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Universal Shape

  1. Feb 15, 2004 #1
    Is there such a thing in our Universe as a "Universal Shape"? By that, I mean, is there one shape that everything else in the universe is made up of?

    I suspect that a "circle" would be more fitting if there as such a universal shape.

    If everything in the Universe is made up of Atoms, then aren't Atoms round (circles)? Therefore, all shapes within our Universe are made up of round things (Atoms.

    Does this idea have any real meaning within the world of Physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2004 #2
  4. Feb 15, 2004 #3
    Means gravity likes circles
  5. Feb 15, 2004 #4
    Strings have all different shapes.
  6. Feb 16, 2004 #5
    Okay, I have heard of strings, just what are they (explained as simply as possible). Thanks
  7. Feb 16, 2004 #6
    My Condensed Version

    In string theory the basic objects are one-dimensional strings (as opposed to particles in other theories) that may have ends or be shaped like closed loops (think rubber bands). These strings vibrate with certain resonant frequencies whose wavelengths fit between the two ends (think bumps and valleys). These different frequencies cause different masses and force charges.

    I hope this helps
  8. Feb 17, 2004 #7
    Re: My Condensed Version

    Yes, it helps but brings other questions. Where does the energy come from that causes the strings to resonate, and, you say bumps and valleys, is this like sine waves? Your a big help. Also, I am having some trouble grasping a one dimensional "thing", could you help me with this, also? Also, if the strings are resonating, is it possible to detect this resonance with some sort of frequency detector or is the resonance confined to the string?
  9. Feb 17, 2004 #8
    Well, let's see...

    The best way to think of this is to use "real-world" everyday objects as examples. A shoebox is three-dimensional because it has height, length, and width. A sheet of paper has width and length, but no height, and therefore is two-dimensional. A piece of string, however, is one-dimensional because it has neither height nor width, but only length.


    Because cosmic strings are microscopic, they would have to be magnified many times before we could observe the vibrating strings. The problem is, is that strings can vibrate consistantly only in ten or 26 dimensions, and we do not as of yet have the access to observe those extra dimensions (although that may change as more particle collider experiments are conducted).

    I honestly don't know (If anyone else here reading this would know, please jump in). My guess would be (and it's only a guess)would be the energy needed for vibrations is left over from the Big Bang.

    the problem in discussing string theory is that it is just that...theory. And unfortunately, we have neither the technology or energy to actually observe cosmic strings. Two books that discuss this theory are "Hyperspace" by Michio Kaku, and "The Universe in a Nutshell" by Stephen Hawking. Also you might want to try out this website:


    Well, I'm sorry I couldn't help you more here, but there are probably other places here at the Physics Forum that discuss string theory in more detail than I am able to.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  10. Feb 18, 2004 #9
    Re: Well, let's see...

    cosmic strings are not microscopic
  11. Feb 19, 2004 #10
    Re: Well, let's see...

    All of you guys are a big help and with very interesting information for my part. Keep it up as an answer sometimes brings up another question and so on. Timejim
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
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