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.

2 comments:

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