Required – Watch this first:
I am a fan of Occam’s Razor, probably best described as “other things being equal, simpler explanations are generally better than more complex ones”.
There are two big mysteries in physics – the very different world of quantum physics, and the mystery of where dark matter resides.
I am not a physicist – I didn’t even study any science at university. My level of understanding on these topics is the average reader of popular science books, or New Scientist readers. I get the basics, but beyond that is a struggle.
Now – to the Eureka Moment – Two Major Puzzles, One Elegant Solution.
The easiest solution is for Dark Matter. We can’t see it, so it seems reasonable that it exists in a different dimension. There’s no need to think about 9 dimensions, or 32 dimensions, or multiverses or string theory! We just need one extra dimension in our universe – the Fourth Dimension.
No, not time. A fourth spacial dimension. The answer can be explained in a simple sentence – dark matter resides in a fourth spatial dimension that we are unable to ever observe.
So… if we have physical properties existing in the fourth dimension, then it makes sense that they also exist in the second dimension.
We can’t observe the fourth dimension, and the second dimension can’t observe us. One of the key factors of quantum mechanics is observation.
We can see anything in the second dimension, but it will visually be 2-D. If the Great Wall of China was 2-D then we would be able to tell. It would be thousands of miles wide, tens of feet high, and have no depth. But what about atomic particles? They are so small can we even tell if they are 2-D or 3-D?
“Nobody has ever seen a particle” (2:45 in this TED talk)
Quantum particles live in a second spatial dimension, and are operating under a different set of laws to ours.
I’m not qualified to describe those laws, but I feel it is enough to say such laws are most probably quite different to ours.
Proving that we can’t see dark matter in the 4th dimension is impossible. The only thing on my side is that the longer we go without finding dark matter, the more likely I am correct.
Showing that quantum objects are in the 2nd dimension should be possible one day as technology progresses.
One possible spanner in the works is this news item:
A team of scientists has succeeded in putting an object large enough to be visible to the naked eye into a mixed quantum state of moving and not moving.
Largest ever quantum state object
[The current record seems to be for an object as large as a grain of sand]
I can only suggest that although this is a relatively big object, it is actually a collection of identical particles that are each 2-D. It is possible to create a 3-D object from numerous 2-D objects. It could well be that as long as the collected objects are all identical, quantum rules still apply.
In nature such objects – collections of identical particles – don’t exist?