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Can molecules exist in other dimensions?

  1. Jan 4, 2010 #1
    I took physics in highschool many-many-many moons ago. Mr. Smith taught that molecules can only exist inside a three dimensional environment. Is that true?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2010 #2
    It depends on what you mean by "exist". In most string theories that assume several more dimensions, electromagnetic interactions, as well as the strong and weak nuclear forces, are constrained to three spacial dimensions and one time dimension. But the gravitational force may not be. Which would mean that the molecule would "exist" in the other dimensions by virtue of its gravity.

    Of course string theory is entirely speculative, with no empirical backing at all, but it is taken seriously by many physicists.
  4. Jan 4, 2010 #3
    Yes. In fact, in 4-dimentional space (4+1 dimentional space-time), even atoms cannot excist, because forces in 4-d space are governed by a 1/r3 law instead of the 1/r2 law you have in 3-d space. The electromagnetic force on the atomic scale becomes so large that the electrons are pulled into the nucleus or sent flying out of orbit.
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