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Durham e-Theses
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Higher dimensional theories in physics, following the Kaluza model of unification

Middleton, Eric William (1989) Higher dimensional theories in physics, following the Kaluza model of unification. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis traces the origins and evolution of higher dimensional models in physics, with particular reference to the five-dimensional Kaluza-Klein unification. It includes the motivation needed, and the increasing status and significance of the multidimensional description of reality for the 1990's. The differing conceptualisations are analysed, from the mathematical, via Kasner's embedding dimensions and Schrodinger's waves, to the high status of Kaluza-Klein dimensions in physics today. This includes the use of models, and the metaphysical interpretations needed to translate the mathematics. The main area of original research is the unpublished manuscripts and letters of Theodor Kaiuza, some Einstein letters, further memoirs from his son Theodor Kaiuza Junior and from some of his original students. Unpublished material from Helsinki concerns the Finnish physicist Nordstrom, the real originator of the idea that 'forces' in 4-dimensional spacetime might arise from gravity in higher dimensions. The work of the Swedish physicist Oskar Klein and the reactions of de Broglie and Einstein initiated the Kaluza-Klein connection which is traced through fifty years of neglect to its re-entry into mainstream physics. The cosmological significance and conceptualisation through analogue models is charted by personal correspondence with key scientists across a range of theoretical physics, involving the use of aesthetic criteria where there is no direct physical verification. Qualitative models implicitly indicating multidimensions are identified in the paradoxes and enigmas of existing physics, in Quantum Mechanics and the singularities in General Relativity. The Kaluza-Klein philosophy brings this wide range of models together in the late 1980's via supergravity, superstrings and supermanifolds. This new multidimensional paradigm wave is seen to produce a coherent and consistent metaphysics, a new perspective on reality. It may also have immense potential significance for philosophy and theology. The thesis concludes with the reality question, "Are we a four-dimensional projection of a deeper reality of many, even infinite, dimensions?"

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:1989
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 12:15

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