Besides time and the three spatial dimensions, how many other dimensions exist in our universe? Ideal for readers who do not necessarily have a specific background in physics, this book goes beyond what is known to focus particularly on what is still unknown.
Presents ideas on some of the most fascinating topics in modern theoretical physics for the layman
Preface.- Prologue: inside the energy walls of our cradle.- Gravity at small distances.- New fundamental forces of Nature?.- The graviphoton and the dilaton.- Chameleons and fat gravitons.- New dimensions of space?.- The compact scenario.- The brane-world scenario.- Gravity at large distances.- A new form of dark energy?.- The fluctuations of the vacuum energy.- Space, time and space-time.- Maybe the past may change?.- Time and memory.- Time: an intrinsic property of all bodies?.- Maybe space-time is not unique?.- Relative singularities.- Strings and fundamental interactions.- How to quantise extended objects.- Supersymmetry and higher-dimensional spaces.- Conformal invariance and dual symmetry.- The dilaton and the topological expansion.- The past of our Universe.- String cosmology.- Brane cosmology.- References.- Index.
New fundamental forces of Nature? New forms of "dark'' energy? Signals from epochs preceding the Big Bang? Is our space-time unique? Only a joint study of the three topics examined in this book - gravity, strings and particles - may provide answers to these questions. Such a study may also provide the key to solving one of the most fascinating mysteries of modern science, namely: Besides time and the three spatial dimensions, how many other dimensions exist in our universe?
The book is primarily addressed to readers who do not necessarily have a specific background in physics but are nevertheless interested in discovering the originality and the possible implications of some of the amazing ideas in modern theoretical physics. The emphasis is on conveying ideas rather than explaining formulas, focusing not on what is known but -- mainly -- on what is still unknown. Many parts of the book are devoted to fundamental theoretical models and results which are potentially highly relevant for a deeper understanding of Nature, but are still waiting to be confirmed (or disproved) by experiments. From this point of view, the material of this book may also be of interest to professional physicists, whether or not they work in the field of fundamental interactions.