Scientists at Duke and Rutgers universities have developed a mathematical framework they say will enable astronomers to test a new five-dimensional theory of gravity that competes with Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.
Charles R. Keeton of Rutgers and Arlie O. Petters of Duke base their work on a recent theory called the type II Randall-Sundrum braneworld gravity model. The theory holds that the visible universe is a membrane (hence "braneworld") embedded within a larger universe, much like a strand of filmy seaweed floating in the ocean. The "braneworld universe" has five dimensions -- four spatial dimensions plus time -- compared with the four dimensions -- three spatial, plus time -- laid out in the General Theory of Relativity.
The framework Keeton and Petters developed predicts certain cosmological effects that, if observed, should help scientists validate the braneworld theory. The observations, they said, should be possible with satellites scheduled to launch in the next few years.
If the braneworld theory proves to be true, "this would upset the applecart," Petters said. "It would confirm that there is a fourth dimension to space, which would create a philosophical shift in our understanding of the natural world."
Thursday, May 25, 2006
FINDING THE FIFTH DIMENSION
Wow. The General Theory of Relativity might get the one-up. Read all about Braneworld at Science Daily:
So, there is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. You know -- vast as space, timeless as infinity. The middle ground between light and shadow, science and superstition. Between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. A dimension of imagination. What was it called?