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A now-popular phrase in string theory and cosmology first coined by John Archibald Wheeler in the 1950's. Revived by Nicholas Meyler in the early 1980's (re-invented while a student at Princeton University enrolled in a Metaphysics of Time-Travel class), the term applies to both dimensions of infinite size (as opposed to particle physicists' idea of smaller higher dimensions as in Kaluza-Klein theory, standard string theory, etc.) and to an infinite number of dimensions. The innovation, if any, is that previously, 'infinite dimensions' had only been accepted in the realm of mathematics (Linear Algebra, Markovian Statistics, n-Dimensional Geometry, etc.), whereas Meyler proposed the obviousness of the infinite dimensional model being a reality, and suggested that they need not be 'small'.

While current theory is that there are 11 or 12 dimensions (string theory), Meyler advocates the infinite dimensional model based on the principle called "Ockham's Razor".

While current theory is that there are 11 or 12 dimensions (string theory), Meyler advocates the infinite dimensional model based on the principle called "Ockham's Razor".

Stephen Hawking writes about infinite dimensions in an article in the collection "300 Years of Gravitation" (edited by Hawking and Israel, copyright 1987). John Wheeler's theory of infinite dimensions from the 1950's seemed to be about quantum-sized dimensions, and not large ones.

by Nicholas J. Meyler
April 26, 2007