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There are models where the extra dimensions don't need to be curled up. The main issue with extra dimensions is, 'why don't the particles/fields we interact with travel in those directions?' We have extremely good limits on standard model particles (electrons, photons) travelling in extra dimensions. However, it is possible to imagine a string inspired ...


I don't think its a weakness in any sense. Because in all string theories, $10+1$ dimensional Lorentz transformations ARE a symmetry of the action itself. However not only in order to agree with phenomenology, but also as an attempt (not completely successful so far) to reproduce the entire structure of the standard model interactions, string theory ...

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