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In M-theory there are 2- and 5-branes, but where are the one-dimensional strings which are responsible for all the particles? Can 5-branes turn into 1-dimensional strings due to compactification?

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The fundamental String of IIA String theory is the M2 brane of M-theory wrapped on the M-theory circle at weak coupling limit.

The weak coupling limit is when the radius of the compactified circle is very small.

More generally at weak coupling limit the best description is the IIA string theory while at strong coupling limit the M-theory description.

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