Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Physicists and engineers search for new dimension

12.03.2008
The universe as we currently know it is made up of three dimensions of space and one of time, but researchers in the Department of Physics and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech are exploring the possibility of an extra dimension.

Sound like an episode from the “Twilight Zone"” Almost, but not quite; according to John Simonetti, associate professor of physics in the College of Science and Michael Kavic, graduate student and one of the investigators on the project.

“The idea we’re exploring is that the universe has an imperceptibly small dimension (about one billionth of a nanometer) in addition to the four that we know currently,” Kavic said. “This extra dimension would be curled up, in a state similar to that of the entire universe at the time of the Big Bang.”

The group is looking for small primordial black holes that, when they explode, may produce a radio pulse that could be detected here on Earth. These black holes are called primordial because they were created a fraction of a second after the beginning of the universe.

Black holes are expected to evaporate over time, losing mass and therefore shrinking. A black hole larger than the extra dimension would wrap around it like a thick rubber band wrapped around a hose. As a black hole shrinks down to the size of the extra dimension, it would be stretched so thin it would snap, causing an explosion.

The explosion could produce a radio pulse. Under a National Science Foundation grant, the Virginia Tech group is preparing to set up an Eight-meter-wavelength Transient Array radio telescope in Montgomery County to search the sky for these radio pulses from explosions up to 300 light years away. They have a similar telescope in southwestern North Carolina that has been looking for events for several months.

“We have a number of things in mind that have been predicted to produce radio pulses, which have not been seen,” Simonetti said. “One of them is a primordial black hole explosion.”

“Basically we’re looking for any exotic, high-energy explosion that would produce radio waves,” Simonetti said. He said the establishment of the second radio telescope would help the two telescopes validate one another.

“If a pulse is detected in both instruments at about the same time, that’s a good indication we’re talking about something real as opposed to a pulse from manmade interference,” Simonetti said.

Why search for extra dimensions" One reason has to do with string theory, an area of physics that postulates that the fundamental building blocks of the universe are small strings of matter that oscillate much like a guitar string, producing various harmonics.

“String theory requires extra dimensions to be a consistent theory,” Kavic said. “String theory suggests a minimum of 10 dimensions, but we’re only considering models with one extra dimension.”

Some theorists believe the Large Hadron Collider, a giant particle accelerator being constructed near Geneva, Switzerland, might be able to detect an extra dimension. The Virginia Tech group hopes to detect them via radio astronomy, a much less elaborate and costly endeavor.

The Virginia Tech research team plans to run the search for at least five years. Others involved in the project include physics graduate student Sean Cutchin; College of Engineering professors Steven Ellingson and Cameron Patterson; and graduate students Brian Martin, Kshitija Deshpande, and Mahmud Harun.

“If we had evidence there is an extra dimension, it would really revolutionize how we think about space and time,” Kavic said. “This would be a very exciting discovery.”

Catherine Doss | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Significantly more productivity in USP lasers
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>