Saturday, July 31, 2010

Calabi-Yau Space . 2 | Starscape

This article is being written as your read. Patience please.

So, as we mentioned, string theory, a possible heavy-weight contender for a theory of everything (TOE) in the universe, requires 6 or 7 (depending on the flavor of the theory) extra dimensions to work. But where are they? And are those where our lost socks are languishing?

The answer offered by string theorists is that the hidden dimensions are everywhere but very, very small. Small on the order of the Planck length perhaps - 1.6 x 10 -35 meters - the smallest possible distance in the universe, as derived from various known natural constants such as the speed of light and strength of gravity. This is more orders of magnitude (powers of 10) smaller than an atomic nucleus is to a human body (by roughly 15 times, depending on your height). Small way beyond our powers of personal detection or most powerful machines.

These different dimensions in which strings vibrate are thought to be curled up at every point in space in complex geometric spaces called Calabi-Yau Manifolds.

Continued from ... Calabi-Yau Space . 1.

Image ... A Calabi-Yau Space.

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