Extra Spatial Dimensions


I was thinking about extra spatial dimensions. So we have three visible dimensions, but most of physics now is predicting that there must be more. Brian Greene describes this as tiny curled up dimensions. The dimensions are so small that we can’t see them. What I was thinking about is why we must call them too small to see. Isn’t it perfectly logical that the dimensions are just as large (maybe larger) as all the other ones, but since we are three-dimensional beings we just can’t see them like in Flatland. Why must they be too small? Is this just some analogy in attempt to satisfy the media?

Edited: I re-read this post and was horrified. I had spelled “spatial” as “spacial,” so I quickly changed all the spellings. Then I looked it up in a dictionary, and apparently either one is correct. Interesting.

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4 thoughts on “Extra Spatial Dimensions

  1. I think you’re dead on. I read Flatland too and it makes perfect sense, If there are multiple spatial dimensions (I believe there are many) We still would not be aware of them. Unless, and here’s where I am blown away. Beings from these other dimensions interacted with us. I am firmly convinced that Angels operate on a higher dimensional plane, as do other spiritual creatures mentioned in the Bible. There is a real, massive, hierarchal(sp?) world that surrounds us and we are only a part of it all. Perhaps science insists the extra dimensions are compactified because they do not want to wrestle with the idea of a world outside ours…the “spiritual” world

  2. I actually have come to a slightly better understanding of why physicists want compactified dimensions. It has to do with experimental data and energy. If the dimensions weren’t on the size of the Planck length or smaller, then the effect they have on particle physics experiments would be noticed.

    Of course, this doesn’t mean that the theory can’t be wrong and that large extra spatial dimensions exist. Um, I think there are too many negations in that sentence, but you should get the gist of it.

  3. Hmm…I see, so its about gravity mostly then? The gravity in the other dimensions effecting ours? At least, thats what I’ve come to understand from the bit of reading I’ve done on the subject.

    Maybe someone can explain this to me: Why does gravity have to effect the extra dimensions the same as it does ours? Isn’t it possible that gravity is somehow contained in our percieved dimensions? Or is that too far off base?

  4. It is true that this fuss is over gravity, but it isn’t in an extra-dimensional sense. The four fundamental forces are the strong, weak, electromagnetic, and gravity. The first three fit perfectly together through quantum mechanics. Then gravity has its own theory: general relativity.

    The problem is to get gravity into a quantum mechanics theory. If you try that, things get messed up and if you try to put the other three into general relativity things get messed up.

    There are many attempts to do this. There is quantum gravity, topological quantum field theory, string theory, etc. It turns out that so far string theory is the only one that can get gravity into it successfully. It also turns out that string theory demands extra dimensions.

    Disclaimer: Before some crazy physicist yells at me that other theories have fit gravity into their picture, I am saying this from my own knowledge. I know that there are many many different attempts at this, it is to my knowledge that none have successfully incorporated gravity without severe compromises somewhere else.

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