# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?  (Read 3255 times)

#### bizerl

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##### Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« on: 04/10/2012 23:25:41 »
Okay, now I've got this figured out in my head, but I don't have any formulas or such to back me up, so I'd appreciate a discussion.

The idea is this. If we lived in a many-dimensioned universe, of which we can only detect three spacial dimensions (lets call it 123D) and whatever you want to think about time, then a theoretical set of three other dimensions (lets call it 456D) could be curled up so tightly, that we couldn't see them. Anything that could only detect 456D would see it is a singularity. All the mass would still be there, hidden round the corner in 123D, but the distance you would have to travel to get around the entire universe would be miniscule.

So, we live in 123D. Could the big bang simply be the moment when the universe which had previously been experienced in full glory in 456D, somehow ballooned in to the three dimensions we know of and therefore curled up the other ones.

Sorry, I know that sounds clunky, as I said, I've got this figured out in my head. I think of it as a balloon with a small metal ring in the centre. As one side of the metal ring deflates, the other side expands.

Not sure if it has any scientific relevance at all and I'm more than willing to be shot down in flames.

#### namaan

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##### Re: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« Reply #1 on: 05/10/2012 01:58:52 »
If this is all novel thinking from you, then you can be pleased to know that I've heard of several popular theories on this idea of curled up higher dimensions that we cannot see. I'm not sure if I understand exactly what your idea is, but I've conjured up similar images of the big bang myself where the dimensions of space are essentially inflated with information/energy much like a balloon as all the dimensions uncurl out and "flatten out".

I've mostly dropped the idea since since it was missing some basic features necessary to explain experimental results. But then, my model was probably quite different from what you've imagined.

#### bizerl

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##### Re: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« Reply #2 on: 05/10/2012 02:36:22 »
It's partly inspired by ideas of string theory where they talk about curled up dimensions. I guess what I'm implying is that the Big Bang is the process by which our dimensions uncurl, in response to other, already uncurled dimensions curling up. So that it is more of a shift of space and matter (and time, I guess) from these dimensions into those dimensions. Because we can only perceive those dimensions, it appears that a singularity suddenly exploded.

Can't argue with experiment though.

#### old guy

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##### Re: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« Reply #3 on: 09/10/2012 19:12:19 »
I think that a clear definition of a "dimension" is the first requirement for discussion of any/all cosmologies.
M-theory has eleven of them, but none are explained after 3-D space and time, as a required concept for all movement.

I wish someone could explain to me, for instance, to what does even a fourth dimension of space refer? I see space as the volume in which everything exists and moves. Volume is fully and exhaustively described by the three dimensions we call axes... length, width and height in most common reference.

I know that string/M-theory likes to say that the extra dimensions are extra "degrees of freedom," but what does that mean? ... freedom of strings to "wiggle/vibrate" in a way transcending "space-as-3-D volume?"
So far these "extra dimensions" are just imaginary, but to what do they actually refer? It's all metaphysics. Imagination is good "brainstorming" for cosmology, but it is not science until it can be empirically verified.

"Branes clapping together" creating "new universes?"
How many fairies can dance on a pinhead? Maybe if they are as small as strings there could be zillions of them, but they, like strings, they will remain unobservable.

#### old guy

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##### Re: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« Reply #4 on: 10/10/2012 18:53:56 »
Hey bizerl,
What do you think is a good definition of a dimension, and how could space have four of them (not counting time?)

#### bizerl

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##### Re: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« Reply #5 on: 12/10/2012 00:36:00 »
Hey bizerl,
What do you think is a good definition of a dimension, and how could space have four of them (not counting time?)

hehe. I think we're even now.

I like the degrees of freedom idea. I've always thought that an extra dimension would be in a direction 90 degrees to the current three. This idea only makes sense if I rattle it off glibly and don't think about it too much.

A lot of popular science authors have described extra dimensions using analogies of lower dimensions. I like the one about an ant travelling along a string. It can go forwards and backwards and therefore is travelling in one dimension. If you zoomed in really closely though, you can see that it could go left and right around the string. It wouldn't have to go far to be back where it started and this is the idea that a dimension could be curled up.

to be continued...

#### old guy

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##### Re: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« Reply #6 on: 12/10/2012 20:57:31 »
bizerl:
Quote
I like the degrees of freedom idea. I've always thought that an extra dimension would be in a direction 90 degrees to the current three. This idea only makes sense if I rattle it off glibly and don't think about it too much.
Right.
Still, "degrees of freedom" must have meaning other than just a cool sounding phrase. Width is perpendicular (90 degrees) to length and height is perpendicular (90 degrees) to the plane of length and width. So what further direction/axis is there. None, I think.

Quote
A lot of popular science authors have described extra dimensions using analogies of lower dimensions. I like the one about an ant travelling along a string. It can go forwards and backwards and therefore is travelling in one dimension. If you zoomed in really closely though, you can see that it could go left and right around the string. It wouldn't have to go far to be back where it started and this is the idea that a dimension could be curled up.

Still... a virtual line is one dimensional, but a string is a three dimensional, having volume, approximating a cylinder, and an ant can crawl back and forth along the string and all around its surface.

If you curl up a flat piece of paper (a 2-D plane) you will make a 3-D tube. Still no extra dimension beyond 3-D volume. Bend a tube  balloon and connect it into a wheel and it's still a 3-D object in 3-D space.
What say you?
« Last Edit: 12/10/2012 20:59:11 by old guy »

#### bizerl

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##### Re: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« Reply #7 on: 18/10/2012 00:23:31 »
Quote
Right.
Still, "degrees of freedom" must have meaning other than just a cool sounding phrase. Width is perpendicular (90 degrees) to length and height is perpendicular (90 degrees) to the plane of length and width. So what further direction/axis is there. None, I think.

The whole idea of the extra dimensions being curled up so small we can't see them means that we can't see them!. Defining something that we cannot directly interact with is always going to be challenging. I was of the impression that a lot of conclusions about extra dimensions came about from mathematics. Unfortunately my mediocre high school mathematic skills are not advanced enough to follow the maths, and trying to squeeze an extra-dimensional description into a 3-dimensional mind is going to leave either gaps or headaches!

Quote
Still... a virtual line is one dimensional, but a string is a three dimensional, having volume, approximating a cylinder, and an ant can crawl back and forth along the string and all around its surface.

If you curl up a flat piece of paper (a 2-D plane) you will make a 3-D tube. Still no extra dimension beyond 3-D volume. Bend a tube  balloon and connect it into a wheel and it's still a 3-D object in 3-D space.
What say you?

The description describes an extra dimension beyond a 1D world. A virtual line is 1D and the surface of a string is 2D. The surface of a sphere is also 2D, but if you bore a hole through the centre or jump off the surface, you are moving in a third dimension. Something that the 2D inhabitants of my fictional surface would find utterly incomprehensible, just as I find the idea of a theoretical fourth dimension utterly mind boggling.

I guess if you think about relativity. It is well established that time and space do freaky things when you move fast. It is also well established that most people have difficulty getting their heads around this because for the slow speeds we move at, there is no perceptible change.

It may be that extra dimensions are the same - part of the structure of the universe but imperceptible for us enormously super-atomic sized beings.

I know I haven't really answered your questions, old guy, but it has put me one post closer to you...

#### old guy

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##### Re: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« Reply #8 on: 18/10/2012 20:50:15 »
bizerl:
"The whole idea of the extra dimensions being curled up so small we can't see them means that we can't see them!"

Still, if a theorist posits extra dimensions is it not up to him to explain what he means by an extra dimension? If length, width and height fully and exhaustively descibe 3-D volume, synonymous with "space" as I see it, what other direction/axis could there be?
Saying that  '2-D dwellers' (flat beings) can not imagine 3-D space does not answer what one might mean by "4-D space."

Btw, the fact we can't "see" subatomic particles doesn't mean that they don't exist. We can see their effects after their collisions in particle accelerators. The same can not be said of "strings" or "4-D space."
And nobody will talk about what "spacetime" IS, i.e., "What is 'curved' by mass?" That's ontology, not physics and not allowed as part of a discussion of GR.

#### yor_on

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##### Re: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« Reply #9 on: 27/10/2012 14:21:29 »
If you find a way to define what degrees of freedom is I will be very pleased Bizerl. I can say that all must involve a arrow though, because I can't see them being measured without it.

So, let's say that they all need a arrow. What more can be degrees of freedom?

#### bizerl

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##### Re: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« Reply #10 on: 28/10/2012 21:14:53 »

Perhaps, degrees of freedom or dimensions are defined by the minimum combinations that two particles can be adjacent. A particle can be in front or behind of another, above or below, left or right. Perhaps a fourth spacial dimension would be charmward and strangeward, and would describe a different way in which particles could be adjacent that wasn't just a combination of the previous three.

A "curled up" dimension would be one where, for example, particle one was sitting charmward of particle two, and particle 2 was strangeward of particle one. Strangeward of particle 2 was particle one, because the universe in that dimension was so small.

The "uncurling" of that dimension would involve more particles being able to line up charmward and strangeward before the count ends up at one again.

Confused? I am! I wish I'd done that Physics degree.

#### old guy

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##### Re: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« Reply #11 on: 29/10/2012 19:00:44 »
bizerl:

Quote
A particle can be in front or behind of another, above or below, left or right. Perhaps a fourth spacial dimension would be charmward and strangeward, and would describe a different way in which particles could be adjacent that wasn't just a combination of the previous three.

So, we have up/down, in front/behind, and left/right... 3-D. To what would "charmward" or "strangeward" refer as extra directions/dimensions?
Do these terms not require referents to have meaning? How does the very small scale of subatomic particles create more directions or axes, more "dimensions?"
Has science now discovered new "degrees of freedom" by inventing new words without meaning?
Nothing personal... just asking, as I am very interested in to what "extra dimensions" refer.

#### Ethos_

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##### Re: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« Reply #12 on: 29/11/2012 18:34:34 »
If you find a way to define what degrees of freedom is I will be very pleased Bizerl. I can say that all must involve a arrow though, because I can't see them being measured without it.

So, let's say that they all need a arrow. What more can be degrees of freedom?
Just a thought, if I may be allowed to jump in here? When I think about degrees of freedom, the first thing that comes to my mind is the spiral that a particle takes as it moves thru space and time. I believe some spiral left-handed and some spiral right-handed. Science tells us that, in space, right and left have no real meaning. If that's true, then why do these particles differentiate between the two? Something tells me that if these particles know the difference, there must be a difference. Thus, not only are there three spatial dimensions, maybe there are six more degrees of freedom. Namely; right, left, up, down, forward, and backward. Just a thought..................Ethos_

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Re: Could the big bang be the uncurling of our three spacial dimensions?
« Reply #12 on: 29/11/2012 18:34:34 »