What exactly is a D-Brane

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What exactly is a D-Brane I understand its a short term for some sort of p-brane but what is a brane and what do they do?
 

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I believe a brane is 2 dimensional or higher string.

You can think of it as a string being a circle, and a brane being a sphere.
p in p-brane stands for dimension, so a 2-brane is a 2 dimensional brane, 3-brane is a 3 dimensional brane, and so on.

Branes come about in M-Theory when the string theorists use non-pertubative measurements for coupling constants.
 
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