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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Mar 17;95(6):2750-7.

Recent developments in superstring theory.

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California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


There have been many remarkable developments in our understanding of superstring theory in the past few years, a period that has been described as "the second superstring revolution." In particular, what once appeared to be five distinct theories are now recognized to be different manifestations of a single (unique) underlying theory. Some of the evidence for this, based on dualities and the appearance of an eleventh dimension, is presented. Also, a specific proposal for the underlying theory, called "Matrix Theory," is described. The presentation is intended primarily for the benefit of nonexperts.


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