Use this tag for dimensions of a manifold, typically the space-time. DO NOT USE THIS TAG for dimension of a physical quantity.

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44
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5answers
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Does Coulomb's Law, with Gauss's Law, imply the existence of only three spatial dimensions?

Coulomb's Law states that the fall-off of the strength of the electrostatic force is inversely proportional to the distance squared of the charges. Gauss's law implies that a the total flux through a ...
43
votes
7answers
2k views

Is 3+1 spacetime as privileged as is claimed?

I've often heard the argument that having 3 spatial dimensions is very special. Such arguments are invariably based on certain assumptions that do not appear to be justifiable at all, at least to me. ...
28
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4answers
5k views

Why does moving through time not require energy?

Moving through the other three dimensions necessitates energy. But why doesn't moving through time necessitate energy?
21
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3answers
6k views

If I squeeze something really hard, will it ever become two-dimensional?

A mosquito just wanted to bite me! Päng - and it stuck to my hand, hardly recognisable anymore. I said to my girlfriend: "Just reduced the dimension of the mosquito by one!" Therefore the question: ...
20
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5answers
4k views

What exactly is a dimension?

How do you exactly define what is and isn't a dimension? I heard somewhere that it is "anything you can move through" but if that is right, why wasn't time and space considered a dimension before ...
18
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3answers
1k views

Can light exists in $2+1$ or $1+1$ spacetime dimensions?

Spacetime of special relativity is frequently illustrated with its spatial part reduced to one or two spatial dimension (with light sector or cone, respectively). Taken literally, is it possible for ...
18
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3answers
821 views

Has the concept of non-integer $(n+m)$-dimensional spacetime ever been investigated by theoretical physicists?

The following image serves to aid the reader in understanding the "privileged character" of $3+1$-spacetime. The wikipedia article on spacetime, and the sub-article "The priveleged character of ...
17
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4answers
2k views

Why are so many forces explainable using inverse squares when space is three dimensional?

It seems paradoxical that the strength of so many phenomena (Newtonian gravity, Coulomb force) are calculable by the inverse square of distance. However, since volume is determined by three ...
16
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1answer
4k views

How to define angular momentum in other than three dimensions?

In classical mechanics with 3 space dimension the angular momentum is defined as $\mathbf{L} = \mathbf{r} \times \mathbf{p}$ In relativistic mechanics we have the 4-vectors $x^{\mu}$ and $p^{\mu}$, ...
15
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7answers
4k views

Experimental evidence of a fourth spatial dimension?

As human beings, we observe the world in which we live in three dimensions. However, it is certainly theoretically possible that more dimensions exist. Is there any direct or indirect evidence ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Is it possible to generalize the Maxwell equations to higher dimensions?

The usual Maxwell equations are for 3 spatial dimensions, right? Is it possible to generalize them to 2 spatial dimensions or 4 spatial dimensions?
14
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5answers
4k views

Could negative dimension ever make sense?

After some quick check I found that negative dimensions are not used. But we have negative probability, negative energy etc. So is it so likely that we won't ever use negative dimension(s) ? Update ...
13
votes
5answers
806 views

Proof that Our Planet is 1D

I have took a discrete mathematics course this summer and there we talked about power of groups and functions,and yesterday I though and realize that if we can map all the 3D coordinates with a one on ...
13
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2answers
749 views

How is graphene a 2D substance?

How is graphene a 2D substance? It has length, width and some thickness to it, else it would be invisible. Why is it considered a 2D substance?
13
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2answers
844 views

Why one-dimensional strings, but not higher-dimensional shells/membranes?

One way that I've seen to sort-of motivate string theory is to 'generalize' the relativistic point particle action, resulting in the Nambu-Goto action. However, once you see how to make this ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Intuition for multiple temporal dimensions

It’s easy, relatively speaking, to develop an intuition for higher spatial dimensions, usually by induction on familiar lower-dimensional spaces. But I’m having difficulty envisioning a universe with ...
13
votes
1answer
335 views

How can two time theories be compactified to 3+1 without any Kaluza-Klein remnants

I have recently been looking into the two-time theories and the implied concepts. For me this seems slightly hard to grasp. How can I see the basic concept in this theory in a fundamental way based ...
12
votes
8answers
4k views

Why are extra dimensions necessary?

Some theories have more than 4 dimensions of spacetime. But we only observe 4 spacetime dimensions in the real world, cf. e.g. this Phys.SE post. Why are the theories (e.g. string theory) that ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Maxwell in multiple dimensions: What happens to curl?

I read this answer a while ago, and while thinking about $\nabla$, I realized something. Since the cross product can be written as a determinant, in higher dimensions we require extra vector inputs. ...
12
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3answers
4k views

Gravity in other dimensions than 3 and stable orbits

I have heard from here that stable orbits (ones that require a large amount of force to push it significantly out of it's elliptical path) can only exist in a three spatial dimensions because gravity ...
11
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6answers
641 views

More than one time dimension

We know that space-time dimensions are 3+1 macroscopically, but what if 2+2? Obviously it is tough to imagine two time dimensions, but mathematically we can always imagine as either having two ...
10
votes
4answers
714 views

Can dimension analysis be used in developing more advanced physics equations?

It is obvious that dimensional analysis can be used to derive many classical mechanics equations (excluding constants). As long as all the dependent quantities are known. My question is whether this ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Gravitational constant in higher dimensions?

From Newton's law of gravitation we know that $$F=G\frac{m_1m_2}{r^2}$$ where $G$ is gravitational constant. We can also see that it has dimensions $$[G]=\frac{[L]^3}{[M][T]^2}$$ and we have a ...
9
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3answers
2k views

How can we be so sure the universe has 3 dimensions?

I'm just a layman here so please bear with me if I don't get all the words or theories by correct name or whatever. I hope it will be clear enough what my question is. Here goes: When I read articles ...
9
votes
2answers
456 views

Some questions regarding $n+m$-dimensional spacetime [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Has the concept of non-integer $(n+m)$-dimensional spacetime ever been investigated by theoretical physicists? The following image: serves to aid the reader in ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Does space curvature automatically imply extra dimensions?

Total newbie with basically no physics knowledge here :) I would welcome any correction to the steps of my reasoning that lead to my question, which could easily turn out to be invalid :) My current ...
8
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2answers
577 views

A sketch of various combinations of numbers of space and time dimensions

I came across this picture/sketch on the internet, however there is no any explanation about it: What is "UNPREDICTIBLE"? "UNSTABLE"? "TOO SIMPLE"? "elliptic", "ultrahyperbolic"?? Some related ...
8
votes
2answers
335 views

Why would a particle in an extra dimension appear not as one particle, but a set of particles?

I was reading an article in this months issue of Physics World magazine on the three main theories of extra dimensions and stumbled across something I didn't quite understand when the author began ...
8
votes
1answer
737 views

Why do chiral objects only come in pairs?

My question arise and is connected to the "strange" fact that many things seem to come in pair or in number of two similar "objects". Why are there chiral "pairs" and not groups of 3,4, or more? What ...
8
votes
1answer
256 views

Plausible explanations for 3 local space dimensions

Every now and then I see accounts of models that claim to explain why we experience only 3 space dimensions (locally, i.e. within cosmic horizons and outside black hole horizons). One such of course ...
8
votes
1answer
437 views

Mathematically rather than physically speaking, is there something “special” about 10 (or 11) dimensions?

As I understand it, string theory (incorporating bosons and fermions) "works" in $9+1=10$ spacetime dimensions. In the context of dual resonance theory, I've read descriptions of why that is ...
8
votes
2answers
350 views

Why does the dimension of the electric charge depend on the number of spacetime dimensions?

We can find via dimensional analysis that the dimension of the electric charge varies with the dimension of space-time $(D+1)$: $$[\text{charge}] = (\text{eV})^{(3-D)/2}.$$ It is dimensionless if ...
7
votes
2answers
561 views

Is there an intuitive way of thinking about the extra dimensions in M-Theory?

Why are 11 dimensions needed in M-Theory? The four I know (three spatial ones plus time) have an intuitive meaning in everyday life. How can I think of the other seven? What is their nature (spatial, ...
7
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3answers
9k views

Is imagining 10 dimension video by Rob Bryanton has any invalid/wrong information? [closed]

I just watched this youtube video by Rob Bryanton and am wondering that is there anything invalid/wrong in term of real physics. I search for Rob Bryanton and it look like he has not-so-good ...
7
votes
2answers
892 views

Critical Dimension of Bosonic Strings and Regularization of $\sum_{n=1}^\infty n$

If $D$ is critical dimension of Bosonic strings, a particular derivation goes like the following, where we arrive finally at $$ \frac{D-2}{2}\sum_{n=1}^\infty n + 1 = 0. $$ Now mathematically this is ...
7
votes
3answers
371 views

Is there any intuitive interpretation of compactification?

Obviously the question's title has an unspecified subtext: intuitive to me. Some background to pitch the discussion appropriately: I have a broad understanding, more qualitative than quantitative, of ...
7
votes
2answers
512 views

Deriving Gauss-Bonnet Gravity (Or just higher order corrections)

I have been working for some time now on deriving the equations of motion (EOM) for the Gauss-Bonnet Gravity, which is given by the action: $$\int d^D x \sqrt{|g|} ...
7
votes
1answer
132 views

Is the LEP B meson asymmetry evidence for higher dimensions and/or string theory?

According to this blog, new standard model calculations have changed the 3 sigma B meson forward and backward production asymmetry observed at LEP into two anomolies: A 2.5 sigma B meson production ...
6
votes
2answers
880 views

Einstein Field Equations in other space-time dimensions than 3+1?

This question is apparently quite simple but I can't seem to find an answer to it, so I was hopping anyone could clarify me. Are the Einstein field equations (EFE) only valid for a 3+1 dimensional ...
6
votes
3answers
533 views

Why (in relatively non-technical terms) are Calabi-Yau manifolds favored for compactified dimensions in string theory?

I was hoping for an answer in general terms avoiding things like holonomy, Chern classes, Kahler manifolds, fibre bundles and terms of similar ilk. Simply, what are the compelling reasons for ...
6
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3answers
2k views

What are the fundamental problems of being in a 2 dimensional world?

I was reading through Stephen Hawking's explanation of two - dimensional space. In that he mentioned that it will be very difficult to design a living being that could exist only in 2 dimension. What ...
6
votes
1answer
227 views

How exactly are Calabi-Yau compactifications done?

To compactify 2 open dimensions to a torus, the method of identification written down for this example as $$ (x,y) \sim (x+2\pi R,y) $$ $$ (x,y) \sim (x, y+2\pi R) $$ can be applied. What are the ...
6
votes
1answer
228 views

A Game Of The Number Of Space-Time Dimensions

Holger Bech Nielsen, one of the founders of string theory, has apparently just played some sort of game between different potential dimensions for space-time and reached the conclusion that D4 wins in ...
6
votes
1answer
184 views

Critical dimension in quantization of p-branes

So I have what might be a fairly basic question, but my understanding that in the quantization of the the string, or the 1-brane, there are conditions on the number of spacetime dimensions to ensure ...
6
votes
0answers
107 views

String landscape in different dimensions

For D = 11 large (uncompactified) spacetime dimensions, the only "string theory" vacuum is M-theory For D = 10, there are 5 vacua. Or maybe it's more correct to say 4, since type I is S-dual to ...
5
votes
4answers
623 views

Measuring extra-dimensions

I have read and heard in a number of places that extra dimension might be as big as $x$ mm. What I'm wondering is the following: How is length assigned to these extra dimensions? I mean you can ...
5
votes
5answers
664 views

How to prove that we are living in a 3D world?

Is there any scientific experiment that can lead us to conclude we live in 3 dimensions without the premise of the conception of limited dimensions? Thank you all who helped in the improvement of ...
5
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2answers
2k views

How can one imagine curled up dimensions?

Actually I'm learning String Theory, and one of its proposals is that there are actually 25+1 dimensions of which only 3+1 are visible to us-- and the remaining are curled up. However, superstring ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are there 4 Dimensions and 4 Fundamental Forces?

Is it a coincidence that there are four fundamental forces and four spacetime dimensions ? Does a universe with three spacetime dimension contain four fundamental forces? Can magnetism be realized in ...
5
votes
1answer
344 views

${f=ma}$: a duality between F-theory and M-theory?

$$F = M \Big|_{A(T^2) \to 0}$$ The above equation is the duality equation between F-theory and M-Theory on a vanishing 2-torus. What's the explanation for this equation? Is there anything similar ...