[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column bg_color=”hsl(0, 12%, 88%)” fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]To the Fifth Dimension and Beyond
Past Lives as a belief has always operated within the context of scientific possibility. One of parallel universes and new dimensions.
Every year scientific knowledge pushes out further, every year those advances ask as many questions as they answer.
We know the universe is expanding, and it’s expanding at an accelerated rate. That acceleration is something we call dark energy but no-one knows why it’s doing that.
In Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel A Wrinkle in Time, the characters travel from one place to another in space using a hidden fifth dimension, which they use to “wrinkle” the fabric of space and time.
In the book and upcoming movie, this travel is more mystical than it is science.
However, some scientists think there might be extra dimensions beyond the four (three space plus one time) that we’re familiar with—and those dimensions might affect the way gravity works.
Looking for extra dimensions is difficult. We only see three dimensions in space (length, width, and depth) and one in time on the scale of the everyday; if a fifth dimension exists, it has to be hiding from us.
That pushes any detectable consequence into the realm of the very small—the regime of particle physics and string theory—or the very large, where current astronomical measurements are pushed to , and beyond their limits.
Some physicists have proposed that maybe the universe has one or more extra dimensions that show up on very large scales, making the universe accelerate.
In these theories, light and matter are confined to the four dimensions we know, but gravity “leaks” into the other dimensions.
As a result, gravity gets a little weaker the farther out in space we look, but light shouldn’t be affected by the extra dimensions.
The problem is that it’s hard to test gravity on very large scales.
However, gravity makes gravitational waves: ripples in spacetime that travel at the speed of light.
Gravitational waves have been detected from two colliding neutron stars about 130 million light-years away.
If the universe has extra dimensions for gravity to leak into, the gravitational wave signal from the colliding neutron stars would be weakened.
That in turn would make the source look like it was farther away, just like a faint light could be a dim flashlight or a brighter light farther off. The brightness of the light signal and the strength of the gravitational wave signal are independent ways to measure how far away the colliding neutron stars were.
The light and gravitational waves are traveling from the same source together. We can measure the distance from the gravitational waves, and it matches the distance from the light.
In fact, the match between the light and the gravitational waves was astonishingly good:
The signals travelled for 130 million years, and arrived within 2 seconds of each other.
For perspective, 130 million years ago, dinosaurs ruled Earth and the first flowering plants evolved. A 2-second difference over 130 million years is negligible in a cosmic sense.
In other words, if there are extra dimensions, they didn’t make a bit of difference to the gravitational wave signal from the colliding neutron stars.
So does that mean there is no fifth dimension? No, the universe could still be hiding a fifth dimension.
It doesn’t necessarily rule out extra dimensions, such as string theory.
Among other things, string theory predicts seven extra dimensions that are curled up much smaller than an atomic nucleus. Those dimensions wouldn’t have any measurable effect on gravitational waves, and if the extra dimensions are larger than about 65 million light-years in size, it wouldn’t be measurable by current instruments.
We could still have very large extra dimensions, we just need to wait for scientific instrumentation to develop to measure those waves.
Whether our universe turns out to have more than four dimensions, gravitational waves could be the key to finding out, unlocking the fifth dimension, parallel universes, and beyond.
Discover your connection with a past life regression to the universe and beyond.
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