Taking the N=2 strings as the starting point, we discuss the equivalent self-dual field theories and analyze their symmetry structure in 2 + 2 dimensions. Restoring the full 'Lorentz' invariance in the target space necessarily leads to an extension of the N=2 string theory to a theory of 2 + 2 dimensional supermembranes propagating in 2 + 10 dimensional target space. The supermembrane requires maximal conformal supersymmetry in 2 + 2 dimensions, in the way advocated by Siegel, and it leads to the self-dual N=4 super-Yang-Mills theory and the self-dual N=8 (gauged) supergravity in 2+2 dimensions. The N=2 strings now appear on equal footing with the other string models as particular limits of the M-theory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics