Friday, March 18, 2011

Physicists investigate lower dimensions of the universe

Physicists investigate lower dimensions of the universe: So far, there may already be one piece of experimental evidence for the existence of a lower-dimensional structure at a higher energy scale. When observing families of cosmic ray particles in space, scientists found that, at energies higher than 1 TeV, the main energy fluxes appear to align in a two-dimensional plane. This means that, above a certain energy level, particles propagate in two dimensions rather than three dimensions.

In the current study, Mureika and Stojkovic have proposed a second test for lower dimensions that would provide independent evidence for their existence. The test is based on the assumption that a (2 + 1)-dimensional spacetime, which is a flat plane, has no gravitational degrees of freedom. This means that gravity waves and gravitons cannot have been produced during this epoch. So the physicists suggest that a future gravitational wave detector looking deep into space might find that primordial gravity waves cannot be produced beyond a certain frequency, and this frequency would represent the transition between dimensions. Looking backwards, it would appear that one of our spatial dimensions has “vanished.”
The scientists added that it should be possible, though perhaps more difficult, to test for the existence of (1 + 1)-dimensional spacetime.

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