Why does gravity travel across dimensions?

The concept of gravity was introduced by Issac Newton in the year 1687 AD. Newton described gravity as the force of attraction between objects having mass. Albert Einstein drastically changed this view of gravity when he published his famous general theory of relativity in the year 1916. According to general relativity, gravity is not just the attraction between objects. Instead, it is the result of the curvature of spacetime produced by objects having mass. You can find more on general relativity here.

Gravity as the curvature of spacetime (Image: NASA)

General theory of relativity, as we know, does not go very well with quantum physics. Physicists have been working for decades to unite gravity with quantum physics and develop a Theory of Everything (ToE) that fully explains and links together all physical aspects of the Universe. One potential candidate for a ToE is the string theory.

According to string theory, at the most fundamental level, everything is made up of tiny identical strings that vibrate at different frequencies and in different ways to generate different fundamental particles that make our universe. The string that makes up an electron vibrates differently than a string that makes up a quark.

For the string theory to work, four dimensions (3 Space + 1 time) are not sufficient. Thus, string theory implies that our Universe must have additional ‘hidden’ dimensions. These hidden dimensions can either be large (non-compact) or tiny (curled up into a compact space). You can find more on string theory here.

String Theory: A Universe made up of strings?

In the context of string theory, gravity like the other three fundamental forces is mediated by a fundamental particle known as ‘graviton’. Gravitons like photons (particles that make up light and carry the electromagnetic force) are massless and chargeless. They always travel at the speed of light. One of the many objectives of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is to find out whether gravitons exist or not. But detecting gravitons is not so easy because they can travel across dimensions. If at all gravtions are produced during the high energy collisions at LHC, they would rapidly disappear into extra dimensions.

String theory works with two kinds of strings- closed strings and open strings. Open strings have endpoints and hence they are bound to branes. On the other hand, closed strings do not have any endpoints and hence they would not be bound to branes. Closed strings could move freely between branes! (A brane, in string theory, is an object that generalizes the notion of a point particle to any number of dimensions. Our Universe might be one of the many 3 dimensional branes floating in space.)

Open string (left) and closed string (right)

In string theory, graviton is a closed string. As a result, it is not bound to any branes and can easily travel between them as opposed to photon, which is an open string. Therefore, it is said that gravity can travel across dimensions but light cannot.


This figure shows how open strings have both their endpoints bound to branes

Gravity traveling across dimensions can explain why it is the weakest among the four fundamental forces in the universe as it would be leaking into the higher dimensions. It can also provide an explanation for dark matter- gravitons from other universes might be leaking to our own universe. However, if gravity were to move completely freely between branes, wouldn’t the gravity dilute too much? It turns out that 3-branes like our universe have their own gravitational pull which prevents too much gravity from leaking into higher dimensions.

Although string theory hasn’t been completely accepted as a ToE, it still is one of the most interesting theories that makes really interesting predictions.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article. Now you know why they say, “Gravity can travel across dimensions”. If you have any doubts feel free to ask in the comments, we’ll try our best to solve them.

Cover Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada


24 thoughts on “Why does gravity travel across dimensions?

    1. Yes it is the weakest because it travels across dimensions while the other forces like the EM force and the strong force cannot. Gravity must be leaking from our Universe to higher dimensions!


  1. Gravity and time travel through any dimensions.
    That’s why gravitions has the potential to exist as a dark matter when the space remains a dimensions -less.
    Yes of course it’s noteable that it’s tough to work on dark matter because this reason.You can’t apply fundamentals of physics in to it

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Can you tell how does the man in the intersteller travel through the black hole and end up in a place where he can see various moments of his on Earth?What is that place?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That place is the tesseract which has been designed by future advanced humans so that Cooper finds the solution to the ToE. These advanced beings have mastered the art of traveling to higher dimensions and hence can easily manipulate our 3 dimensional world!


  3. so if the gravity was leaking into higher dimensions why can’t we use gravity as fundamental to study the higher dimensions and their properties?

    Also can gravity define time since it leaks into the 4th dimension???🤔


    1. Brother, gravity is from higher dimension(5D). Gravity can effect the time, gravity curves the space-time, bcz gravity is not only a force, its a form of a dimension too. The deeper the space-time is the slower the time flows, this how we relate both as inversely proportional…


  4. If gravity from our dimensions is leaking in other dimensions then there are chances that ‘gravity’ from other dimensions is also leaking in our dimensions
    By using this concept might be discribe concept of dark matter


  5. Gravitational wave detection has already proved that gravity is not leaking into other dimensions. The gravitational wave intensity was exactly same as the value calculated by physicists for 3+1 dimensionl spacetime. So its precisely proven that our 3d brane in not embedded in a 4d brane. which means that there are no extra extended dimensions. String theory is still safe because it predicts 1d or 2d brane embedded in our 3d brane. But its precisely known that gravity doesn’t leak into extra dimensions. Still not convinced, read “Limits on the number of dimension of spacetime by GW170817.” Plz post about this. People should know.


  6. Gravity is the first force to evolve from big bang but according to Newton or Einstein gravity is a property of mass during big bang there wont be even quantum particles then how gravity can be tge first force to evlove.


  7. Great article , very easy terminology is used so no doubt at all . I would love to see an article on multiversity theory (If it can happen ,it does happen)❣️


  8. Great article , easy terminology is used so no doubt . I would love to see an article on multiverse theory (if it can happen , it does happen)❣️


  9. I tried to come up with a discrete theory of everything. I don’t need to use more than four dimensions. It explains many things. Newton and Einstein wrote some things that would appear to be in favor of the gravity portion of what I wrote. My discrete gravitons are composed of two discrete electric fields coming from opposite finest fundamental charges. A graviton can attractively pull down on two finest fundamental opposite charges. They are the equally-massive finest-building-blocks of all matter. I explain why gravity is so weak because of its five formation constraints and its five absorption constraints. See my 18 Mar 2019 book, Gravity-Wheel Unveiled, A.6 Unification Attempt for Electromagnetics-Strong-Weak-Gravity, Newton Considered Absorption of Gravity Rays for Perpetual Motion within 1.2 Gravity Absorption, Einstein’s Comment to Besso within 1.3 Consequences of Gravity Absorption, 2 GRAVITY BASED ON DISCRETE ELECTRIC FIELDS, and 2.3 Accounting for Gravitational Weakness. I provide many tests or evidences that my theory regarding gravity is correct. At gravityunveiled.home.blog you can download a .pdf file of my book for free. 20190322 – Alden E. Park


  10. Hello sir. I didn’t understand the concept of branes. I mean, are they synonymous to dimensions. And also, I don’t fully understand the concept of dimensions as well. It’s hard to imagine beyond the 4 dimensions. Do you have any good article about dimensions too?


  11. Is string has been detected at LHC ? and how it has been said that gravity leaks to higher dimensions any avidence of this ? Is all this is still in theory? Plz clearify.


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