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The supermembrane is unstable

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Nicolai,  Hermann
Quantum Gravity & Unified Theories, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

De Wit, B., Lüscher, M., & Nicolai, H. (1989). The supermembrane is unstable. Nuclear Physics B, 320(1), 135-159. doi:10.1016/0550-3213(89)90214-9.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-5D23-3
Abstract
We give a rigorous proof that the quantum mechanical hamiltonians of a class of supersymmetric matrix models have a continuous spectrum starting at zero. We are thus led to conclude that supermembranes (which can be regarded as a limit of such models) have a continuous mass spectrum and, in particular, no mass gap. This result can be understood as a manifestation of the instability of the supermembrane against deformations into long stringlike configurations. We also comment upon possible implications of this result for supersymmetric Yang-Mills theories.