No announcement yet.

Large Extra Dimensions and Large Strings

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Large Extra Dimensions and Large Strings

    THE FABRIC of the COSMOS, Brian Greene, 2004
    ```(annotated and with added bold highlights by Epsilon=One)
    Chapter 13 - The Universe on a Brane
    Large Extra Dimensions and Large Strings
    By trapping three of the four forces, the braneworld scenario significantly relaxes experimental constraints on how big the extra dimensions can be, but the extra dimensions aren't the only thing this approach allows to get bigger. Drawing on insights of Witten, Joe Lykken, Constantin Bachas, and others, Ignatios Antoniadis, together with Arkani-Hamed, Dimopoulos, and Dvali, realized that in the braneworld scenario even unexcited, low-energy strings can be much larger than previously thought. In fact, the two scales — the size of extra dimensions and the size of strings — are closely related.

    Remember from the previous chapter that the basic size of string is determined by requiring that its graviton vibrational pattern communicate a gravitational force of the observed strength. The weakness of gravity translates into the string's being very short, about the Planck length (10^-33 centimeters). But this conclusion is highly dependent on the size of the extra dimensions. The reason is that in string/M-theory, the strength of the gravitational force. we observe in our three extended dimensions represents an interplay between two factors. One factor is the intrinsic, fundamental strength of the gravitational force. The second factor is the size of the extra dimensions. The larger the extra dimensions, the more gravity can spill into them and the weaker its force will appear in the familiar dimensions. Just as larger pipes yield weaker water pressure because they allow water more room to spread out, so larger extra dimensions yield weaker gravity, because they give gravity more room to spread out.

    The original calculations that determined the string's length assumed that the extra dimensions were so tiny, on the order of the Planck length, that gravity couldn't spill into them at all. Under this assumption, gravity appears weak because it is weak. But now, if we work in the braneworld scenario and allow the extra dimensions to be much larger than had previously been considered, the observed feebleness of gravity no longer means that it's intrinsically weak. Instead, gravity could be a relatively powerful force that appears weak only because the relatively large extra dimensions, like large pipes, dilute its intrinsic strength. Following this line of reasoning, if gravity is much stronger than once thought, the strings can be much longer than once thought, too.

    As of today, the question of exactly how long doesn't have a unique, definite answer. With the newfound freedom to vary both the size of strings and the size of the extra dimensions over a much wider range than previously envisioned, there are a number of possibilities. Dimopoulos and his collaborators have argued that existing experimental results, both from particle physics and from astrophysics, show that unexcited strings can't be larger than about a billionth of a billionth of a meter (10^-18 meters). While small by everyday standards, this is about a hundred million billion (10^17) times larger than the Planck length — nearly a hundred million billion times larger than previously thought. As we'll now see, that would be large enough that signs of strings could be detected by the next generation of particle accelerators.
    Last edited by Reviewer; 09-28-2012, 09:00 PM.