Non-associativity in non-geometric string and M-theory backgrounds, the algebra of octonions, and missing momentum modes

Murat Günaydin, Dieter Lüst, Emanuel Malek

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We propose a non-associative phase space algebra for M-theory backgrounds with locally non-geometric fluxes based on the non-associative algebra of octonions. Our proposal is based on the observation that the non-associative algebra of the non-geometric R-flux background in string theory can be obtained by a proper contraction of the simple Malcev algebra generated by imaginary octonions. Furthermore, by studying a toy model of a four-dimensional locally non-geometric M-theory background which is dual to a twisted torus, we show that the non-geometric background is “missing” a momentum mode. The resulting seven-dimensional phase space can thus be naturally identified with the imaginary octonions. This allows us to interpret the full uncontracted algebra of imaginary octonions as the uplift of the string theory R-flux algebra to M-theory, with the contraction parameter playing the role of the string coupling constant gs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number27
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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