Noncritical M-theory in 2+1 dimensions as a nonrelativistic Fermi liquid

Petr Horava, Cynthia A. Keeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We claim that the dynamics of noncritical string theories in two dimensions is related to an underlying noncritical version of M-theory, which we define in terms of a double-scaled nonrelativistic Fermi liquid in 2+1 dimensions. After reproducing Type 0A and 0B string theories as solutions, we study the natural M-theory vacuum. The vacuum energy of this solution can be evaluated exactly, its form suggesting a duality to the Debye model of phonons in a melting solid, and a possible topological nature of the theory. The physical spacetime is emergent in this theory, only for states that admit a hydrodynamic description. Among the solutions of the hydrodynamic equations of motion for the Fermi surface, we find families describing the decay of one two-dimensional string theory into another via an intermediate M-theory phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number059
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • M(atrix) theories
  • M-theory
  • Matrix models
  • Superstrings and heterotic strings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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