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Brane conceptual illustration

Brane conceptual illustration

C026/4115

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Credit

DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

In string theory and related theories such as supergravity, a brane is a physical object that generalizes the notion of a point particle to higher dimensions. For example, a point particle can be viewed as a brane of dimension zero, while a string can be viewed as a brane of dimension one. It is also possible to consider higher-dimensional branes. In dimension p, these are called p-branes. The word brane comes from the word "membrane" which refers to a two-dimensional brane. Branes are dynamical objects which can propagate through spacetime according to the rules of quantum mechanics. They have mass and can have other attributes such as charge.

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