# dimension

In normal life higher dimensions smack of science fiction, but in mathematics they are nothing out of the ordinary.

String theory predicts there are more than the familiar four dimensions of space-time. But where do those extra dimensions come from? Eva Silverstein is looking for the answer.

How many dimensions are there? In the latest online poll of our *Science fiction, science fact* project you told us that you'd like an answer to this question. So we went to see theoretical physicist David Berman to find out more.

A bizarre set of of 8-dimensional numbers could explain how to handle string-theory's extra dimensions, why elementary particles come in families of three... and maybe even how spacetime emerges in four dimensions.

Space is three-dimensional... or is it? In fact, we are all used to living in a curved, multidimensional universe. And a mathematical argument might just explain how those higher dimensions are hidden from view.

How many dimensions are there? In the latest online poll of our *Science fiction, science fact* project you told us that you'd like an answer to this question. So we asked theoretical physicist David Berman to find out more. We also bring you a range of other *Plus* articles exploring the question, as well as two articles from FQXi who are our partners on this project. Happy reading!

String theory has one very unique consequence that no other theory of physics before has had: it predicts the number of dimensions of space-time. But where are these other dimensions hiding and will we ever observe them?

That geometry should be relevant to physics is no surprise — after all, space is the arena in which physics happens. What is surprising, though, is the extent to which the geometry of space actually determines physics and just how exotic the geometric structure of our Universe appears to be. *Plus* met up with mathematician Shing-Tung Yau to find out more.

Benoît Mandelbrot, the father of fractal geometry, died last Thursday at the age of 85. Born in Poland in 1924, Mandelbrot had dual French and American citizenship and spent most of his working life in the US. He died of cancer in a hospice in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

**Toby O'Neil**describes how the mathematical theory of dimension gives us a way of approaching the question.

**Richard P. Taylor**explains that Pollock's patterns are really fractals - the fingerprint of Nature.