Where would extra dimensions reside?

20 March 2011

Question

Dear Naked Scientists,

While having a look at string theory, I came across the possibility of there being more than 3 dimensions, in some versions of the theory there are 11, in some 26, etc.
For a while now I have been trying to contemplate on how these dimensions would fit in our universe; I have seen models of 6 dimensions, read and tried to understand explanations of minuscule circular dimensions, but wasn't able to comprehend it fully, as I do get what they're trying to say but I think that can't any of the places on the extra dimensions be found using the three common dimensions?

I would sincerely appreciate if you could answer my query, whether by e-mail or on a podcast.

Thank you, regards,

Neerav Bhansali

Answer

We posed this question to Dr Chris Leicester from the University of Cambridge...

Chris - I think that the thing you have to picture is with a lot of these things, they would fit all around you, every part of your fingernail would have a latitude, a longitude, and a position in some of the extra dimensions, at least in some of the classes of theory. There are others where the extra dimensions only gravity can fit into. In which case, you still only have a latitude and longitude, and nothing else.

Dominic - So if you imagine our 3-dimensional universe as being a sort of sheet in a much higher dimension of universe.

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