E8 gauge theory, and a derivation of K-theory from M-theory

Duiliu Emanuel Diaconescu, Gregory Moore, Edward Witten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


The partition function of Ramond-Ramond p-form fields in Type IIA supergravity on a tenmanifold X contains subtle phase factors that are associated with T-duality, self-duality, and the relation of the RR fields to K-theory. The analogous partition function of M-theory on X × S1 contains subtle phases that are similarly associated with E8 gauge theory. We analyze the detailed phase factors on the two sides and show that they agree, thereby testing M-theory/Type IIA duality as well as the K-theory formalism in an interesting way. We also show that certain D-brane states wrapped on nontrivial homology cycles are actually unstable, that (-1)FL symmetry in Type IIA superstring theory depends in general on a cancellation between a fermion anomaly and an anomaly of RR fields, and that Type IIA superstring theory with no wrapped branes is well-defined only on a spacetime with W7 = 0.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1134
Number of pages104
JournalAdvances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Mathematics
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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