Science > How Many Universal Dimensions are There?

How Many Universal Dimensions are There?

By LEONARD MCGAVIN
Published: May 21, 2008

If you are wondering how many dimensions exist in our Universe it all depends on who you are listening to. Everyone appears to be in agreement that there are more than 2 dimensions but that's about as far as anyone really knows.

It seems theoretical physicists are insistent on wrapping their heads around a multi-dimensional Universe. We started off with 3 dimensions - good old space - with its length, height and width. Einstein then came along and proved time is inseparable from space thus leaving us with 4 dimensions. String theorists are now up to 10 dimensions (and then some) which are helping us create better models of understanding the Universe. A recent stab at the Theory of Everything that gives us a 248 dimensional shape, also looks promising.

There seems to be a pattern forming and one has to question if there is an actual limit to the number of dimensions in our Universe. The reason theorists are considering such ideas as a majorly multi-dimension environment is to be able to combine all knowledge we have of the physical universe because at the moment even the fundamental forces of nature do not seem to fit together.

From an msnbc article - The quest for a theory of everything...

For decades, theorists have tried various strategies to roll up the gravitational field and the quantum field into one set of equations. Most of the attempts failed. "Whenever we tried to calculate numbers from these theories, we would arrive at meaningless infinities," said theoretical physicist Michio Kaku.Why should there be a limit to the number of dimensions? Is humankind one day going to say "Yep we did it, we found the limit of it all, 1025 dimensions, that's the secret number"? Unlikely. Is this not just another infinity we are starting to realise?

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