Friday, April 25, 2008

Are There 7 Extra Dimensions?

Years ago i became fascinated by the idea of extra spatial dimensions after reading "Flatland", "The Planiverse", and (most of all) "The 4th Dimension and How to Get There" by Rudy Rucker. Subsequently, all of Rudy's books have been a GREAT disappointment as he veered towards kooky spiritualism.

Anyway- here's the take home message: it is very difficult for us to imagine a 4 dimensional world- perhaps impossible. One cannot point to a direction at 90 degrees to reality. You can, however, get a taste of the idea by imagining how a creature confined to a 2-D plane might perceive a 3-D solid object entering it's world.

A sphere passing through this 'flatland' plane would appear first as a point hovering in empty space, become an enlarging circle, and then a progressively smaller one once more- before disappearing completely. A 4 dimensional "hyper-sphere" passing through our 3-D world would appear as an enlarging then diminishing solid sphere in empty space.

Another lecture here. (couldn't embed it).


  1. Not only are you an attractive man, but a powerful man.
    In the multimedia models, the planets warp space that looks (on the models) to be 2 dimensional. Maybe there are lots of these 2 dimensional universes next to each other. A bit like 2 (or more) pieces of glass parallel to each other with water bubbles on each. The water bubbles only exist on the one glass pane and cant see the other glass at all.
    All you have to do is imagine the same thing in three dimensions, or four or more.
    Gotta get a panadol.
    nb - why dont we know how panadol work?

  2. Aron writes "Dear Shlog- could this explain ball lightening?"... but i don't really think there's ANY excuse for it! The colour never looks natural- and really- who cares!?

    i thought this was so clever and funny that i had to write MY OWN fucking comment and then answer it. Am i shouting INTO THE VOID!? Damn you all!

  3. Hi Lozza,
    not sure if that's quite right.. the extra dimensions wouldn't be like planes separate but stacked on one another. They would be 'attached' in the same way that 'forward and back' is attached to 'up and down'... just that the movement would only be possible a submicroscopic length- in 7 different directions simultaneously.



Whaddaya think?