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Thread: Time as a spatial dimension

  1. #1 Time as a spatial dimension 
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    I'm not going to claim anything about time, I just want to clear up some confusion I'm having regarding time as a spatial dimension.

    As far as I've understood we're part of 3 dimensional space and thus we can't see ourselves in the 4. dimension. If we could, we would see ourselves from birth 'til death at once, or so I was told in a video explaining this.

    My confusion lies in these explanations over how 2 dimensional "flatlanders" would percieve 3 dimensional figures, and how we would percieve the 4. dimension. I do get the logic in that we only percieve ourselves in moments and not a complete timeline (from start to end), but I don't get the claim that we're only living in the 3 dimensions of space and not all spatial dimensions. For me it seems more logical to assume we're living in all dimensions since that line of thinking doesn't involve any "higher forms" of existence. Assuming I'm right I would suspect that the error lies in treating the 4. dimension separate from the other 3 dimensions.

    There must be something I'm horribly misunderstanding, or? :?


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    I am not sure if I can answer your question, but here it goes anyway.


    First, the current accepted model we use to measure and explain what we perceive around is is "space-time", 3 dimensions of space and 1 dimension of time. "Space" and "time" are terms we use to "explain" what we perceive around. Reality as such is not "space-time". Reality just is what it is. We have created the terms "space" and "time" because they are, currently, "best fit definitions". We have stuck with the definition for space being 3 dimensional and time 1 dimensional, because they are very useful mathematically. We have stuck with those definitions so much so that we are not willing to change or alter their basis, their definition.


    My argument for some time has been along the line of adding more dimensions to "time", to add another dimension to the "time" tool, on top of which would be a third dimension of time; to basically stream time with each dimension of space.

    Remember, "space" and "time" are merely conceptual tools we use to best "define" what we perceive. If we can tweak these tools in a way to "better" explain reality, the reality we perceive, we should.

    I am like you, if I understand you correctly: I too question "time" and it;s current definition, and how difficult it is to accept how to conceptualise a "4th dimension". There is nothing about contemporary physics that I disagree with based on how they have designed the "tool" of "time". But, I think we should not lose sight of our ability and freedom to "upgrade" our understanding of "time", and to use that upgraded tool of time with a just as upgraded mathematics.





    (I don't know if that has helped)


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    Reality as such is not "space-time". Reality just is what it is.
    Well, before this discussion goes metaphysical , let me tell you both that we are percieving a 4 dimensional world, in which, one dimension(time) is affecting the other 3 spatial dimensions.


    For example,the sahara is a desert now, but was once under water. So, when you look at sahara, you see its spatial dimensions (size and location) and also where o the timeline or on the 'time axis' it lies now.

    Hope that this makes some sense
    Beyond Equations,

    Pritish
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    No, thank you, I think we already know this.

    But it seems you fail to accept that "space" and "time" are merely "concepts" we use to "best" define the reality we perceive.

    Spacwe being three dimensional and time one dimensional is the simplest, easiest, and currently most effective way we can describe reality.

    But, the suggestion here which you have missed is that "space" and 'time" may be too simplistic as a four dimensional construct to explain what appears to be a more difficult constitution of concepts (aka reality).

    For instance, just as the atom has sub-atomic counterparts, "time" might itself have underlying temporal constructs we have failed to include in our theories of space-time.





    Hope you get that.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PritishKamat
    Well, before this discussion goes metaphysical , let me tell you both that we are percieving a 4 dimensional world, in which, one dimension(time) is affecting the other 3 spatial dimensions.


    For example,the sahara is a desert now, but was once under water. So, when you look at sahara, you see its spatial dimensions (size and location) and also where o the timeline or on the 'time axis' it lies now.

    Hope that this makes some sense
    Yes, I can agree with this, but I'm still confused. I bascially got confused by this video here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkxieS-6WuA

    It basically says we are 3 dimensional creatures only capable of percieving the 4. dimension from our dimension. I just don't get it. We are assumed to only be 3 dimensional on the logical basis that we only percieve time in moments and not as a whole. That makes perfect sense, but I still don't get it somehow. Aren't we fully dimensional? It just seems to me that separating these dimensions only cause unnecessary complications.

    Perhaps I would have to learn the mathematics behind it to understand it? That could take a while...
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    Quote Originally Posted by theQuestIsNotOver
    I am not sure if I can answer your question, but here it goes anyway.


    First, the current accepted model we use to measure and explain what we perceive around is is "space-time", 3 dimensions of space and 1 dimension of time. "Space" and "time" are terms we use to "explain" what we perceive around. Reality as such is not "space-time". Reality just is what it is. We have created the terms "space" and "time" because they are, currently, "best fit definitions". We have stuck with the definition for space being 3 dimensional and time 1 dimensional, because they are very useful mathematically. We have stuck with those definitions so much so that we are not willing to change or alter their basis, their definition.


    My argument for some time has been along the line of adding more dimensions to "time", to add another dimension to the "time" tool, on top of which would be a third dimension of time; to basically stream time with each dimension of space.

    Remember, "space" and "time" are merely conceptual tools we use to best "define" what we perceive. If we can tweak these tools in a way to "better" explain reality, the reality we perceive, we should.

    I am like you, if I understand you correctly: I too question "time" and it;s current definition, and how difficult it is to accept how to conceptualise a "4th dimension". There is nothing about contemporary physics that I disagree with based on how they have designed the "tool" of "time". But, I think we should not lose sight of our ability and freedom to "upgrade" our understanding of "time", and to use that upgraded tool of time with a just as upgraded mathematics.





    (I don't know if that has helped)

    You guys were given broken tools of science by individuals you believed to be sincere. And they may have been. It is just that they, believed in wrong tools and wrong formulas and wrong people.

    The truth is that we do not need a forth dimension to really start to enjoy life. We just have to remove those that by their actions, have shown that they are not interested in enjoying life. Law makers.

    Law makers paid big money to individuals that took jobs that they did not deserve or respect. Usually in education. In return, law makers got education the way they wanted it.

    If you look at America right now, our weak basics, that create the fear in markets, are weak, due to poor leadership. The law makers just did the same thing to education. Road it down in a bear market.

    Basically you get big jobs in education through law makers appointing you. Law makers obviously have no real friends, any associates they do have are not that bright. Leading to unintelligent individuals heading up most of our government watch dog groups. Leading to the demise of education.

    Before Benjamin Franklin you had to sneak into places to get a peak at what might or might not exist. George Washington along with Benjamin Franklin changed all that.

    They are changing it back again, to that dark European ignorance. Evil likes the dark ages.



    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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    One more off topic post and I'll contact a moderator for immediate deletion of that given post, William.

    And theQuestIsNotOver, as stated in the OP, I'm not going to claim anything about time. I just want to understand how time works as a spatial dimension, nothing more, nothing less.

    And DON'T respond to this post without coming with something in relation to the topic at hand, please!
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    Wow, you're a little rough and ready.

    I was just establishing what you were asking.





    You want hard and fast answers by mind-readers, people who know your thoughts in only a few lines.

    (best of luck)

    But I will answer your question for you. How does time work as a spatial dimensions? It doesn't. That's why it is the fourth dimension, and not the previous "three". And you want to do the math on that? Good luck. The books are long and numerous. You want an answer though? The issue with space and time as a mathematics? That's your question, right? Your answer? Physicsts would say if you can't get the right answer you're not asking the right question. Does that help? You're not asking the right question. You are trying to put your thoughts in a situation that is not relevant to physics. Yime, basically, according to contemporary models, is not a spatial dimension. So, to put your head around time being a spatial dimension when asking questions of physics will get you nowhere. If it is any consolation, I understand what you are getting at. If you want an alternative approach to the axioms of space and time, this is not the forum for that, as I have learnt. Alas, I am still here. It is always good to keep a watchful eye on the rare gems of questions that once and a while come by.
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  10. #9  
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    *Bump*

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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    I bascially got confused by this video here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkxieS-6WuA

    It basically says we are 3 dimensional creatures only capable of percieving the 4. dimension from our dimension. I just don't get it. We are assumed to only be 3 dimensional on the logical basis that we only percieve time in moments and not as a whole. That makes perfect sense, but I still don't get it somehow. Aren't we fully dimensional? It just seems to me that separating these dimensions only cause unnecessary complications.
    The flaw in the video's argument is that Flatlanders also have the dimension of time, hence they live in 3 dimensions in much the same way we live in 4 dimensions.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    The flaw in the video's argument is that Flatlanders also have the dimension of time, hence they live in 3 dimensions in much the same way we live in 4 dimensions.
    Thank you! Now this finally makes sense!
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    Why not illuminate us all, yes?

    What did you understand, and how.








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  14. #13  
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    As Q said, we observe 3 spatial dimensions and one time. The flatlanders observe 2 spatial dimensions and one time. The flatlanders can't imagine a world of 3 spatial dimensions , which is ours. So basically, we can't imagine 4 dimensions, but that is 4 spatial dimensions, which is not the same as 3 spatial plus one time. Or AFAIK..
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    As Q said, we observe 3 spatial dimensions and one time. The flatlanders observe 2 spatial dimensions and one time. The flatlanders can't imagine a world of 3 spatial dimensions , which is ours. So basically, we can't imagine 4 dimensions, but that is 4 spatial dimensions, which is not the same as 3 spatial plus one time. Or AFAIK..
    Now I think I'm even more confused. :?

    I thought (Q) said that we were indeed 4 dimensional/live in 4 dimensions. When he mentioned the flaw in the flatlanders my thoughts included the absence of time which lead me to think that time could only be "one" with the absence of it which then made me conclude that time is "moments", thus we are 4 dimensional/live in 4 dimensions...

    I can feel my mind twirling now.
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  16. #15  
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    Time is only a measure of relative movement. That is, movement in 3 spatial dimensions for us and in 2 spatial dimensions for the flatlanders. Terms like "movement in time" might have confused you a bit into equating time to another spatial dimension?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Time is only a measure of relative movement. That is, movement in 3 spatial dimensions for us and in 2 spatial dimensions for the flatlanders. Terms like "movement in time" might have confused you a bit into equating time to another spatial dimension?
    Mmmm... ok, let's see. So time as a spatial dimension is only relative movement in the 3 spatial dimensions (lenght, width and height)?

    If so, that would mean that we are part of this dimension as well as any other, right? How does our perception of time change this? :?
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  18. #17  
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    I don't think one can talk about time as a spatial dimension at all, but as an extra dimension of time added on to the regular 3 spatial dimensions. For instance, you can describe the position of a point on a Cartesian plane using the three spatial dimensions, but for that point to be able to migrate to any other position, would inevitably require the use of time. Then the point has a position relative to the reference plane and a rate of migration to the new position measured in units of time which is derived from the standardised movement of yet another thing. Time, then, is intimately bound to space and so time cannot exist without space, nor can any relative movement occur without the usage of time, hence the 4-vector approach of relativity (or as I understand it). So our perception of time is governed by our biological processes, the movement of the sun etc. and these ingrained references of time is then used to judge the speed of an occurrence. AFAIK

    I hope I am not adding to you confusion by being characteristically vague... :?
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I hope I am not adding to you confusion by being characteristically vague... :?
    No, I think I get it now. Except the part were you say we can't imagine 4 dimensions (earlier on). It seems to me that it's inevtible that we imagine 4 dimensions.
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    See? There's the vague part!

    Yeah, I meant we can't imagine 4 spatial dimensions.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    See? There's the vague part!

    Yeah, I meant we can't imagine 4 spatial dimensions.
    I think you have to elaborate that part. :?

    Either you're implying that time isn't a spatial dimension, or there's something I'm missing.
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  22. #21 what were we all talking about? 
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    i guess i got so caught up in all this.....that i
    forgot what the heck it was all about....
    GONE ON A LONG WALK
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    See? There's the vague part!

    Yeah, I meant we can't imagine 4 spatial dimensions.
    I think you have to elaborate that part. :?

    Either you're implying that time isn't a spatial dimension, or there's something I'm missing.
    Well, yes, that is how I have it. Time isn't a spatial dimension. After reading a bit on the subject, it seems that the distinction comes in that normally one would talk of 3 spatial and one time dimension, but when it comes to relativity, one talks of a space-time manifold. Dimensions in general are described as either space-like (spatial) or time-like (temporal).
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  24. #23  
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    There's a significant distinction between space-like and time-like dimensions. In certain important equations, the time-like dimensions get a minus sign, while the space-like dimensions get a plus sign. Unfortunately, I can't remember the actual equations right now.
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  25. #24 4 a better understanding of space time..... 
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    There's a significant distinction between space-like and time-like dimensions. In certain important equations, the time-like dimensions get a minus sign, while the space-like dimensions get a plus sign. Unfortunately, I can't remember the actual equations right now.
    For a better understanding notesonphysics-angel.blogspot.com/ the space time thing, go here:

    to my notes on physics. when U get there....be sure to read enough
    to satisfy your ? about such things [urlnotesonphysics-angel.blogspot.com/[/url]

    or click on my WWW link below....and find the link to my notes on physics
    from there....in first post. 8)
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  26. #25 also 
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    WARNING:

    With enough money A world government
    or an individual like myself, could build a
    system of satellites in synchronous orbit
    around the earth. This system, a partical
    beam weapon could be on one mans voice
    command such as a President etc. This man
    could literally call fire down from heaven with
    GPS precision.

    more on this later...........or maybe NOT!

    2003 Angel De Fuego

    excerpt from my notes on physics.
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  27. #26 Hello .....where did everyone go? 
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    a few days of silence..... or just speechless? 8)

    NOTE:
    it is not my game to play games with people nor with words.
    ....is there anyone out there?

    hey....... pass me that cracker....i guess we'll just have to wait
    it out til someone comes for us. ....it's dark down here...
    please hury..someone.
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    As Q said, we observe 3 spatial dimensions and one time. The flatlanders observe 2 spatial dimensions and one time. The flatlanders can't imagine a world of 3 spatial dimensions , which is ours. So basically, we can't imagine 4 dimensions, but that is 4 spatial dimensions, which is not the same as 3 spatial plus one time. Or AFAIK..
    Now I think I'm even more confused. :?

    I thought (Q) said that we were indeed 4 dimensional/live in 4 dimensions. When he mentioned the flaw in the flatlanders my thoughts included the absence of time which lead me to think that time could only be "one" with the absence of it which then made me conclude that time is "moments", thus we are 4 dimensional/live in 4 dimensions...

    I can feel my mind twirling now.
    You do live in 4 dimensions. If you make an appointment you specify the place (3 degrees of freedom) and time (one more degree of freedom). It is just that you perceive the dimension of time via a different mechanism than that with which you perceive the passage of time.

    It becomes a bit more difficult to describe when you encounter the curved space-time of general relativity, but locally things are way you see them in everyday life.
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  29. #28 Re: Time as a spatial dimension 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously

    My confusion lies in these explanations over how 2 dimensional "flatlanders" would percieve 3 dimensional figures, and how we would percieve the 4. dimension. I do get the logic in that we only percieve ourselves in moments and not a complete timeline (from start to end), but I don't get the claim that we're only living in the 3 dimensions of space and not all spatial dimensions. For me it seems more logical to assume we're living in all dimensions since that line of thinking doesn't involve any "higher forms" of existence. Assuming I'm right I would suspect that the error lies in treating the 4. dimension separate from the other 3 dimensions.

    There must be something I'm horribly misunderstanding, or? :?
    I'd say it's more like, you can only be in one moment at a time, but you can kind of be in more than one place at once. I mean, as a person, you occupy an area, not just a point, in 3d space. You perceive an area, too. With time, you only occupy a point.

    We are the 2d object moving through 3d space. In fact, we're moving in one direction, and at constant speed.
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  30. #29 Re: Time as a spatial dimension 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    As far as I've understood we're part of 3 dimensional space and thus we can't see ourselves in the 4. dimension. If we could, we would see ourselves from birth 'til death at once, or so I was told in a video explaining this.
    Yes I would assume that too, but then again there is no time to percieve anything really. I suppose to get my head around this we'll have to ponder a tad. For starters we could not exist in the first place because birth and death are concepts that involve entropy.

    My confusion lies in these explanations over how 2 dimensional "flatlanders" would percieve 3 dimensional figures, and how we would percieve the 4. dimension.
    I like to imagine the human body when thinking of this. Imagine a 2D human body, veins and arteries, organs, etc would have to intersect and not overlap like they do. I would also imagine that they would percieve 3 dimensions in the same way we percieve 4. If we were to travel back or forwards in time to our own worldline, we would effectively be in two places at once. The same is said if we do something similar to 2D people:

    Imagine a piece of paper straight out, and it is a 2D persons world. If we pierce the paper with a pin, ok there is one metal object on their world. But if we fold that paper in half and then put the same 3 dimensional pin through the paper, both sides, then there would appear to be two pieces of metal on their world at once, but in different locations.

    I do get the logic in that we only percieve ourselves in moments and not a complete timeline (from start to end), but I don't get the claim that we're only living in the 3 dimensions of space and not all spatial dimensions.
    Going pseudo now I know, but I believe that we do, or are in some essence living in all dimensions, just that we have no freedom of movement in any of them other than the 3 basic ones we know of and live in as everyday recognition. I suppose what they mean is basically what I said, because we have no freedom of movement in it, then we aren't in it. I mean they can't say we're not in time can they?

    For me it seems more logical to assume we're living in all dimensions since that line of thinking doesn't involve any "higher forms" of existence. Assuming I'm right I would suspect that the error lies in treating the 4. dimension separate from the other 3 dimensions.
    Yes thats right. I do anyway. Space and time are very different. And there may be more than one time dimension as there are space. I mean for instance when it comes to time, we can't understand paradoxes or explain them, maybe because the concept we imagined is actually a higher time dimensional one? Anyway, I'm going to stop before this thread becomes pseudo-physics.

    There must be something I'm horribly misunderstanding, or? :?
    I think :? is the best way forward, any paths a right one when you're lost. And boy am I lost...
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    It is impossible for our human mind to comprehend fully the idea of higher dimensional space. We have drawn up models of what a four dimensional cube would look like, , but trying to think of higher dimensions like we think of the three we live in now is uncomprehendable like trying to comprehend infinity.

    Many string theorists, and related theorists such as m-theorists, believe in many more than the four dimensions that has been the topic of this discussion. In fact in flat space string theory one would have to accept the idea of 26 extra dimensions. However these dimensions are so small that they will likely never be found, about planck size to be exact which is an extremely small number.

    Now if you want something that will really baffle you try understanding the concept of a brane world. That is some of the deepest physics stuff out there today. Let me know if anyone can explain it in laymans terms.[/url]
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  32. #31  
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    Honestly, it's not impossible to imagine four spatial dimensions. It takes quite a bit of effort though.
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  33. #32 A Brane World ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryPotter
    It is impossible for our human mind to comprehend fully the idea of higher dimensional space. We have drawn up models of what a four dimensional cube would look like, , but trying to think of higher dimensions like we think of the three we live in now is uncomprehendable like trying to comprehend infinity.

    Many string theorists, and related theorists such as m-theorists, believe in many more than the four dimensions that has been the topic of this discussion. In fact in flat space string theory one would have to accept the idea of 26 extra dimensions. However these dimensions are so small that they will likely never be found, about planck size to be exact which is an extremely small number.

    Now if you want something that will really baffle you try understanding the concept of a brane world. That is some of the deepest physics stuff out there today. Let me know if anyone can explain it in laymans terms.[/url]
    A Brane World?
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  34. #33  
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    I didn't think it was much more to be said on this matter.

    Obviously we live in 4 dimensions, but we percieve time only in passing moments. But then again we can plan the future and contemplate the past, so in a way we can percieve time, but it takes a bit of effort, yes?

    That's what I managed to draw out of recent posts anyhow.
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    Yes, we live in time a lot more than say another higher dimension, so although we cannot 'see' it (see being 3D needing 4D to allow the sight), it is clearly there. I mean without time it is there to see, but we need time to pass the photons across space.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  36. #35 "we need time to pass the photons across space" 
    Gyd
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    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Yes, we live in time a lot more than say another higher dimension, so although we cannot 'see' it (see being 3D needing 4D to allow the sight), it is clearly there. I mean without time it is there to see, but we need time to pass the photons across space.
    I agree here.

    also 4 harry potter:

    Geometry of Superstrings:
    "Much of my research work in both superstrings, M-theory and in cosmology requires new mathematical methods in topology and geometry, particularly algebraic geometry. I have a strong interest in applying this new mathematics to questions of particle physics. In hep-th/9811168 and hep-th/9901009, I showed how grand unified theories can occur on branes by constructing generalized G-instantons on Calabi-Yau threefolds. This work was extended to produce the standard model on a brane world by constructing specialized holomorphic vector bundles. This very technical mathematical physics was presented in hep-th/0008008, math.AG/0008010 and math.AG/0008011. An important mathematical ingredient of Ekpyrotic cosmology is the "small" instanton phase transition, which was presented for brane collisions in hep-th/0001133."
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    Honestly, it's not impossible to imagine four spatial dimensions. It takes quite a bit of effort though.
    There are only three dimensions.

    I would hope it is only possible to imagine a forth dimension in some sci-fi place in your mind.

    Time is not a dimension. It is life lived. Or life not lived, while you are figuring out a forth dimension.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  38. #37  
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    I wouldn't put it that way, but yes. I didn't say that I can imagine the world with more than 3 perceptible spatial dimensions.
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  39. #38 3 is the magic number 
    Gyd
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    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick
    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    Honestly, it's not impossible to imagine four spatial dimensions. It takes quite a bit of effort though.
    There are only three dimensions.

    I would hope it is only possible to imagine a forth dimension in some sci-fi place in your mind.

    Time is not a dimension. It is life lived. Or life not lived, while you are figuring out a forth dimension.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
    There are as many dimensions as there are heavens.....good book says 3
    heavens.

    Sincerely,

    Angel de Fuego
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