Evidence for heterotic/heterotic duality

M. J. Duff, R. Minasian, Edward Witten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


We re-examine the question of heterotic/heterotic string duality in six dimensions and argue that the E8 × E8 heterotic string, compactified on K3 with equal instanton numbers in the two E8's, has a self-duality that inverts the coupling, dualizes the antisymmetric tensor, acts non-trivially on the hypermultiplets, and exchanges gauge fields that can be seen in perturbation theory with gauge fields of a non-perturbative origin. The special role of the symmetric embedding of the anomaly in the two E8's can be seen from field theory considerations or from an eleven-dimensional point of view. The duality can be deduced by looking in two different ways at eleven-dimensional M-theory compactified on K3 × S1 /ℤ2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-438
Number of pages26
JournalNuclear Physics B
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 22 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


  • Anomalies
  • Duality
  • Instantons
  • M-theory
  • String theory


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