Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I can't get my head round the 4th dimension

...in Edwin Abbott Abbott's book Flatland, he writes about a square that lives in a two-dimensional world, like the surface of a piece of paper. A three-dimensional being has seemingly god-like powers from the perspective of this square: such as being able to remove objects from a safe without breaking it open (by moving them across the third dimension), see everything that from the two-dimensional perspective is enclosed behind walls, and remaining completely invisible by standing a few inches away in the third dimension. By applying dimensional analogy, one can infer that a four-dimensional being would be capable of similar feats from our three-dimensional perspective. Wikipedia

These are 2 dimensional renderings of rotating tesseracts or hypercubes, 4 dimensional objects that make me feel a bit queasy to look at. Their official description is "a regular convex 4-polytope whose boundary consists of eight cubical cells". I guess something that looks that complicated also needs a complicated description to match.

According to some physicists, there are actually 10, 11 or even 26 dimensions out there. Most of them are too small for us to notice though.


digital_jay said...

Hey Lubin,

throughtly fascinating concepts, i can understand how it can become complex to get to grips with, its the same as trying to understand what the gaia hypothesis, entropy or the EPR paradox are.

I must take a look at link wikipedia, a little later.

matty said...

Lubin, you just heard my head.

I am incapable of sorting out these concepts of shape and form.

Now, I have to go take a nap.

...but I think the spinning blue box is pretty.

pretty pretty