How can a dimension exist

American researchers have discovered a way to prove the existence of a fifth dimension outside of our ordinary universe. According to their considerations, the additional spatial dimension allows small black holes that formed during the Big Bang to exist to this day.

Durham (USA) - The effects of these black holes on the radiation of distant objects could already be detected with a satellite starting next year, the scientists explain in the journal "Physical Review D".

"Proof of the existence of a fifth dimension would radically change our understanding of the physical world," says Arlie Petters of Duke University in Durham. Together with Charles Keeton from Rutgers University, Petters studied the astrophysical consequences of a fifth dimension. "Such a fifth dimension would leave its traces in the radiation of so-called gamma outbreaks," he summarizes the results of the work.

The existence of a fifth dimension is predicted by some physical theories that attempt to combine relativity and quantum theory. In this our universe with its three spatial and one temporal dimensions is only a "membrane" in a higher dimensional cosmos. All particles and forces are trapped within this membrane - except for gravity. Therefore, the fifth dimension affects the existence of black holes.

The Big Bang should have created a large number of small black holes - their mass roughly corresponds to that of a small asteroid. In a four-dimensional universe, these mini-holes would have been dissolved by the so-called Hawking radiation. Not so in the membrane model - there the small black holes would still exist today. "If these black holes make up even one percent of dark matter, there could be a few thousand of them in our solar system," Petters calculates. The radiation from the gamma outbursts - huge explosions in distant galaxies - would break at these mini-holes like waves on a rock, according to the researcher. The Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, an international satellite scheduled to launch in August 2007, could already demonstrate this "interference".