If we want to find extra dimensions lurking within our Universe – something that string theory attempts to explain – gravitational waves could be our key to locating them, physicists suggest.
This new hypothesis seeks to answer the long-standing mystery of why gravity appears to be weaker than the other fundamental forces in our Universe, by proposing that it’s actually ‘leaking out’ into extra dimensions we’re yet to detect.
“Extra dimensions have been discussed for a long time from different points of view,” Emilian Dudas from the École Polytechnique in France, who wasn’t involved in the study, told Leah Crane at New Scientist.
“Gravitational waves could be a new twist on looking for extra dimensions.”
Right now, we’re pretty comfortable with the idea of a four-dimensional Universe – three spatial dimensions plus time as the fourth.
But there are a lot of gaps in our understanding of how matter behaves on the smallest scales that an extra six dimensions could help fill – in fact, according to string theory, the Universe would make a lot more sense if it were made up of 10 dimensions.
As one of the most promising avenues by which physicists could finally close the gap between classical and quantum physics, string theory is not easily ignored.
String theory proposes that the smallest building blocks of matter we’ve managed to detect, called quarks, are actually made up of something even tinier – one-dimensional filaments of energy that look like vibrating strings. … (Science Alert)