Kaluza-Klein unified field theory and apparent four-dimensional spacetime

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In the 1920s Kaluza and Klein achieved an elegant unified theory of gravitation and electromagnetism by assuming that spacetime is really 5-dimensional. Their approach has since been extended to even higher dimensions in an effort to provide a geometrical unification of all the fundamental interactions. Any such scheme must answer the obvious objection emphasized by Einstein: Why, then, does spacetime appear to be only 4-dimensional? This paper provides a semihistorical introduction to Kaluza-Klein unification on a level accessible to those with a basic knowledge of general relativity and particle physics, and examines the progress made in answering Einstein's, and related, objections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-872
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1985
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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