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arXiv:hep-th/9610043 by T. Banks, W. Fischler, S.H. Shenker,

L. Susskind

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In this classic, which colloquially goes by the name "BFSS", Banks, Fischler, Susskind, and Shenker define the first complete nonperturbative formalism for string-theoretic quantum gravity. This paper for the first time allowed arbitrary processes in a particular string vacuum to be calculated to arbitrary accuracy without any limitations inherent to the calculation method. In other words, for 11 dimensional uncompactified M-theory, this paper provides a theory of everything. Not to imply that this paper is just a measly TOE. In addition, it also gave the first example of the physics of the AdS/CFT correspondence.

The theory is formulated as a cartoonishly simple nonrelativistic 0+1 highly supersymmetric quantum mechanics model, which superficially seems to only describe the near-light-cone oscillations of a finite number N of D0 brane positions, which move in a noncommutative geometry due to their mutual electromagnetic interactions. The holographic completeness of these black hole states forces the oscillations in the large N limit to reproduce the entire dynamics of the complete 11-dimensional theory, including gravitons, M2 and M5 branes, and all their mutual dynamics. The construction is using string bit methods pioneered by Susskind, and a precient M2 membrane construction considered without appreciation of the generality in 1980s work by deWit, Hoppe and Nicolai.