We test the proposals for the worldvolume theory of M2-branes by studying its maximally supersymmetric mass-deformation. We check the simplest prediction for the mass-deformed theory on N M2-branes: that there should be a set of discrete vacua in one-to-one correspondence with partitions on N. For the mass-deformed Lorentzian three-algebra theory, we find only a single classical vacuum, casting doubt on its M2-brane interpretation. For the mass-deformed ABJM theory, we do find a discrete set of solutions, but these are more numerous than predicted. We discuss possible resolutions of this puzzling discrepancy. We argue that the classical vacuum solutions of the mass-deformed ABJM theory display properties of fuzzy three-spheres, as expected from their gravitational dual interpretation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Gauge-gravity correspondence
- Supersymmetric gauge theory