Horava-Witten stability: eppur si muove
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We construct exact time-dependent solutions of the supergravity equations of motion in which two initially non-singular branes, one with positive and the other with negative tension, move together and annihilate each other in an all-enveloping spacetime singularity. Among our solutions are the Hoava-Witten solution of heterotic M-theory and a Randall-Sundrum I type solution, both of which are supersymmetric, i.e. BPS, in the time-independent case. In the absence of branes our solutions are of Kasner type, and the source of instability may ascribed to a failure to stabilise some of the modulus fields of the compactification. It also raises questions about the viability of models based on some sorts of negative tension brane. 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.