PureInsight | September 16, 2002
While non-professional people still have doubts about the concept of multiple dimensions, most physicists have already begun to accept it. The most well known academic journal, Science, published a review article "Spacetime, Warped Branes, and Hidden Dimensions" in May 2002 (Vol. 296), briefly introducing this concept.
Look around--how many dimensions are you aware of? Of course, the answer is four: three spatial dimensions and one time dimension. Four numbers are enough to locate and catalog anything that happens anywhere in the universe. But why four? Where did they come from? Until fairly recently, the best minds in history had to settle for 'that's just the way it is.' Then, a mere 87 years ago, Albert Einstein introduced his Theory of General Relativity, which rolls the four dimensions together into the concept of a spacetime. Suddenly the universe became tractable, malleable. Physicists realized that the space and time are not absolute, instead, they may fluctuate, curve, and even warp in on themselves to form exotic astronomical objects such as black holes .
The author says in the article that physicists who are studying the structure of the universe realized that there is no a priori reason for having four dimensions. Extra dimensions are easy to describe mathematically. Why shouldn't they exist? Indeed, counterintuitive though the idea might seem, theorists have shown that extra dimensions are not only possible, but also necessary for a consistent description of spacetime. In the 1970s, for example, theorists working to reconcile gravity and quantum theory developed an elegant model, called string theory, in which the fundamental particles of our universe are viewed as excitations of a tiny subatomic species called strings. String theory needed dimensions well beyond the standard four. Our universe has at least 10 dimensions, but the other 6 are so small that people cannot detect them in conventional ways.
The author says, theory reveals that our 'field of view' may be limited to a lower dimensional membrane, or brane, embedded in the higher dimensional spacetime and that might be the reason why people cannot see the other dimension. The collisions or interactions between branes may trigger a series of big bangs as they collide again and again, which paves the way for the development of the structure of the universe we observe. In June 2001, an article published in another famous journal, Nature, also developed a theory in which our universe is just one layer of brane within multiple- dimensions, and the whole multi-dimension exists in a hyperspace in the form of layers of brane. Some dimensions may be as small as atoms, and some may be infinitely large. Their existence has a very strong influence on our universe, although people cannot easily detect them.
Modern western science hasn't discovered the existence of multi-dimensions until recently, but in ancient Asia, especially in the cultivation community [those who improve or "cultivate" mind and body through meditation, martial arts, qi gong, etc], it is not a new concept at all. A lot of historic records show that cultivators can see beings and objects in other dimensions, and some of them can even enter other dimensions. Some modern discoveries, such as clairvoyance, have also verified the existence of multiple dimensions. It may be true that, in order to reveal the structure and the characteristic of multi-dimensions, people not only need modern science, but also need to explore the deeper wisdom of ancient oriental cultivation culture.
2. Nature 2001 June 28 Vol. 411