Scientists Create Synthetic Dimensions To Better Understand the Fundamental Laws of the Universe

Astrophysics Wormhole Universe Concept

Humans experience the world in three dimensions, but a collaboration in Japan has developed a way to create synthetic dimensions to better understand the fundamental laws of the Universe and possibly apply them to advanced technologies.

They published their results today (January 28, 2022) in Science Advances.

“The concept of dimensionality has become a central fixture in diverse fields of contemporary physics and technology in past years,” said paper author Toshihiko Baba, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Yokohama National University. “While inquiries into lower-dimensional materials and structures have been fruitful, rapid advances in topology have uncovered a further abundance of potentially useful phenomena depending on the dimensionality of the system, even going beyond the three spatial dimensions available in the world around us.”

Topology refers to an extension of geometry that mathematically describes spaces with properties preserved in continuous distortion, such as the twist of a mobius strip. When combined with light, according to Baba, these physical spaces can be directed in a way that allows researchers to induce highly complicated phenomena.

In the real world, from a line to a square to a cube, each dimension provides more information, as well requires more knowledge to accurately describe it. In topological photonics, researchers can create additional dimensions of a system, allowing for more degrees of freedom and multifaceted manipulation of properties previously inaccessible.

“Synthetic dimensions have made it possible to exploit higher-dimensional concepts in lower-dimensional devices with reduced complexity, as well as driving critical device functionalities such as on-chip optical isolation,” Baba said.

Schematic and Operation of Silicon Photonics Synthetic Dimension Device

Ring resonator fabricated using silicon photonics and modulated internally generates a frequency ladder. Credit: Yokohama National University

The researchers fabricated a synthetic dimension on a silicon ring resonator, using the same approach used to build complementary metal-oxide-semiconductors (CMOS), a computer chip that can store some memory. A ring resonator applies guides to control and split light waves according to specific parameters, such as particular bandwidths.

According to Baba, the silicon ring resonator photonic device acquired a “comb-like” optical spectra, resulting in coupled modes corresponding to a one-dimensional model. In other words, the device produced a measurable property — a synthetic dimension — that allowed the researchers to infer information about the rest of the system.

While the developed device comprises one ring, more could be stacked to cascade effects and quickly characterize optical frequency signals. 

Critically, Baba said, their platform, even with stacked rings, is much smaller and compact than previous approaches, which employed optical fibers connected to various components.  

“A more scalable silicon photonic chip platform provides a considerable advancement, as it allows photonics with synthetic dimensions to benefit from the mature and sophisticated CMOS commercial fabrication toolbox, while also creating the means for multi-dimensional topological phenomena to be introduced into novel device applications,” Baba said.  

The flexibility of the system, including the ability to reconfigure it as necessary, complements equivalent static spaces in real space, which could help researchers bypass the dimensional constraints of real space to understand phenomena even beyond three dimensions, according to Baba.

“This work shows the possibility that topological and synthetic dimension photonics can be used practically with a silicon photonics integration platform,” Baba said. “Next, we plan to collect all topological and synthetic dimension photonic elements to build up a topological integrated circuit.”

Reference: “Synthetic dimension band structures on a Si CMOS photonic platform” by Armandas Balcytis, Tomoki Ozawa, Yasutomo Ota, Satoshi Iwamoto, Jun Maeda and Toshihiko Baba, 28 January 2022, Science Advances.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abk0468

Other contributors include Armandas Balčytis and Jun Maeda, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Yokohama National University; Tomoki Ozawa, Advanced Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University; and Yasutomo Ota and Satoshi Iwamoto, Institute for Nano Quantum Information Electronics, The University of Tokyo. Ota is also affiliated with the Department of Applied Physics and Physico-Informatics, Keio University. Iwamoto is also affiliated with the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology and the Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo.

The Japan Science and Technology Agency (JPMJCR19T1, JPMJPR19L2), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JP20H01845) and RIKEN supported this research.

19 Comments on "Scientists Create Synthetic Dimensions To Better Understand the Fundamental Laws of the Universe"

  1. Excuse the precision, but I only counted ONE extra dimension in the experiment, not dimensions.

  2. “Synthetic dimensions” is not a term I have ever heard used in science. Dimensions can refer to any metric. Your daily weather charts displays dimensions of temperature, wind speed, humidity, etc. What they have done here is create a one-dimensional BEHAVIRO in an additional layer of silicon. This is a memorable accomplishment but “synthetic dimension” sounds like a translation error.

  3. Necole Anré’v | January 29, 2022 at 4:00 pm | Reply

    I know science will continually seek answers human logic can not define but I think as awesome as this concept sounds…, given the scope of what is happening spiritually; we see what higher dimensions look like and feel like already. Science and spirituality are one.

  4. The obvious answer here is 1549.5= 1549.5 because 1549.5 is the beginning of the mathematical dimension. Equal the end of the equation be an alternate dimension. It is in fact a dimension, but not synthetic. Therefore,a synthetic dimension does not exists, only a partial one.

  5. We cant make synthetic dimensions. We can create actual dimensions. The dimensional equation is off.

  6. Please Terrence Howard the actor has already re created Saturn and the galaxy! Years ago he gave a lecture at Oxford U! maybe you’ll figure everything out if you start from 1×1=2! Gravity is not the cause it’s the effect! There are no straight lines! Give him his due everyone made him seem like a lunatic!!!

    I CALL IT GRAVITY NOT INCLUDED…Pass it on Terrence Howard recreates Saturn and the Galaxy no gravity at all

  8. Oh by the way you are dealing with measuring Aether! The Fifth Element!

  9. Our observable universe is confined with 4 dimensions…..according to string theory 10 dimensions may is synthetic dimensions…how it’s gonna help scientists for future science advancement.

  10. Albert Einstein | January 30, 2022 at 4:59 am | Reply

    Optics in space will always provide an illusion until we define what dark matter is and whether or not it diverts light absorbs it or both in our 3 dimensional world before we can understand if these other synthetic dimensions are even real or not. Our measurements and calculations in space could be way off if the light we are seeing is being reflected off of a black reflective background that we can’t see in 3 dimensions. Light is going to behave differently in other dimensions. It could be much slower or it could be a different color.

    I still believe that we are moving back in time not forward. It’s like we’re driving backwards but the car is in 3rd gear or similar to a bicycle wheel that you spin really fast forward but you see a shadow on the wheel moving backwards. We are the wheel and the universe is the shadow. The James Webb telescope is going to prove this to be true, then everything will change. We know that Egyptians were much smarter than we are and I think scientists have realized that now so how can we be so far behind. Families are deteriorating, kids are out of control, cell phones were a mistake, society is changing for the worst. What does 200 years look like to you?

  11. Albert Einstein | January 30, 2022 at 5:14 am | Reply

    What does 200 years in the past look like to you? To me it looks like a simpler way to live, families stayed together and hard work was normal. That’s a future I could love to live in. But in today’s world, very few even know what hard work is, yet with all of our tech advancements, nobody is truly happy, most are stressed to the max even with millions. We are the cowboys past and we’re going to get even more barbaric as we continue to move forward. We aren’t advancing as a civilization, we are decaying rapidly. Nations hate each other now more than ever. Think about it. Half the nation is on the streets living outside like animals. They can’t build a solid structure to live in because they need money to do that. In the future I see, there are less people and no money just vast resources for everyone to use and they did. People worked together to live. Today we work together to make more money which ads more stress and less interaction with the rest of the world. We’re not heading to a future, we are plummetting to our past.

  12. Howard Jeffrey Bender, Ph.D. | January 30, 2022 at 5:54 am | Reply

    There’s no need to create synthetic dimensions when the real ones are all around us, albeit invisible to us. A view of String Theory suggest what they are, and you can see the specifics in my YouTube, “Dimensions – A String Theory Way” at

  13. Did I not read several years ago,that they suspected multi-dimensions may have existed during the big bang. That they collapsed into the three we currently know. Or are we simply stuck in those three dimensions, that others are simply outside our view.

  14. Sorry, but I think this statement is a bit inaccurate. Humans experience the world in three dimensions. In truth it’s four dimensions the fourth being time. You even eluded to the time dimension in your statement ” experience” is a product of the time dimension. Besides the inaccuracies in the article, it’s an interesting read

  15. Albert Einstein | January 30, 2022 at 9:19 am | Reply

    The reason we keep seeing drawings of airplanes on ancient artifacts Is not because they discovered flight before us it’s because they learned from us and went farther. They are thanking us for the knowledge we gave them. It’s the same with wireless power. Nikola Tesla started it and the Egyptians figured it out and made it happen for all of the people. This is why pyramids are found everywhere on the planet. We can’t achieve the precision they achieved when building the pyramids because they did it after us, not before us. They are what our future looks like but we will never get there going in the wrong direction. We are moving against the grain of the universe, we should be going with it. James Hubble thinks it will be looking into the past but it will really be looking into our future.

  16. It’s sort of depressing that not a single previous commentor on this article has any idea what the article is about.

  17. Not sure you could understand the fundamental laws…Because you still don’t believe that we live in a multidimensional planet/solar system/galaxy/universe and that everything is connected like on A BUILDING. Best regards

  18. So few and far between are the occasions for forming notions whose specializations make up a continuous manifold, that the only simple notions whose specializations form a multiply extended manifold are the positions of perceived objects and colors.


    The characteristic of an n-dimensional manifold is that each of the elements composing it (in our examples, single points, […] colors, tones) may be specified by the giving of n quantities, the “coordinates,” which are continuous functions within the manifold.


    A speck in the visual field, though it need not be red, must have some color; it is, so to speak, surrounded by color-space. Notes must have some pitch, objects of the sense of touch some degree of hardness, and so on.


  19. Currently, the first three spatial dimensions are at right angles to each other. We run into problems trying to integrate the fourth dimension with the first three spatial dimensions for that reason (we’ll consider the TIME dimension +1 above the largest spatial dimension. Then why not define a non-Euclidian space we move from 1 to 2 to 3 dimensions dimensions using some other angle, such as 45 degrees (90/2). Then we could have at least EIGHT spatial dimensions in that non-Euclidian space, and then map our current Three spatial dimension space to that Eight dimensional space using a function. And we use that function to rewrite the trigonometric functions using that mapping.

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