What is the theory of supergravity

Super gravity

Super gravity In theoretical physics (SUGRA) denotes a group of field theories that combine the principles of general relativity and supersymmetry.

Its first representative in four spacetime dimensions was constructed in 1973 in Russia by Volkov and Soroka and in 1976 in the West by Daniel Z. Freedman, Peter van Nieuwenhuizen and Sergio Ferrara. The graviton with spin 2 is assigned (at least) one fermionic super partner with spin 3/2, the so-called gravitino.

In extended-supersymmetric versions there are several gravitinos and other fields with lower spin. Such models often result as a dimensional reduction of higher-dimensional theories.

Ten-dimensional supergravity theories arise as borderline cases of superstring theories in the limit of vanishing string length and are classified into types I, IIA and IIB.

Eleven dimensional supergravity

The unambiguous eleven-dimensional supergravity with the highest possible number of dimensions (with only one temporal dimension) plays a special role, especially as a borderline case of the M-theory superordinate to the superstring theories. The eleven-dimensional supergravity was known as theory of everything proposed because after reduction to four dimensions it promised to be a finite theory of gravity, with enough quantum fields and symmetries to encompass the standard model of elementary particle physics. The finiteness of this theory has so far neither been proven nor definitively ruled out.


  • D.Z. Freedman, P. van Nieuwenhuizen, S. Ferrara, "Progress Toward A Theory Of Supergravity", Physical ReviewD13 (1976) pp 3214-3218.
  • E. Cremmer, B. Julia, J. Scherk, "Supergravity theory in eleven dimensions", Physics LettersB76 (1978) pp 409-412.
  • P. van Nieuwenhuizen, "Supergravity", Physics Reports68 (1981) pp 189-398.


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