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Extra Dimensions Might Be Hidden In Gravitational Waves?

First Posted: Jun 30, 2017 03:50 AM EDT
Have Gravitational Waves Been Discovered?
Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, which are "ripples" in the fabric of space and time, in 1916.

(Photo : PBS Space Time/YouTube screenshot)

Researchers have been examining and investigating a possibility of hidden dimensions on the "ripples" in the fabric of space and time known as gravitational waves. These extra dimensions as speculated by string theory could impact gravitational waves.

The description of the investigation was published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (arXiv.org preprint). The work was led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute/AEI) in Potsdam. The scientists have been examining the consequences of extra dimensions on the gravitational waves and trying to figure out whether their impacts could be identified, according to Phys.org.

The investigation was fundamentally based on the LIGO's observations of gravitational waves in September 2015, December 2015 and January 2017. This enables the scientists to probe nature and examine theories in more advanced methods.

Dr. David Andriot, a co-author of the study from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Germany, said that with this new tool, they could only track black holes and other exotic astrophysical objects but also understand gravity itself. He added that compared to the other fundamental forces such as electromagnetism, the gravity is extremely weak. The weakness could have come from the interactions of gravity to more than three dimensions in space and one dimension of time that are part of daily occurrence.

Some experts theorized that space is three-dimensional. This refers to three numbers that involve the width, the height and the depth. Another three numbers include the location of humans on Earth, which involves the latitude, longitude and the elevation. Meanwhile, in Physics and Math, dimensions mean the number of independent coordinates that are needed to specify a point in each space. These are labeled as x, y and z coordinates, according to Super String Theory.

Meanwhile, physicists have been looking for extra dimensions, which are hidden because they are very small. These are also part of the string theory, which requires a 10-dimensional spacetime.

Dr. Gustavo Lucena Gómez, the second author of the study, said that physicists have been looking for extra dimensions at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. On the other hand, up to now, this search has yielded no results, yet gravitational wave detectors could provide experimental evidence.

In search of extra dimensions, they must have two different effects on gravitational waves. First, they must modify the standard gravitational waves. Second, they must trigger additional waves at high frequencies above 1000 Hz. The search could be continued or bring to light when the Virgo detector will join the two LIGO detectors in their next observations in late 2018 or earlier of 2019.

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