He and others identified several forms of duality between the theories which, together with certain assumptions about the nature of the universe, could allow for them to all be one single theory: M-Theory. One of the major components of M-Theory is that it required adding yet another dimension on top of the already-numerous extra dimensions of string theory, so that the relationships between the theories could be worked out.
Properties of M-TheoryThough physicists have still not uncovered the secrets of M-Theory, they have identified several properties that the theory would have:
- 11 dimensions of spacetime
- contains strings and branes (originally called membranes)
- methods of using compactification to explain how the extra dimensions reduce to the four spacetime dimensions we observe
- dualities and identifications within the theory that allow it to reduce to special cases of the string theories known, and ultimately into the physics we observe in our universe