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Question
Hi. Can you please explain what the vanishing dimension theory means? I tried looking it up, but the more I did so, the more confused I got. Thanks.

Answer
Well, I'm not sure what to tell you, since this theory is pretty fringe.  There's really not much work in the area, which is why you can't find much about it that won't confuse you.  It's more of a hypothesis than a theory (a random idea that someone one day said: "what if?" and then exrapolated).  The idea is that if a system has more energy, its dimensions shrink.  There's not really a good reason for it to be true or not true, but since they suggest the idea can be tested with gravitational waves (which have never been detected), then a couple of people are working out the details.  I don't see a good reason why the universe would just sprout something as fundamental as dimensions when it expands, so I'm pretty sure that this theory will remain fringe and not worth worrying about until someone turns up some kind of radical experimental result that actually suggests it might be true.  Until LISA is up and orbiting the Sun, it's not even possible to do that...and even then it's a gamble if LISA will detect gravitational waves at all.

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Education/Credentials
Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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