Quantum reality | ||

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Quantum reality |

**Hyperspace** Since the early 1980s, many physicists had suspected that space contains more than the familiar three dimensions, corresponding to directions in which movement is possible (up-down, forward-backward, and sideways). Three directions is enough for everyday life, but not enough to explain how gravity fits together with the other forces of nature.

One explanation for gravity involves explaining basic particles (energy and matter) in terms of tiny vibrating loops known as superstrings. But for the math of superstring theory to make sense it is necessary to postulate a hyperspace or higher spatial dimensions beyond the usual three. These extra dimensions exist at an extremely tiny quantum physical scale

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**Probability Wave** Quantum physics refers to the unusual concept of the probability wave. What this means is that a particle - say for example an electron - when not being measured (located), takes the form of a field or wave of probable locations, some being more probable or likely than others. So from one point of view the electron is a solid little energy particle located in a particular spot. And from another point of view it is an energy field or wave-form of possible locations (the extent of the probability-wave is based on Plank's constant (a very tiny quantity) and defined according to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle). This is the so-called wave-particle paradox in quantum physics; a particle is also a wave, a wave is also a particle.

On the macroscopic level of everyday objects, this effect is not noticeable because the Plank Constant is so tiny). On the quantum physical level however the effects are noticable.

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Closed superstring animation by Patricia Schwarz - The Official String Theory Web Site |

Open superstring animation by Patricia Schwarz - The Official String Theory Web Site |

**Superstrings** One form of unified field theory involves explaining the basic units quanta) of energy and matter in terms of tiny vibrating loops known as superstrings. But for the math of superstring theory to make sense it is necessary to postulate a hyperspace or higher spatial dimensions beyond the usual three. Hence the idea of ten dimensional space, eleven if you include time as well.

Superstrings would vibrate in an extremely small scale. Their hyperdimension motion would return to its starting point almost instantanously. A huge amount of energy would be required for a particle accelerator to detect such tiny dimensions (one of many paradoxes of quantum physics - the smaller you go to measure something, the more energy you need to generate).

In 1996, Dr. Joseph Lykken of Fermilab suggested that superstrings might have effects detectable at much lower energies. If so, the hidden superstring dimensions could be much bigger than originally thought, as much as a millimeter across. In these hidden dimensions, the 3 dimensions of our universe would be extremely thin (about 10-millionth of a billionth of a millimeter) but these universes would exist in other dimensions, which are extremely thin relative to our universe.

** String Theory** by Joseph Polchinski

Standard textbook on strings and superstrings. Although pretty well written (doesn't skip equations, has very informative appendices and glossaries), this is for pros only. With it- they should be able to follow the literature (articles, preprints,..). An aside remark: since the discipline has not yet yielded any significant experimental confirmation (its status still shaky); the math too exacting (and better presented in other books) - it's virtually useless for outsiders.

Rating:

(advanced level textbook equivalent)

quality - ★★★★

Book review by Arvan Harvat

The Official String Theory Web Site - by Patricia Schwarz - really easy to follow intro to Superstrings - accessible and enjoyable stuff; SUPERSTRINGS! Home Page - an online introduction to superstring theory, which is the leading candidate for the theory of all fundamental interactions in the universe - by John M. Pierre; Event-Symmetric String Theory - lots of stuff on superstrings and supersymmetry (unified field theory). Hardly any maths. - chapter 8 or Event-Symmetric Space-Time, by Philip Gibbs

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