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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91
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Why does the LIGO observation disprove higher dimensions?

I recently read this article which claims that last year’s LIGO observation of gravitational waves is proof that, at least on massive scales, there cannot be more than three spatial dimensions. I ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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?
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Are the units of energy the same in higher dimensions?

In 3 spatial dimensions, $$[E] = [ML^2 T^{-2}]$$ Would it change in higher dimensions? If yes, then what would be the dimensions for 4 spatial dimensions?
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How can dimensional regularization “analytically continue” from a discrete set?

The procedure of dimensional regularization for UV-divergent integrals is generally described as first evaluating the integral in dimensions low enough for it to converge, then "analytically ...
28
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2answers
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Basis for the Generalization of Physics to a Different Number of Dimensions

I am reading this really interesting book by Zwiebach called "A First Course in String Theory". Therein, he generalizes the laws of electrodynamics to the cases where dimensions are not 3+1. It's an ...
28
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1answer
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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 $p^{\mu}$, ...
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Can light exist 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 $...
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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 ...
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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. ...
25
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Gravity in other than 3 spatial dimensions 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 ...
21
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4answers
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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 $3+1$-...
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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: ...
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1answer
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Why is quantum mechanics called 0+1 dimensional QFT?

I know that quantum mechanics is sometimes called 0+1 dimensional quantum field theory. What is the meaning? How should we understand it?
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5answers
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How many dimensions does electricity have? [closed]

My six year old daughter asked me this morning, 'how many dimensions does electricity have ?' What would be the best answer bearing in mind the age !?
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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 '...
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6answers
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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 ...
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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?
16
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1answer
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What is the spin-statistics theorem in higher dimensions?

In $d = 3+1$ dimensions, the spin-statistics theorem states that fermionic particles have half-integer spin and bosonic particles have integer spin, in a well-behaved relativistic quantum field theory....
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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? ...
15
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1answer
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What is known about the hydrogen atom in $d$ spatial dimensions?

In a first (or second) course on quantum mechanics, everyone learns how to solve the time-independent Schrödinger equation for the energy eigenstates of the hydrogen atom: $$ \left(-\frac{\hbar^2}{2\...
15
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1answer
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6d Massive Gravity

Massive gravity (with a Fierz-Pauli mass) in 4 dimensions is very well-studied, involving exotic phenomena like the van Dam-Veltman-Zakharov (vDVZ) discontinuity and the Vainshtein effect that all ...
15
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1answer
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Are there topological non-trivial states in zero dimension?

The periodic table of topological insulators and superconductors suggests that there can be topological non-trivial phases in zero dimension in non-interacting system with certain symmetries. A 0D ...
15
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2answers
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Link between anomalous dimensions and fractal dimensions

I just realized that anomalous dimensions in quantum/statistical field theory is not that different from fractal dimensions of objects. They both describe how quantitaive objects transform under a ...
14
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5answers
895 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 ...
14
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9answers
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How to explain (pedagogically) why there is 4 spacetime dimensions while we see only the 3 spatial dimesions?

I have been asked this question by a student, but I was able and in the same time incapable to give a good answer for this without equations, so do you have ideas how one can explain this in a simple ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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In a universe with four spatial dimensions would there be elementary particles with intrinsic isoclinic spin?

Elementary particles have an intrinsic property called spin which is different from classical spin as it does not involve actual rotation and the magnitude of spin cannot be changed but particles with ...
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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?
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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|} (R^2-4R_{ab}R^{ab}+R_{abcd}R^{abcd})...
13
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1answer
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
12
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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What is the physical implication(s) of the isomorphism between ${\rm SO}(2)$ and $\mathbb{R}/\mathbb{Z}$?

In the book Mathematical physics by V. Balakrishnan, he says (on page 329) that the isomorphism between ${\rm SO}(2)$ and $\mathbb{R}/\mathbb{Z}$, and the fact that $\mathbb{R}$ is the universal ...
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1answer
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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 ...
12
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2answers
479 views

$2+1$-dimensional Einstein gravity is topological and only non-trivial globally

$2+1$-dimensional Einstein gravity has no local degrees of freedom. This can be proved in two different ways: In $D$-dimensional spacetime, a symmetric metric tensor appears to have $\frac{D(D+1)}{2}$...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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Can electrons be non-fundamental in higher dimensions?

I was wondering, is it necessary that all elementary particles remain elementary in higher dimensions too, or can there be a higher curled dimension (like those in string theory) where an electron, ...
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How does the LHC explore extra dimensions?

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been smashing particles for a long time and sometimes people say that it has found new dimensions. How is it even possible for a particle accelerator to find new ...
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Why are the generators of rotation in the 4-dimensional Euclidean space correspond to rotations in a plane?

In three-dimensions, the rotation generators are represented by $J_1$, $J_2$ and $J_3$ where $1,2,3$ respectively stands for the generator of rotation about $x,y,z$ axes respectively. In general, in ...
10
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2answers
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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 ...
10
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1answer
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Why does only gravity leak into extra non-compact dimensions?

This article K. Pardo, et. al., Limits on the number of spacetime dimensions from GW170817, Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, Vol. 2018, 2018. which was published recently in JCAP ...