Introduction to M(atrix) theory and noncommutative geometry

Anatoly Konechny, Albert Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


Noncommutative geometry is based on an idea that an associative algebra can be regarded as “an algebra of functions on a noncommutative space”. The major contribution to noncommutative geometry was made by A. Connes, who, in particular, analyzed Yang–Mills theories on noncommutative spaces, using important notions that were introduced in his papers (connection, Chern character, etc). It was found recently that Yang–Mills theories on noncommutative spaces appear naturally in string/M-theory; the notions and results of noncommutative geometry were applied very successfully to the problems of physics.

In this paper we give a mostly self-contained review of some aspects of M(atrix) theory, of Connes’ noncommutative geometry and of applications of noncommutative geometry to M(atrix) theory. The topics include introduction to BFSS and IKKT matrix models, compactifications on noncommutative tori, a review of basic notions of noncommutative geometry with a detailed discussion of noncommutative tori, Morita equivalence and SO(d,dlZ)-duality, an elementary discussion of noncommutative orbifolds, noncommutative solitons and instantons. The review is primarily intended for physicists who would like to learn some basic techniques of noncommutative geometry and how they can be applied in string theory and to mathematicians who would like to learn about some new problems arising in theoretical physics.

The second part of the review (Sections 10–12) devoted to solitons and instantons on noncommutative Euclidean space is almost independent of the first part.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-465
Number of pages13
JournalPhysics Reports
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2002


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