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To Aurino, Harvey, Etc About 3-D Space.

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Posted by Alexander on July 28, 2001 16:57:48 UTC

The fact that space is 3-dimensional DOES NOT follow from our senses as Aurino or Harvey claim - and they immediately go into endless philosophy about "how do we see what we see".

3-dimensionality of space is derived from inverse square law using Gauss theorem. Say, by placing a charge in metal cage and noticing that there is no electric field in it, we verify inverse square law with high accuracy (currently to 10^-12). Because the inverse square law mathematically follows from 3-dimensionality of space, we then know that space for photons (e/magnetic carriers)is 3-dimensional with high accuracy.

By the way, space may have different dimensionality (i.e., # of degrees of freedom) for different particles (say, gravitons), although so far there are no indications that it is different than 3-D for other particles.

Because dimensionality is more fundamental property than the inverse square law, scientists are currently looking for the mathematical reasons (call them physical processes) why space happen to be 3-dimensional.

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