In “Primordial Weirdness: Did the Early Universe Have One Dimension? Scientists Outline Test for Theory”, at ScienceDaily (Apr. 20, 2011), we re asked to consider whether the universe started out with only one dimension:
That’s the mind-boggling concept at the heart of a theory that University at Buffalo physicist Dejan Stojkovic and colleagues proposed in 2010.They suggested that the early universe — which exploded from a single point and was very, very small at first — was one-dimensional (like a straight line) before expanding to include two dimensions (like a plane) and then three (like the world in which we live today).
The theory, if valid, would address important problems in particle physics.
Now, in a new paper in Physical Review Letters, Stojkovic and Loyola Marymount University physicist Jonas Mureika describe a test that could prove or disprove the “vanishing dimensions” hypothesis.
The idea isn’t new. A 19th century mathematician, Edwin A.Abbott, wrote a novel, Flatlanders, which addresses the question of how a three-dimensional entity would experience a two-dimensional or one-dimensional world:
Of course, the subject of two-dimensional thinking – or even one-dimensional thinking – obviously suggests a chance for an author to condemn short-sighted social policy. But still, in addition to his two-dimensional world, Abbott also offers us a geometrical glimpse into a one-dimensional world, dominated inevitably by a supreme egotist.