Michael Duff is professor of theoretical physics at Imperial College London. $\;\;$
He made foundational contributions to string theory and M-theory. $\;\;$
Autobiographical notes around encountering Chris Isham:
See also:
478 (2022) 2259 [doi:10.1098/rspa.2022.0166]
Among Duff’s former students is Hisham Sati.
Interview by Graham Fermelo, The universe speaks in numbers – Interview 14 (web)
Interview by Hisham Sati, Urs Schreiber, at M-Theory and Mathematics 2020:
On the open problem of formulating M-theory:
Duff 96, totality of Section 6:
The overriding problem in superunification in the coming years will be to take the Mystery out of M-theory, while keeping the Magic and the Membranes.
Duff 98a, last paragraph (p. 6):
Despite all these successes, physicists are glimpsing only small corners of M-theory; the big picture is still lacking.
$[...]$
Indeed future historians may judge the late 20th century as a time when theorists were like children playing on the seashore, diverting themselves with the smoother pebbles or prettier shells of superstrings while the great ocean of M-theory lay undiscovered before them.
we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of the ultimate meaning of M-theory, and for the time being therefore, M stands for Magic and Mystery too.
future historians may judge the period 1984-95 as a time when theorists were like boys playing by the sea shore, and diverting themselves with the smoother pebbles or prettier shells of perturbative ten-dimensiorial superstrings while the great ocean of non-perturbative eleven-dimensional M-theory lay all undiscovered before them.
Interview with Mike Duff by Graham Fermelo, The universe speaks in numbers – Interview 14 (web):
(17:04) The problem we face is that we have a patchwork understanding of M-theory, like a quilt. We understand this corner and that corner, but what’s lacking is the overarching big picture. So directly or indirectly, my research hopes to explain what M-theory really is. We don’t know what it is.
In a certain sense, and this is not a popular statement, I think it’s premature to be asking: “What are the empirical consequences”, because it’s not yet in a mature enough state, where we can sensibly make falsifiable prediction.
Duff interview at M-Theory-Mathematics 2020:
(06:59) But the matrix model itself was not all of M-theory; it was a corner of M-theory, and it told us certain interesting things, but there were interesting things about M-theory that it didn’t tell us.
(07:13) I think we are still looking, in fact, for what M-theory really is.
(07:19) We have a patchwork picture. We understand various corners. But the overarching big picture of M-theory is still waiting to be discovered, in my view.
(08:12) M-theory in 1995 was very promising, and it’s taught us a lot about the fundamental interactions; but the final theory is still not with us.
(12:46) I wouldn’t like to predict what the ultimate picture of M-theory will be; I imagine it will be something quite different from what we can imagine now.
(16:36) That’s why I think M-theory is not yet in a mature enough stage for us to make falsifiable predictions.
(16:44) We don’t understand the theory sufficiently well yet to do so.
On KK-compactification of 11-dimensional supergravity on a squashed 7-sphere with G₂-holonomy (M-theory on G₂-manifolds):
Moustafa A. Awada, Mike Duff, Christopher Pope, $N=8$ Supergravity Breaks Down to $N=1$, Phys. Rev. Lett. 50 5 (1983) 294-297 [doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.50.294]
Mike Duff, Bengt Nilsson, Christopher Pope, Spontaneous Supersymmetry Breaking by the Squashed Seven-Sphere, Phys. Rev. Lett. 50, 2043 (1983) (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.50.2043, erratum)
On double dimensional reduction of the super-membrane (the M2-brane) to the Green-Schwarz superstring:
On the emergence of superconformal field theory in the perturbations of the super-membrane Green-Schwarz sigma model around a classical solution stretched along the asymptotic boundary of anti de Sitter spacetime:
Eric Bergshoeff, Michael Duff, Christopher Pope, Ergin Sezgin: Supersymmetric Supermembrane Vacua and Singletons, Phys. Lett. B 199 (1987) 69-74 [doi:10.1016/0370-2693(87)91465-1, InSpire:250244]
Mike Duff, C. Sutton, The Membrane at the End of the Universe, New Sci. 118 (1988) 67-71 (spire:268230)
predating the modern formulation of the AdS-CFT correspondence, amplified in
On the corresponding brane scan of super-conformal branes:
Miles P. Blencowe, Mike Duff, Supersingletons, Physics letters B, 203 3(1988) 229-236 (cds:184143, doi:10.1016/0370-2693(88)90544-8)
Michael Duff, Near-horizon brane-scan revived, Nucl. Phys. B 810:193-209 2009 (arXiv:0804.3675)
Michael Duff, The conformal brane-scan: an update (arXiv:2112.13784)
On quantization of the M2-brane Green-Schwarz sigma-model:
On Kaluza-Klein compactification
and specifically in supergravity:
On black M2-brane-solutions to D=11 supergravity:
On black branes and solitonic branes:
Michael Duff, Ramzi R. Khuri, Jian Xin Lu, String and Fivebrane Solitons: Singular or Non-singular?, Nucl.Phys. B 377 (1992) 281-294 [arXiv:hep-th/9112023, doi:10.1016/0550-3213(92)90025-7]
Michael Duff, Jian Xin Lu, Black and super $p$-branes in diverse dimensions, Nucl. Phys. B 416 (1994) 301-334 [arXiv:hep-th/9306052]
Mike Duff, Ramzi R. Khuri, Jian Xin Lu, String Solitons, Phys. Rept. 259 (1995) 213-326 [arXiv:hep-th/9412184, doi:10.1016/0370-1573(95)00002-X]
On M-theory:
Michael Duff, M-Theory (the Theory Formerly Known as Strings), Int. J. Mod. Phys. A11 (1996) 5623-5642 (arXiv:hep-th/9608117)
Michael Duff, The Theory Formerly Known as Strings, Scientific American 1998 (pdf, pdf)
Michael Duff, A Layman’s Guide to M-theory, Abdus Salam Memorial Meeting, Trieste, Italy, 19 - 22 Nov 1997, pp.184-213 (arXiv:hep-th/9805177, cds:355721)
On the brane scan which classifies super $p$-brane sigma-models given by Green-Schwarz action functionals:
Michael Duff, Ramzi Khuri, Four-Dimensional String/String Duality, Nucl.Phys. B411 (1994) 473-486 (arXiv:hep-th/9305142)
Michael Duff, Ruben Minasian, Putting string/string duality to the test, Nucl.Phys. B436 (1995) 507-528 (arXiv:hep-th/9406198)
and specifically on the I8-term:
On supergravity:
On magic squares of magic supergravities and U-duality via the classical double copy:
Leron Borsten, Michael Duff, Mia J. Hughes, Silvia Nagy, A magic square from Yang-Mills squared, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112 (2014) 131601 [arXiv:1301.4176]
Alexandros Anastasiou, Leron Borsten, Michael Duff, Mia J. Hughes, Silvia Nagy, A magic pyramid of supergravities, JHEP (2014) 178 [arXiv:1312.6523]
On the early history of the notion of M-theory:
Last revised on September 15, 2024 at 13:39:36. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.