge as higher structures in super homotopy theory; namely from systematic analysis of the brane bouquet of universal invariant higher central extensions growing out of the superpoint. Since super homotopy theory is immensely rich, to start with we consider this in the rational/infinitesimal approximation which ignores torsion-subgroups in brane charges and focuses on tangent spaces of super space-time. Already at this level, super homotopy theory discovers all super p-brane species, their intersection laws, their M/IIA-, T- and S-duality relations, their black brane avatars at ADE-singularities, including their instanton contributions, and, last not least, Dirac charge quantization: for the D-branes it recovers twisted K-theory, rationally, but for the M-branes it gives cohomotopy cohomology theory. We close with an outlook on the lift of these results beyond the rational/infinitesimal approximation to a candidate formalization of microscopic M-theory in super homotopy theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1910017
JournalFortschritte der Physik
Issue number8-9
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • M-theory
  • T-duality
  • cohomotopy
  • equivariant homotopy theory
  • gauge enhancement
  • higher structures
  • p-branes
  • rational homotopy theory
  • supersymmetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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