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Behind the talk of miracles and the miraculous, can one conceive of an explanation?
The humongous cancellations that happen to make this work seem no less short of a miracle, quite reinforcing the idea that 11d supergravity occupies a special point in the space of all field theories.
(By the way, it sounds a little odd. Maybe, “…to make this work seem nothing short of a miracle…” or “…to make this work seem nothing less than a miracle…”)
I remember André Joyal giving as an example of a miracle the fact that the algebraic closure of the reals just required a simple extension of degree 2.
Thanks for catching the broken wording, I have fixed it now.
On the “miracles”: The point of using the word is to indicate that it is lacking an “explanation”!
One expert told me that the reason the original authors didn’t check this was “probably because of an argument on counting of supersymmetries”. But I don’t see that this is a valid argument. So it remains a miracle that our mechanical computer algebra agrees after more than 10 minutes of crunching what must be millions of terms.
We don’t mean to belabor the point in itself, but in this article we do need to explain why we check explicit super-embeddings where previous authors were content with looking at the usual equations of motion. It seems this way they missed the critical radius.
Ok, so I guess I’m wondering whether an explanation might be forthcoming. Presumably there are historical cases where what appeared to be meaningless calculations later can be seen to be explicable. But then how could one know in advance?
I don’t see that the miracle will be explained away. Doing these superspace computations is the closest I have come to feel interacting with an ulterior entity.
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