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Supersymmetric Corrections to Eleven-Dimensional Supergravity

Journal article, 2004

In this paper we study eleven-dimensional supergravity in its most general form. This is done by implementing manifest supersymmetry (and Lorentz invariance) through the use of the geometric (torsion and curvature) superspace Bianchi identities. These identities are solved to linear order in a deformation parameter introduced via the dimension zero supertorsion given in its most general form. The theory so obtained is referred to as the deformed theory (to avoid the previously used term "off-shell"). An important by-product of this result is that any higher derivative correction to ordinary supergravity of the same dimension as R^4, but not necessarily containing it, derived e.g. from M-theory, must appear in a form compatible with the equations obtained here. Unfortunately we have not yet much to say about the explicit structure of these corrections in terms of the fields in the massless supermultiplet. Our results are potentially powerful since if the dimension zero torsion could be derived by other means, our reformulation of the Bianchi identities as a number of algebraic relations implies that the full theory would be known to first order in the deformation, including the dynamics. We mention briefly some methods to derive the information needed to obtain explicit answers both in the context of supergravity and ten-dimensional super-Yang-Mills where the situation is better understood. Other relevant aspects like spinorial cohomology, the role of the 3- and 6-form potentials and the connection of these results to M2 and M5 branes are also commented upon.