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The 5th Dimension




No, not that 5th dimension. I'm actually here to talk about five-dimensional space, not soul music - but regardless, I hope this piques your interest.

Last post, I researched the 4th dimension, and attempted to break it down in a concise, easy-to-understand, yet informative manner. This is pretty much impossible to do, especially throwing a new dimension into the mix; so again, you'll have to look for yourself to get a more comprehensive view.


(Known as a 5-cube)

Several branches of physics, namely particle and astrophysics, studies and debates whether or not the universe we inhabit is, in some way or another, five-dimensional. Essentially, the 5th dimension is a hypothetical dimension beyond the three spatial dimensions which we know, and the dimension of time brought to us by relativity. Several theories were developed around such a dimension; for example, shortly after the theory of relativity came into fruition, an extension of it emerged concerning the 5th dimension. It was developed over the course of two decades, and was known as the Kaluza-Klein theory. Initially, it unified gravitational forces with electromagnetic forces - then Oskar Klein came along to give this theory a quantum interpretation, stating that this dimension was "rolled up" and microscopic.

This "microscopic" view actually corresponds with string theory, which relies on the existence on 11 dimensions. In this view, 7 out of the 11 dimensions would be rolled up and existent only at the subatomic level. Some speculations occur in this respect - one of these being that the graviton, a particle said to carry the force of gravity, may somehow permeate into the 5th dimension or higher. This would supposedly explain why gravitational forces are weaker than the other 3 fundamental forces - strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and electromagnetic.


So how should we view this 5th dimension?

A "holographic principle" was put forward by Dutch theoretical physicist Gerard 't Hooft, which states that a dimension can be viewed as curvature in a spacetime with one fewer dimension. For example, a hologram is a 3-D picture on a 2-D surface, giving it the visible curvature that we all notice.


Likewise, the fourth dimension would be the curvature path of a test particle in three-dimensional space. 't Hooft also speculated the 5th dimension to be the spacetime fabric - that continuum which can be distorted by large masses/gravity.

A hypersphere in five-dimensional space, the volume enclosed by the set of all points in 5-space equidistant from a central point, is given by the equation 33246295aac9a1c18cd13fefbabd3bf6.png, where r is that distance from the center point. (I just added this for the people like me who want to see some tangible math to break up the crazy theoretical stuff.)

That's about all I have, so remember to research further if you're interested - I can't do this stuff justice!

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