Reasons to Believe

Multiverse Musings - The LHC and Extra Dimensions

A team of particle physicists hope to soon being operation of the most powerful man-made particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Although much press has focused on scientists who claim that LHC might produce objects that will eventually destroy Earth, I thought it useful to discuss one potential discovery it might make, namely the existence of extra dimensions.

The advances in string theory research over the past two decades indicate the existence of dimensions beyond the four space-time dimensions we experience. Precision tests of gravity constrain the size of any proposed extra dimensions at less than the average width of human hair. However, particle colliders like the LHC provide more powerful probes of the size of extra dimensions and also their shape.

Almost every currently available model that attempts to unify all four fundamental forces under one theoretical umbrella requires the existence of these extra dimensions. One might wonder how these extra dimensions fit within RTB’s creation model because life depends on the universe having exactly three large spatial dimensions and one large time dimension (referred to as 3+1 dimensions).

While life requires a universe 3+1 dimensionality (for the large dimensions), the extra dimensions in unified theories are small and highly curved or compactified. No experimental evidence supports the existence of these extra dimensions, but LHC scientists hope to find such evidence as data accumulates from the abundant particle collisions. In particular, certain particles can be formed only if the compactified dimensions are highly curved. Detection of these particles would verify the existence of the extra dimensions required in unified models. (For a more technical description of the particles, see this article in the Physical Review Letters.)

Only time will tell what the experimental data will reveal, but I believe the LHC will probably detect evidence of these dimensions. Furthermore, I expect future investigations of the dimensions to provide further support for the idea that a supernatural Creator fashioned this universe to support humanity.

If you would like to see a question about the multiverse addressed in this forum, send it to multiverse@reasons.org.

Subjects: Multiverse, String Theory

Dr. Jeff Zweerink

While many Christians and non-Christians see faith and science as in perpetual conflict, I find they integrate well. They operate by the same principles and are committed to discovering foundational truths. Read more about Dr. Jeff Zweerink.