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Two-Dimension Analogy Compared with Three Dimensions


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Showing 1-25 of 87 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 23, 2013 3:27:52 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2013 7:15:58 PM PST
jpl says:
Is the topic based on our ability to know?

If I were a flat person living in a flat world, and I had to travel a certain distance to visit another flat person, wouldn't that indicate spacetime. After all, it takes time to traverse space.

Furthermore, I've never seen a good argument for a fourth dimension. But I don't think anyone anywhere in the cosmos will ever be able to prove a fourth dimension.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 3:30:23 PM PST
There are many basic physics book written towards a lay audience that discuss that very issue.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 4:13:43 PM PST
tom kriske says:
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (Dover Thrift Editions)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 4:57:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2013 4:59:55 PM PST
<<But I don't think anyone anywhere in the cosmos will ever be able to prove this.>>

To whose satisfaction?

Flatterland: Like Flatland, Only More So
Spaceland: A Novel of the Fourth Dimension

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 5:05:14 PM PST
In Flatland there are two spatial dimensions and one time dimension. In our universe there are three spatial dimensions and one time dimension that we know of, possibly other spatial dimensions which we are unable to observe.

If by "fourth dimension" you mean a fourth spatial dimension, an argument was made by Theodor Kaluza, a German mathematician and physicist who was a contemporary of Einstein, that if one posited a five-dimensional world with four spatial dimensions, one could unify gravity and electromagetism, something which was the major focus of Einstein's scientific work after he completed relativity.

Current versions of string theory postulate 10 or 11 dimensions, with one time dimension, 3 observable spatial dimensions, and 6 or 7 unobservable spatial dimensions. These theories are potential quantum theories of gravity, or theories of everything, theories which unite all four of the forces in the universe. They remain unproven.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 5:34:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2013 5:47:35 PM PST
tom kriske says:
It's interesting to ponder what form a higher dimensional object, intersecting our little 4 dimensional continuum, would look like. It seems fairly well established that it would manifest itself as an 'obstruction', but the exact nature of it, I think, is somewhat problematic.

Edit - I was reminded of this paper:

http://projecteuclid.org/DPubS/Repository/1.0/Disseminate?view=body&id=pdf_1&handle=euclid.cmp/1103857671

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 6:50:39 PM PST
I tried reading it but it's way over my head. I'm just starting to learn a little about topology, maybe it'll make more sense if I make enough progress.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 7:18:03 PM PST
jpl says:
Rocker *Hungry Brainz* says: There are many basic physics book written towards a lay audience that discuss that very issue.

jpl: I know, but the qustion still haunts me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 7:19:54 PM PST
jpl says:
tom kriske says:Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (Dover Thrift Editions)

jbl: I know, Tom, but the question still haunts me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 7:23:31 PM PST
jpl says:
jbl: Randall R Young says: But I don't think anyone anywhere in the cosmos will ever be able to prove this.

To whose satisfaction? Randall R Young says: jpl? But I don't think anyone anywhere in the cosmos will ever be able to prove this.

Randall: To whose satisfaction?

jpl: Probably nobody's. Can you accept that?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 8:12:05 PM PST
It has been proved to my satisfaction for some years now. I imagine if you took a poll of those here, you'd find that yours is a minority position. Maybe a minority of one. Shall we try it?

Posted on Jan 23, 2013 8:13:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2013 8:14:01 PM PST
Poll questions:
1. Does the universe have at least 4 dimensions? Yes or no?
2. Are you satisfied that this is proven? Yes or no?

Posted on Jan 23, 2013 8:15:00 PM PST
1. Yes.
2. Yes.

Posted on Jan 23, 2013 8:37:26 PM PST
See Robert A. Heinlein, "And He Built a Crooked House"

Mathematician Charles Howard Hinton and his daughter Alicia were reportably able to visualize in four dimensions.

It is common in relativity to treat time as a 4th dimension. I vote for x,y,z,t at least (t can be scaled appropriately).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 8:37:34 PM PST
jpl says:
Tom, we can't know of, or have the capability of, recognizing a fourth dimension, let alone string theory. I voted a yes to you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 8:42:33 PM PST
jpl says:
Randall R Young says: It has been proved to my satisfaction for some years now. I imagine if you took a poll of those here, you'd find that yours is a minority position. Maybe a minority of one. Shall we try it?

jpl: I have no problem being in the minority. I find that the majority often proves to be incorrect. I couldn't care less whether you or anyone else agrees with my opinion. Opinions aren't facts. I'm simply stating an opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 8:44:55 PM PST
jpl says:
Eugene, maybe it can be scaled, but can you perceive it?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 8:47:43 PM PST
jpl says:
Randall R Young says: Poll questions:
1. Does the universe have at least 4 dimensions? Yes or no?
2. Are you satisfied that this is proven? Yes or no?

jpl: 1. Nobody knows, nor can they know.
2. It cannot be proved.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 9:03:34 PM PST
I can't visually juggle all four at once, but I can readily imagine it by ignoring one of the spatial dimensions for a moment, putting time in its place. (As in light cone diagrams, world line diagrams, etc.)

I mentioned some others who reportedly could to it, but someone voted it down for no identified excuse. I think I have even heard of five.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 9:12:45 PM PST
And I would never begrudge your right to hold it, nor try to get you to change it! Who knows? In some theories, we see that the Holographic Principle plays a significant role. If so, it may be quite hard to say precisely how many dimensions there "really" are. But as of now, all these theories still have 4 or more dimensions in them, by my count.

Am I doing something other than stating my opinion?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 9:15:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2013 9:16:26 PM PST
By the way, how do you know there are actually as *many* as three dimensions of space? I think you can get by with only one, if you are prepared to sacrifice a certain amount of calculational convenience.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 9:17:56 PM PST
time is the fourth dimension that we see
and einstein proved it is equal to the 3 physical ones
as they are interconnected and not separable

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 9:23:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2013 9:34:51 PM PST
jpl says:
Theories, arpard, just theories.

Do you, or even the person who postulated string theory - fourth dimension aside - have the ability to conceive these theories? No. Theories go on and on, and people mistake their theories for fact on and on.

No disrespect intended, arpard. I consider you one of the more informed, knowledgable, and intelligent people in the forums. Nevertheless, theories are fun to chase after.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 9:25:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2013 9:28:47 PM PST
jpl says:
Randall R Young says: <<But I don't think anyone anywhere in the cosmos will ever be able to prove this.>>

To whose satisfaction?

jpl: Not mine.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 9:33:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2013 9:36:44 PM PST
jpl says:
andthehorseirodeinontoo? says: time is the fourth dimension that we see and einstein proved it is equal to the 3 physical onesas they are interconnected and not separable

jpl: [nice grammatical mechanics] Tell me, Horse, can you explain this to me briefly?
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  87
Initial post:  Jan 23, 2013
Latest post:  Jan 27, 2013

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