# Questions tagged [spacetime-dimensions]

Use this tag for dimensions of a manifold, typically the space-time. DO NOT USE THIS TAG for dimension of a physical quantity nor for the size of an object.

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### 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. ...
5answers
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### 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 ...
2answers
3k 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 ...
6answers
6k views

### 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 ...
6answers
2k 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 ...
1answer
7k 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 $p^{\mu}$, ...
9answers
10k 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 ...
7answers
8k 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 ...
2answers
1k 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 ...
5answers
18k views

### Why does string theory require 9 dimensions of space and one dimension of time?

String theorists say that there are many more dimensions out there, but they are too small to be detected. However, I do not understand why there are ten dimensions and not just any other number? ...
3answers
953 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 ...
2answers
960 views

### Universe being flat and why we can't see or access the space “behind” our universe plane?

I'm a layman, but i watched some intereting videos about big bang on youtube[michio kaku, hawking this kind of things, not some crackpots :)] I described everything on my picture: So is there any ...
4answers
1k 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 $3+1$-...
3answers
7k 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. ...
2answers
1k 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 '...
1answer
1k views

### Inverse Square Law and extra space dimensions

Newton's famous Inverse Square Law says that in $n=3$ dimension of space, force is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between a source and a target. I understand that for higher ...
4answers
936 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 ...
1answer
171 views

### Are all galaxies we see really our Milky Way? Any possibility?

There is a possibility for our universe to be the surface volume of a (higher-dimensional) hyperspace. So if this possibility is true,then is there also a possibility that the other galaxies we see ...
3answers
2k views

2answers
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### Gravity in 2d space and inverse linear law

In our three-dimensional universe, gravity obeys the inverse square law. In a four-dimensional universe, gravity would be expected to obey the inverse cube law et cetera. In a two-dimensional ...