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Posted: 06:45 Tuesday 07 October 2008
Member No.: 63
Joined: 02 Sep 2008
I am just a three-dimensional man living in three spatial dimensions: length, width and thickness. Did you know? Scientists consider time a fourth dimension, but it is not like the other three.
Time has no width or thickness. If my waist line was measured in units of time, I would never have to diet. Time also has length as in "length of time", and that's bad. Length already has dibs on length, and one would have to be thick or have a wide oral cavity to suggest otherwise! Hehehe! I just made a 3D joke.
Anyway, have you ever wondered if there are higher spatial dimensions? Have you ever had a lot of free fourth dimension...er...time on your hands?
Have you noticed that when you put a thing away and look for it later, it's gone!? And then days later you find it under the couch cushion?
How did it get there?! You know you did not put it there! It disappeared into a higher dimension and passed through some wormhole leading to the couch! At least that is my theory, and I aim to prove it!
And what about those planes and ships that disappeared within the Bermuda Triangle? How did Noah fit all those varmints inside the Arc? Still not convinced that higher dimensions exist? See that hairball in the corner? Where did that come from?
Well, I personally have always wanted to visit a higher dimension or at least visualize one, but higher dimensions are hard to visualize, let alone visit.
I think I have found a way, though.
When physicists work on kinematics, they break down a 3D problem into its x, y, and z components to make it easier to visualize.
So, to visualize higher dimensions, I thought it would be prudent to use a similar approach. First, let's start with a single point in time and space. What is it? It is defined as a zero-dimensional dot: it has no length, width or thickness.
Imagine another point in space and draw a line between it and the first point. Now we have a one-dimensional object called a line segment. It has limited length, but zero width and thickness.
According to mathematicians, an infinite number of points will fit along the limited space of the line segment. If that is true, we can conclude that an infinite number of zero-dimensional objects will fit into a one dimensional space, even if it has a finite magnitude.
Next, let's imagine a circle with a limited area. The exact center of the circle is a point. Because the point has zero dimensions, it can never be found with exact precision, even with the most powerful microscope.
It is infinitesimal. Imagine drawing a spiraling line from the outer edge of the circle to the center of the circle. You would never reach the exact center and the line could stretch to infinity.
Since the circle has two dimensions, it can not only hold an unlimited number of points (zero-dimensional objects), but it can contain and infinite number of lines (one-dimensional objects) and/or an infinitely long spiraling line.
See a pattern yet?
Apparently, if we want to put an infinite amount of something in a limited space (like Noah did), we need to add an additional dimension to that space. If we step up to three dimensions, we can fit an infinite number of circles or other 2D objects in a finite 3D space because a 2D object has zero thickness.
Infinity is the key here. Can you imagine three-dimensions stretching out to infinity? If you can then you have found the clue that points to a higher spatial dimension. An infinite 3D object would have zero magnitude in the higher dimensions, so it could miraculously fit into say, a finite space of a higher dimension.
Also, consider a universe of only one dimension, a line spiraling endlessly toward the center of a circle. The inhabitants of that universe see the spiraling line as a straight line stretching out to infinity, since they can't perceive two or more dimensions. Their only clue is the infinite line.
I can imagine infinity, but have trouble imagining higher spatial dimensions. It was easier for me to break six spatial dimensions into components.
I took separate lines representing length, width, height--and labeled them x, y, z. I drew three 2D Cartesian coordinate systems--a total of six dimensions and labeled them 1 through 6. I was then able to imagine length (x), width (y) and thickness (z) spiraling to infinity inside a six-dimensional universe consisting of three finite two-dimensional circles each embedded on one of the three Cartesian coordinate systems.
In case you are wondering about the hairball in the corner, it is a spiraled and compacted line of hair and puke from the sixth dimension.
Posted: 15:01 Tuesday 07 October 2008
Posts: 1 270
Member No.: 3
Joined: 03 Jan 2007
There are only three spatial dimensions. Some physical or cosmological theories may talk about more than three dimensions but the “higher dimensions” are (like time) non-spatial dimensions.
Posted: 16:00 Friday 08 June 2012
Member No.: 170
Joined: 30 Aug 2010
I have just read about dimension in the glossary at the end of Chapter 18, “Mathematics”, under the section THE HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT in Volume 2, “The human world”, of the Reader’s Digest Library of Modern Knowledge. Did you know? “Spaces of any number of dimensions can be studied mathematically, though they cannot be visualised.”
Sylvia A. Anderson
Posted: 09:21 Tuesday 03 July 2012
Old Stone Age
Member No.: 67
Joined: 14 Oct 2008