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Last December, three physicists – Jun Nishimura of KEK (High Energy Accelerator Research Organization), Asato Tsuchiya of Shizuoka University, and Sang-Woo Kim of Osaka University – formed a numerical simulation via supercomputer and proved that the universe composed of ten dimensions (nine spatial and one temporal) at the time of the Big Bang.
With the success of their experiment, they proved a portion of the superstring theory to be true, thereby giving the long-proposed theory validity. In addition to proposing that the universe is made up of ten dimensions, the superstring theory – also known as the “theory of everything” – harmonizes the theory of relativity with quantum mechanics, and puts forth the theory that everything is essentially composed of tiny, oscillating strings.
Protons and neutrons in atoms can be broken down into quarks, which then can be further broken down into strings. The manner in which the strings vibrate affects the properties of particles, determining which particle is which, and accounts for the existence of the four fundamental forces (electromagnetic, weak nuclear, strong nuclear, gravity).
The superstring theory was put forth more than forty years ago. Much of it is theoretical since it can only be proven through mathematics and not yet with experiments. To account for the missing six dimensions, theoretical physicists have proposed that we have not yet been able to detect them because they are believed to be miniscule. We would also have difficulty visualizing them because we can only sense the three dimensions we inhabit.
Truly, it was more of a trick to prove how the nine spatial dimensions (leaving out the one dimension concerning time) developed into three over time than to prove nine initially existed and account for where the other six went. Throughout the years, various models and scenarios have been made based on calculations but failed. Finally, Nishimura, Tsuchiya, and Kim created the simulation of the Big Bang through superstring theory calculations, from which they developed virtual matrices that represented interactions between strings.
In his interview with Life’s Little Mysteries Nishimura explains, “What we do in this simulation is to generate hundreds or thousands of matrices, each of which describes the whole history of the universe during some finite time interval. We then have to take an average over the matrices to get the physical information as to how the universe evolves in time.”
In the end, Nishimura and his colleagues were successful. The numerical simulation not only shows that there really were nine dimensions at the time of the Big Bang, but also shows how three dimensions broke off from the other nine over time and how they compose our present observable universe.
This new finding greatly supports the superstring theory, giving it more of a chance, though the experiment only validates part of the theory because the simulation provides only part of the solution. Other factors have yet to be proven. However, this type of simulation with supercomputers may solve other cosmological mysteries, such as dark matter and dark energy.