It might sound like science fiction, but the three dimensions of space we are used to might not be the only ones out there. One theory of particle physics suggests there are in fact nine dimensions, and black holes might be the key to reaching them.
This means that black holes could be portals to other universes. Now scientists at the Large Hadron Collider are closing in on the hunt for evidence.
WHAT IS STRING THEORY?
At its most basic level, string theory, also known as the ‘theory of everything,’ proposes that all objects in our universe are composed of vibrating filaments (strings) and membranes of energy.
The theory suggests that each so-called fundamental particle contains a tiny, vibrating, one-dimensional loop of string. The vibration of the string determines the charge and mass of the greater particle.
String theory works in ten or eleven dimensions and we only experience four.
Scientists have theorised that the missing dimensions are curled up into a compact space. If the space is tiny, on the scale of the strings, then we would be unable to detect them.
Scientists are hopeful that string theory will solve one of the biggest mysteries of the universe; how gravity and quantum physics work fit together.
A few theories in particle physics suggest there is much more to our universe than meets the eye – and these extra dimensions could answer questions ranging from quantum physics to gravity.
One of these, called ‘brane theory’, suggests multiple dimensions could be hiding extra universes.