Some superstring theories have more than one effective low-energy limit corresponding to classical spacetimes with different dimensionalities. We argue that all but the (3 + 1)-dimensional one might correspond to `dead worlds', devoid of observers, in which case all such ensemble theories would actually predict that we should find ourselves inhabiting a (3 + 1)-dimensional spacetime. With more or less than one time dimension, the partial differential equations of nature would lack the hyperbolicity property that enables observers to make predictions. In a space with more than three dimensions, there can be no traditional atoms and perhaps no stable structures. A space with less than three dimensions allows no gravitational force and may be too simple and barren to contain observers.
Classical and Quantum Gravity
- Pub Date:
- April 1997
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology;
- High Energy Physics - Theory
- Minor modifications to match published version. 5 pages. Color figures and related links at http://www.sns.ias.edu/~max/dimensions.html (faster from the US), from http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/~max/dimensions.html (faster from Europe) or from email@example.com