String theory, the premise that the basic substance of the universe is composed of vibrating strings of energy, is one of modern physics more interesting concepts. The classical representation of the substance of the universe was one that was composed of small “dots” of matter, and was seriously first challenged over three decades ago. As is evidenced with a lot of physics, its rise to popularity is one comprising of false starts and initial rejection.
As someone with an essentially animist cosmological view, the theory sits within that which is both an instinctively and experientially valid personal concept. In the world of science, this theory, like a lot of the modern concepts, is qualified by some experimentally observed evidence along with a lot of theoretical calculations. At this time, and if one correctly understands the magnitude of scale needed to qualify the existence of these strings, it’s entirely possible that their existence may never be observed unless technology can provide a window in to the world of the ultramicroscopic. A conservative estimate is that they are probably around 0.00000000000000001 of a centimetre, although this has yet to be definatively established, and some estimates make it even smaller.
The size of scale therefore, places these strings into the world of the unseen. An unseen energetic field that permeates all of the observable universe. There is some debate as to whether these strings are part of both dark energy and dark matter, which together are thought to represent up to 95% of the universe. The supposition that the observable universe, the part of the universe that the planets, stars and all of life, represents just 5% of the totality of the universe, is a somewhat sobering thought and gives some representation as to what, at this time, science thinks is the approximate size of the universe.
By the early 1990’s, there were at least five competing versions of the original string theory, all of them resulting in different, but apparently valid outcomes. It took the tangent thinking of Edward Witten who established that if the theories were sited in an area consisting of eleven dimensions, then they all would work, because their results would be demonstrating different facets of string theory. This grand theory uniting all the competing ideas of string theory became known as M-theory.
So, physics presents to us, a theory that states that all matter, when reduced to it’s constituent parts, consists of tiny vibrating strings. The frequency and length of these strings determine the physicality of the matter it then creates. Now, for me, the really interesting part comes when it is further speculated that these strings, if they have open ends, are fixed to a universe that takes the form of a brane, a smooth surface.
These branes can consist of any number of space / time dimensions, from one to eleven. Therefore, it may be the case that we live in a four dimension universe (the dimensions of left & right, up & down, forward and backwards, along with time).
The fixing of the number of dimensions would be a result of the vibrating strings and their frequency and because they are fixed to this four dimensional universe, anything existing in this universe would only be receptive to those fixed dimensions. It is speculated that other strings, known as closed loop strings, because they have no open ends fixed to a brane, are not restricted in the same way and may pass through this universe unhindered or obstructed, without any interaction with matter in this universe.
We have, therefore, some theoretical speculation as to the existence of a whole category of energetic matter present, but as yet, unquantified. It is furthered speculated that other universes, possessing dimensions not present in our own universe, may exist in parallel to our own universe. This hypothesis is being actively pursued by many physicists at this time.
It is interesting that science, and physics in particular, is giving ground to the idea of co-existing realities. As someone for whom this type of interaction has been present for some time now, and without wanting to seem to present a personally driven agenda as to the possible outcomes of such a co-existence, the establishment of such a thing gives one hope that that which has been experienced in the intuitive level of consciousness, may soon have the vehicle by which to establish a valid means of interaction.