A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbblBvi65Ok
A direct link to this video is at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=g94iWT2SIwI
With more and more people becoming connected to each other through the internet, not just superficially but through deeper and wider connections of shared interest and shared experience across the planet, are we witnessing the beginnings of a shift to a "group mind"? Could we be approaching some sort of global shift in consciousness, and could patterns that reside within the extra dimensions be a part of that process? That's what I'd like to talk about with this final entry of 2008.
Google recently published their 2008 Zeitgeist report, an interesting way to look back upon the year: http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/zeitgeist2008/index.html. I've been doing some google tracking of my own this year, keeping track of what words come up as the top suggestions for each single letter of the alphabet in the Google toolbar's results for the past twelve months: you can see the full list by clicking here, or click here for the report I created half way through the year on that list.
Two 10th Anniversaries in 2008
2008 was the tenth anniversary of the surprising announcement that the expansion of our universe is accelerating, an idea that seems counter-intuitive: if our universe started from high energy/high order (the big bang) and is moving towards low energy/low order (maximum entropy), that implies the image of a clockwork toy that's winding down, and that image doesn't fit with a universe of accelerating expansion.
2008 was also the tenth anniversary of Google, the search engine that has changed the way we interact with information more than any other invention in the history of mankind. "Don't be evil" is their unofficial motto, and that's a great one: the power of Google to inform and guide the general public's impression of what ideas are important and what ideas are popular is immense, and the on-going war from get-rich-quick scammers and spammers who try to manipulate Google's search results for their own profit is a huge part of that story.
Google is all about information, and this project is all about imagining the underlying information that becomes our reality. This is one of the things I talk about a lot with my way of visualizing reality: the idea from quantum physics experts like Seth Lloyd and Anton Zeilinger that information equals reality. With recent entries like Dreaming of Electric Sheep and Imagining the Omniverse, we've been playing with ways of imagining what it would be like to be an observer within the extra dimensions, moving our point of view around until the data aligns in a way that allows us to see a universe such as ours. This is an entertaining mind game, but it also speaks to the basic ideas any of us are asking when we wonder where our reality comes from: if information really equals reality, then absolutely everything about the universe we see around us can be thought of as being the shadows of higher-dimensional selection patterns, an idea that connects as much to cosmology as it does to spirituality. Subatomic particles, fractals, sacred geometry, life, consciousness, and our observed universe of seventy sextillion stars are all patterns that result from the flip-book of third-dimensional "now"s that we are stringing together from one frame of planck time after another. I've talked before about how these ideas can easily related to John Wheeler and Digital Physics, and I've also talked about how this relates to the connections of spirit and belief that tie us all together around the world.
Information and the Google Universe
What else has changed? For well over two years now, typing "tenth dimension" into Google and pushing "I'm Feeling Lucky" takes you to my project: something that I still find amazing and humbling. As our world is shifting, and the tenth dimension meme has continued to make its way through the world, are people's approaches to these ideas changing as well? Early this month the tenth dimension animation vaulted to popularity through Digg and Youtube once again, with almost 4500 diggs and 100,000 youtube views in a day - and while a certain amount of naysayers were there as usual to respond to the project's newfound popularity, there also seemed to be a substantially larger number of people who weren't just saying "that blew my mind", they were also giving the impression that they now understand the logic of this new way of thinking about time and space. The idea that our reality comes from a fifth-dimensional probability space, for instance, has definitely gained ground since I began promoting the idea in 2006. So, after two and half years of people talking and thinking about this set of ideas, there appear to be many more within the general public willing to adopt this shift in thinking about the processes that create our reality.
As things shift "now", so do the future - and the past
It seems self-evident that the possible future paths available to us change based upon the events happening at this very instant: but what we're talking about here is even more powerful than that. In The Past is an Illusion, I talked about the serious idea from quantum physics that current observations could also change things about the past; and a recent article in New Scientist magazine talks about quantum physics experiments that prove there are things about future measurements which can "leak" back into the present. In my blog a year ago, I suggested that the feeling that we live in times that are accelerating towards something larger, as a result of the rapidly accelerating meme-space we live in, might be connected to the same higher-dimensional effects that are causing our universe to accelerate its expansion as well: I believe both are eventually going to be shown to be the result and the proof of extra dimensions in the information that is creating our reality.
But where are we going with all this? One of the conclusions I've tried to work us towards over the past year, blog by blog and idea by idea, is that there is strong evidence out there already that we are all connected together in ways that many of us are only beginning to understand. To finish, here are the video versions of two of my favorite blog entries that talk about this conclusion: "I Know You, You Know Me" and "You are Me and We are All Together".
I Know You, You Know Me
A direct link to this video is at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=lfq5kKkA6pw
You are Me and We are All Together
A direct link to this video is at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=GbGAPR70tTY
Enjoy the journey,
Next - Top 100 Tenth Dimension Blogs, 2008 Report
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
(In some ways you could consider this a sequel to the original animation that started it all, which you can view here.)
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfhOBevrN2U
In science, a physical picture is often more important than the mathematics used to describe it.
- Michio Kaku, in his book Physics of the Impossible
One of the most often-asked questions related to this project is "Aren't There Really 11 Dimensions?". This question relates to the basic idea of what we're talking about here, which is a way of visualizing spatial dimensions. We've talked before about the point-line-plane postulate, which you can look up in wikipedia: it uses a very similar logic to what my way of visualizing dimensions uses, and this postulate states that it can be used to imagine any number of spatial dimensions. Here's how the point-line-plane postulate works:
We start with a point. We can place a point within any specific spatial dimension, and then place another point in that same dimension. The line that passes through those two points can be thought of as having any number of divisions along its length, but ultimately the line extends to infinity in either direction. To define an additional dimension, all we have to do is find a point that isn't on any of the lines we could possibly have just created within the constraints of our current dimension. That additional point can then be used to define a plane that extends to infinity in all four directions within that plane, and this is how we imagine an additional spatial dimension. And finally, to define yet another dimension up from that one, all we have to do is find a point which is not within any of the planes we could possibly have just created.
Right angles to right angles
Using this logic, we can continue to build one spatial dimension upon another. How does this work? It's because each additional spatial dimension is at "right angles" to the one before, and the tricky part for we 3D creatures is trying to find ways to allow our brains to conceive of what "right angles" means as we try to imagine each additional spatial dimension beyond the three with which we're so familiar. The point/line/branch/fold imagery that my project uses is another very similar way of helping us to visualize additional spatial dimensions, using a logical consistency which works no matter what spatial dimension you choose to start from.
When string theory talked about spatial dimensions, for a while there it was nine spatial dimensions plus one of time. When physicist Edward Witten introduced a way to unite five different versions of string theory into what became known as M-Theory, he was describing ten spatial dimensions plus one of time. Because of that shorthand way of saying it, some people jump to the conclusion that this means physicists are saying "time" is the eleventh dimension, but it's not that simple.
"Time" overlaid upon "Space"
What science has traditionally visualized is three dimensions of space, and an additional quality called "time" which is overlaid on space to create the familiar concept of "space-time". In that way of thinking, "time" is not really a full dimension, which is why it sometimes gets counted separately. So with M-Theory's 11 dimensions, it's like we're imagining an eleven-story building, but the fourth floor is somehow not as real as the other floors: no wonder some people are unwilling to accept the existence of additional spatial dimensions when this building looks like it could collapse at any moment!
String theory relies upon extremely complicated math to arrive at its portrayal of reality. My animation is a visualization tool, which provides a comparatively easy window into imagining the extra spatial dimensions, and also has many interesting connections to other ideas from physics and cosmology - for instance, the idea that the fifth dimension is curled up at the planck length because we're experiencing it one planck frame at a time, and the idea that our 3D universe is "constrained" by a seven-dimensional brane can be seen in my "new way of thinking about time and space".
Imagining the Tenth Dimension is a Visualization Tool
What I've created, then, is an intuitive, rather than a mathematical way of visualizing the spatial dimensions. As physicist Michio Kaku says in the opening quote to this entry, sometimes finding a way to visualize a problem is more important than the math used to solve a problem: but saying that in no way diminishes our respect for the difficulty of the rigorous mathematical concepts physicists dealing in cosmology and extra dimensions must use to properly study these ideas.
So here we are with our eleven-story building, somehow managing to stay up even though its fourth floor is not as solid as the others. What's wrong with this picture? If the first three dimensions are spatial, and the fifth dimension and above are spatial (or "space-like" as some physicists prefer to say), and each additional spatial dimension is defined by the one before, then I would say that we have to find a way to agree that the fourth dimension is a full spatial dimension just like the others or the leap from the third spatial dimension to the fifth spatial dimension simply doesn't make sense. We need to show how there is a continuum, from the first dimension to the second, from the second to the third, and so on all the way up to the top of our building.
Many Worlds Leads to Many Dimensions
Here's another continuum that I believe ties in to this way of visualizing. In 2007, a team of scientists at Oxford, under the direction of physicist David Deutsch published a proof demonstrating that there is a direct continuum from the probabilistic outcomes of the quantum world to the macro world of parallel universes resulting from chance and choice (Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation).
If every decision I make, every decision someone else makes, and every random outcome where no one made a choice but something just happened are all creating different versions of our universe, this seems like a mind-boggling amount of universes for us to be asked to imagine. And yet, the Many Worlds Interpretation is gaining ground amongst serious scientists because it answers so many other questions about how our universe works. So, while Everett's MWI still has its detractors, as cosmologist Max Tegmark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been quoted to say,
The critique of many worlds is shifting from 'it makes no sense and I hate it' to simply 'I hate it'.Here's the intuitive leap my project takes on all this: if there are multiple branching timeline versions of our universe being created by chance, choice, and the actions of others, and yet we somehow can't get to those other universes once a certain outcome has been observed, we are talking about the point-line-plane postulate again: we define a line in a spatial dimension, and we find a point that is not on that line, and that's how we visualize the next dimension up. In other words, with my project I'm contending that the versions of our universe that we can't get to are being defined within additional dimensions, and this aligns with the most basic definition of spatial dimensions.
What's Not On Our Line?
As we discussed recently in Elvis and the Electrons, one of the commonly used examples of a universe we're not in, or a point that is not on our line, is that Everett's MWI says there must be a version of our universe where it's 2009 and Elvis is still alive. In other words, I am insisting that these branching choices, as per the definition of spatial dimensions, come from the next dimension up above our spacetime, a constantly evolving "probability space" which is the fifth spatial dimension. The fact that Kaluza convinced Einstein that the equations for gravity and light for our universe are resolved in the fifth dimension also ties in nicely with this idea.
But in order to get to that conclusion, we still have to fix our ghostly fourth floor. This project does so by insisting that "time" as we experience it is just one of the two possible directions in the fourth spatial dimension. Most scientists are willing to agree with the concept of time reversal symmetry, which says that time's opposite direction is just as valid as the "arrow of time" that we are experiencing within our universe. As per the point-line-plane postulate, my way of visualizing the dimensions uses time reversal symmetry for its reasoning - if we define a point in the fourth dimension, let's call it "now", then we can define a second point any arbitrary amount of time before or after "now" which creates a line that extends to infinity in either direction. Those two directions are "time" and "anti-time", and those two directions combined create a full spatial dimension.
Talking about "time" without acknowledging "anti-time" is like talking about "up" without acknowledging "down". Here's another analogy: if I were to tell you that our 3D physical world is made from length, width, depth, and "forward", you would ask why I was counting "forward" separately. Isn't "forward" already one of the possible directions within our 3D space of length,width, and depth? Of course it is. We reach the same conclusion with the fourth spatial dimension: "time" as we experience is just one of the two possible directions that make sense within that dimension, but it does not belong in a list of length, width and depth: this is why I suggest that the fourth spatial dimension be referred to as "duration".
Which means, then, that by the time we have counted ten spatial dimensions, we have already considered "time" as being one of the possible directions within those spatial dimensions so there's no need to count it separately. To be clear, though, this conclusion is unique to this project, so anyone taking a university class on M-Theory will continue to be told to count time separately.
Like wormholes, or anti-matter, some people jump to the conclusion that because they learned about "time as the fourth spatial dimension" from science fiction (the H.G. Wells novel "The Time Machine" for instance) that means the idea is incorrect, just a figment of overactive imaginations. In fact, the controversy over whether time is part of a full spatial dimension is at the core of many people's criticism of this project. Time, some critics say, is a temporal dimension and thus any additional dimensions based upon my description of the fourth dimension must also be temporal, and not the spatial dimensions that physicists dealing with extra dimensions are thinking about.
Because the idea that "time" is a direction, not a dimension, is so central to my project, I have spent a great deal of time discussing it. Here, to close, are some of the other blog entries where I have explored this idea that time is just one of the two possible directions in the fourth spatial dimension.
Hypercubes and Plato's Cave
Time is a Direction
Time in Either Direction
Dr. Mel's 4D Glasses
The Big Bang and the Big Pie
Enjoy the journey,
Next: Google and the Group Mind
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Click on any of the following to see previous versions of this list:
. April 08 . May 08 . June 08 . July 08 . August 08 . September 08 . October 08 . November 08 .
As of December 21st, 2008, here are the blogs that have seen the most visits in the last 30 days. Please note, for both of the following lists, the number in brackets is the position that blog held in the report for the previous month.
1. Create a Universe with One Easy Click (new)
2. Tenth Dimension Polls Archive 21 to 25 (9)
3. Dreaming of Electric Sheep (new)
4. The Big Bang and the Big Pie (10)
5. Tenth Dimension Polls Archive 26 (new)
6. We Start with a Point (new)
7. New Stuff at the Store (new)
8. Imagining the Omniverse (new)
9. Recursive Mouth Boy (new)
10. Welcome to Digg and YouTube Viewers (new)
And as of December 21st, 2008, here are the twenty-six Imagining the Tenth Dimension blog entries that have attracted the most visits of all time. This was quite another very active month, no doubt in large part because a new fan posting of my animation got almost 4500 "diggs" a couple of weeks ago (that's a lot in the world of digg). This month we're seeing seven new entries including some that are surprisingly near the top of the list already. Entries that are new or have climbed this month are marked in bold.
1. You are Me and We are All Together (5)
2. I Know You, You Know Me (9)
3. Twisted Dimensions (1)
4. Scrambled Eggs (14)
5. Dr. Mel's 4D Glasses (17)
6. Time is a Direction (2)
7. The Past is an Illusion (6)
8. Predicting the Future (Here Come the Aliens) (new)
9. Crossed Wires in the Brain (3)
10. Create a Universe with One Easy Click (new)
11. Tenth Dimension Polls Archive 21 to 25 (new)
12. The Omniverse Almanac and the Federal Reserve (23)
13. Video Feedback (4)
14. Foreword to Giorbran's Acclaimed Book (new)
15. Jake Kotze and Mystical Numbers (11)
16. David Jay Brown and Psychedelics (12)
17. Moving Dimensions and Synchromysticism (7)
18. Time in 3 Dimensions (8)
19. Why Do We Need More Than 3 Dimensions (18)
20. Dreaming of Electric Sheep (new)
21. John August and The Nines (10)
22. Gevin Giorbran - Everything is Forever (new)
23. We're Already Dead (But That's Okay) (19)
24. Tenth Dimension Polls Archive 1 to 10 (13)
25. The Omniverse Almanac (new)
26. The Annotated Tenth Dimension Video (15)
Again, another surprisingly active month, with 7 blogs being knocked out of the list of most popular of all time. Here are those entries are one more time:
Daily Parrying (16)
Magnets and Souls (21)
Tenth Dimension Polls Archive 16 - 20 (22)
Dark Energy, Linelanders, and the LHC (24)
The Flipbook Universe (25)
The Google Suggestions Time Capsule Project (26)
By the way, if you're new to this project, you might want to check out the Tenth Dimension FAQ, as it provides a road map to a lot of the discussions and different materials that have been created for this project. If you are interested in the 26 songs attached to this project, this blog shows a video for each of the songs and provides more links with lyrics and discussion. The Annotated Tenth Dimension Video provides another cornucopia of discussion topics to be connected to over at YouTube. And as always, here's a reminder that the Tenth Dimension Forum is a good place to converse with other people about these ideas.
Enjoying the journey,
Next - Aren't There Really 11 Dimensions?
Posted by Rob Bryanton at 1:00 AM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
A direct link to the above video is at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=qZkTVhzBgNk
Last blog, in "Elvis and the Electrons", we talked about a BBC science documentary which says there must be other versions of our universe where Elvis is still alive right now. But what about our own universe? I haven't checked the tabloid racks lately, but certainly in the three decades since his passing there have been countless reports of people seeing Elvis. Let's all agree for a moment that Elvis really did die back in '77 - the question, then, is what might have caused some of those people since then to think they saw Elvis?
This time around, I'd like to talk about the phenomenon of pareidolia. Here's the definition from wikipedia:
pareidolia describes a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, and hearing hidden messages on records played in reverse.Here's a short video showing Pareidolia-type images. This was created by "Caino" from Italy, who kindly gave me permission to use this video:
A direct link to this video is at http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1878026/pareidolia/
My friend Bob introduced me to this word when he sent me this link - http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4105, which talks more about the backwards recordings effect, where people can be convinced they are hearing messages that aren't really there. And over at Clifford Pickover's Reality Carnival, a quick search for "pareidolia" on that page reveals a number of tasty discussions.
Two Dots and a Line
Scott McCloud created one of my favorite books: Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Presented in a comic book format, it does an excellent job of explaining the connection between simple graphics - how we human beings can look at two dots and a line in a circle and instantly recognize a face - and the layers of meaning that are communicated with different drawing styles. It also speaks to what our brains are hard-wired to do: look for meaning within the constant input coming into our brains.
Where is the dividing line, then, between pareidolia - sensing things that aren't really there - and the leaps of intuition that allow us to see things that are hidden from view? This is a very blurry line indeed. If any of us can look at a picture of a particular mountain or a particular piece of toast and very clearly see the face of Jesus, does saying "but that's not Jesus, it's just some coincidental shapes" make us stop from seeing the face? If we look at a piece of abstract art that conveys a particular emotion, was that emotion deliberately imparted by the artist or is it merely our brains that are adding those layers of meaning? And how is it that a piece of music can instantly be recognized as being sad or sprightly, angry or peaceful? In all of these cases there are connections across space and time that our brains plug into, which allow us to impart meaning to the input. Saying "that's just our brains interpreting a random pattern" really diminishes what is so amazing about our ability to interpret this huge amount of data that is coming in through our senses... and ultimately, if our universe is really just the result of random quantum fluctuations, then our ability to make sense of any part of our reality at all is a gigantic testament to the ability of our minds to tease out coherent and understandable patterns from the noise.
Have you ever seen an aura? Or a ghost?
One of the poll questions that recently finished here on the blog was about whether people have seen an "aura" - a visual representation of a person's energy field that surrounds their body. Another poll that will finish in a few weeks asks about ghosts - have you ever had an experience which led you to believe in ghosts, or spirits of the departed that carry on after death and somehow have contact with our world? In both of these polls, I was surprised to see how many of us have had personal experiences that confirm there is much more to our world then the blunt physical reality set out before us.
Making sense of the data, finding sense within the noise
And with this project, I have been trying to show that there are strong connections between theories of parallel universes and universal wavefunctions that connect our reality together, and theories that support the existence of extra dimensions (after all, it needs to be made clear that extra dimensions are not a prerequisite for all theories involving multiple universes). The intuitive way of visualizing our reality that I've come up with, I believe, has ways of tying those ideas together very strongly, and leaves room for those other more mysterious connections of spirit, memes, intuition, instinct, and the paranormal to be incorporated into our model of how reality really works.
Yes, sometimes a piece of toast is really just a piece of toast, a guy wearing Elvis sunglasses is really just some guy, and pareidolia imparts meaning that really isn't there at all. But whether you're talking about dark energy and the missing 96% of the universe, or theories of extra dimensions, or the personal experiences that people have that tell them ghosts, auras, and other paranormal events really do exist, we are dealing with things that are beyond the here and now, and extend out into realms that our simple spacetime is not able to hold. Hard line viewpoints that say all of these fanciful things like dark energy, extra dimensions, auras and ghosts don't exist, then, should be examined very carefully.
What's wrong with embracing a bit of the mystery? It makes all of us richer to expand our minds beyond the hard physical world that's in front of our noses and think about what it might be that lies beyond.
To finish, here's a song about how important our role as conscious observers is in the universe we are headed towards - the song is called "See No Future".
A direct link to this video is at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=69pUzwSONBc
Enjoy the journey,
PS - Here's a related article from the November Scientific American "Mind" issue, written by Michael Schermer, on "Patternicity".
Next: The Top Ten Tenth Dimension Blogs, December Report
Friday, December 12, 2008
A direct link to the above video is at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=hWysfIj-ebM
With this project, we've been spending a lot of time talking about Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation, and used the often-quoted example that if there are countless parallel universe versions of our own universe, then there must be versions of our universe out there in which it's 2009 and Elvis is still alive.
We've also talked about the surprising idea that electrons are point-like particles, which means they have no size and no dimension. Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation is also known as the Theory of the Universal Wavefunction, and there are ways to tie these two ideas together - electrons have no size and no dimension because they are part of a universal wavefunction, and any particular "now", any particular one-planck length wide "slice" of spacetime, we observe a tiny piece of the wave function and call that an electron, or a point-like particle.
In the entry "Imagining the Omniverse", we talked about Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek's new book which says all matter and energy comes from empty space. We talked about how this idea seems easily related to John Wheeler's idea of a "quantum foam", an underlying background which is churning away with particles that are produced and immediately disappear - and we also imagined how an underlying symmetry state could produce such an effect in recent entries like "Dreaming of Electric Sheep" and "The Big Bang and the Big Pie".
Now, I'd like you to look at a clip from a BBC documentary I just came across that actually ties these related ideas together in a manner very similar to where I've been heading with all this. The name of this clip, which comes from a documentary called "Parallel Universes", is called "Do Disappearing Electrons Prove That Elvis is Still Alive?".
BBC has disabled embedding for their YouTube movies, so you'll have to click on this link to watch this three minute clip: http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=u5QbxcDjsHs
The point this documentary segment makes is that some theorists use the Many Worlds Interpretation to explain where those particles that come into and disappear out of our universe are going when they disappear - they are then appearing in some of the other versions of our universe that are what we are trying to imagine with the branching fifth dimensional timelines found within my way of visualizing reality. And yes, this video clip actually has someone who looks like Elvis putting in a cameo, showing him in one of those other universes where he got off the pills and is still alive and kicking right now.
Physicist and astronomer Milo Wolff has an interesting website about The Quantum Universe. Click here to see a page from that website which explains the wave structure of electrons and provides an interesting animated graph showing how waves interact to produce the electron's observed properties.
All of this ties back to the central idea of this project- our observed universe is just a tiny slice of a much larger pie which some scientists are now calling the omniverse. As we imagine the higher-dimensional structures that create our observed reality, we are dwarfed again and again by the immensity of what we are trying to visualize here. But ultimately, that's what I find so uplifting about this as an exercise as well - because out of all those universes that could have been, and all of those parallel universe versions of our own universe, isn't it amazing that we're in this one very particular universe, right here, and right now?
To finish, here's a bit of a tongue-in-cheek song about how amazing our world is, and how no matter what we want to define as the place it all comes from, we have to arrive at something that just "is". Otherwise, as we discussed in the blog entry about Poll Question 22, we are stuck with there being "turtles all the way down".
A direct link to this video is at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=Vppy4BOdSJ0
Enjoy the journey,
Next: Auras, Ghosts, and Pareidolia
Monday, December 8, 2008
A direct link to the above video is at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=X_Oq-bVkyQc
Last blog entry, we talked about the misinformation some people have spread about this project saying that it misuses the word "dimensions". We talked about how the extra dimensions that physicists are suggesting our reality comes from are spatial (or some physicists say "space-like") dimensions, and we talked about the point-line-plane postulate, which states a way to imagine any number of spatial dimensions which is identical to the logic that my original tenth dimension animation uses. This entry is really a continuation, then, of the ideas we were exploring last time.
You are a Point Within the Omniverse
The first three dimensions are space
But space without time.
Without a fourth dimension to move through
that space is frozen in a particular state.
Saying that "adding a dimension adds a new degree of freedom"
makes perfect sense as we move from the third to the fourth dimension -
Without "time" as one of the two possible directions in the fourth dimension
we have no freedom to move, no freedom to change from state to state.
Now what about the fifth?
Kaluza proved and Einstein agreed that our reality comes from the fifth dimension.
With the fourth dimension, we've pictured a straight line
that points to the past in one direction, and to the future in the other.
Is there only one future? Is there only one wave function
that can possibly be observed for our universe?
If that were true, then we wouldn't need any further degrees of freedom.
But if we are to accept that there are many possible pasts and futures
that connect to our "now" for our universe,
then we need an additional degree of freedom
to be able to appreciate where those additional states lie:
and this project's proposal is that freedom is found by adding the fifth dimension.
What degree of freedom is still missing in the fifth dimension?
The freedom to move to versions of our universe
that are logically incompatible
with our current
Physicists like Michio Kaku and Brian Greene
tell us that the wave function for our universe
includes events which are so unlikely to occur
that they would take longer than the life of the universe to happen.
And for our own "now", there are branching futures
that we simply can't get to from here -
but we know that someplace out there
in the set of all possible states for our universe
there is a version where it's 2009 and Elvis is still alive.
The sixth dimension, then, provides us with the additional degree of freedom
that allows us to get to those "impossible" versions of the universe
that are unavailable from our current position
within the spacetime tree of the fifth dimension.
Where do we go from there?
Again, we continue to use the same visualization
as the point-line-plane postulate that we started from.
Seven - is a line from our universe to other universes with different physical laws
Eight - is a plane from our universe to other universes not on the first line
Nine - is the information space for moving from one possible or impossible universe to another
Which brings us to ten.
The omniverse - an infinite set of indeterminate size
Containing every possible state in perfect symmetry
Which, like a pencil perfectly balanced on its tip
Is always read to fall out of that symmetry
and create a pattern of information, a particle
or an entire universe with its wave function of all possible states
Just like the one we find ourselves to be in right now.
Let's sum it up one more time.
Our 3D reality is moving on a 4D line
that is actually twisting and turning in the fifth dimension,
one planck length at a time,
and this is why the 5th dimension and above
appear to be "curled up" from our perspective
down here in spacetime.
Our beautiful universe is being observed
through its fifth-dimensional probability space.
Our beautiful universe is a temporary deviation from symmetry
Which is where it was "before" it began and where it will be "after" it ends.
Which means our beautiful universe is moving towards that enfolded whole
Which is the place where Everything Fits Together and it all balances out
And becomes the point of indeterminate size
That we started from.
And you are a point within the omniverse
and just like Feynman's single electron,
you exist simultaneously
within the enfolded symmetry,
the zero of timelessness, no size, no dimension,
where it all comes from and Everything is Forever.
What I keep coming back to is this amazing universe that we find ourselves in is just a tiny slice of that much bigger "pie" that we call the omniverse, and knowing about the wonderful selection patterns that chose our universe is a cause for wonder and a cause for gratitude. To finish today's entry, here's a song of mine performed by my friend Ron Scott, and it's song 26 of the 26 songs attached to this project. It's called "Thankful".
A direct link to this video is at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=NIfN1RM9X6I
Enjoy the journey,
Next: Elvis and the Electrons
Thursday, December 4, 2008
A direct link to this video is at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=MPl9Ofv88Yk
One of the most unfair criticisms I hear about this project is that it somehow misuses or misunderstands the term "dimensions". In "What Would a Linelander Really See?", we talked about how the definition of dimensions that this project uses is aligned with the most basic definition of dimensions as found in wikipedia. What I want people to understand is that the extra dimensions physicists are describing are still spatial dimensions (or, as some physicists call them, "space-like dimensions"), and my way of visualizing the dimensions builds from that premise. Here's an easily-related concept from wikipedia: the point-line-plane postulate.
Point-line-plane postulateI've added the italics on "three or more dimensions" for emphasis, as that sums up the game we're playing here: using what we know about the first three dimensions, we can continue to stack one dimension upon another using the same logic.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The point-line-plane postulate in geometry is a collective of three assumptions (axioms) that are the basis for Euclidean geometry in three or more dimensions. 1. Unique Line Assumption
There is exactly one line passing through two distinct points. 2. Number Line Assumption
Every line is a set of points which can be put into a one-to-one correspondence with the real numbers. Any point can correspond with 0 (zero) and any other point can correspond with 1 (one). 3. Dimension Assumption
Given a line in a plane, there exists at least one point in the plane that is not on the line. Given a plane in space, there exists at least one point in space that is not in the plane.
Here's one more idea for you to consider - in You are Me and We are All Together, we talked about renowned physicist Richard Feynman's proposal that the reason all electrons are absolutely identical is because there is really just one electron in the universe, whizzing back and forth within timelessness, and the trillions of electrons we see around us are just multiple copies of that same electron as it completes its journey back and forth from the beginning to the end of time. Why are all electrons identical? If you look up "point particle" you'll see that electrons are described as "point-like particles", which means they actually have no size and no dimension - just like the point with which we start our tenth dimension animation.
So this time around, let's think back to the original animation and review how this way of visualizing the extra dimensions relates to "points" that are moving within the dimensions, and how we can start from our first three dimensions with which we're so familiar to imagine the extra dimensions beyond spacetime.
We Start With a Point
We start with a point at position zero
Then, we can imagine a second point
and create a line segment with these two points at the end
We can imagine a line passing through these two points
extending to infinity in either direction.
Adding all of the possible values together
on either side of the point we started from
creates a perfect symmetry
which adds back up to where we started:
Zero, a point of indeterminate size.
This will be true
no matter where you start
or how many dimensions you're imagining
Because each new dimension adds two more directions
and they will always head towards infinity in either direction.
But what do we mean by infinity?
Infinity is a tricky word. Is there more than one infinity?
Or is it more correct to say that there are many ways to get to infinity?
If I start counting 0,1,2,3... and so on,
there's no end to the numbers that I could count.
If I start counting 0,2,4,6,8... and so on,
there's also no end to the numbers that I could count.
If I start dividing any number in half, and half again, and half again,
there's no end to the number of times I could keep dividing that number in half.
Each is a way to get to infinity.
Are each of the infinities we just imagined a different size?
We should always keep reminding ourselves - Infinity is Not a Number
So even though one infinite set can be a subset of another infinite set
(which means that saying one version of infinity is larger than another
does have a certain usefulness in helping to imagine all this)
ultimately all infinities are the same size,
because all infinities are of indeterminate size
Just like the point we started from.
Let's imagine that first and second point again.
They could have been anywhere, in any dimension
And there would be an infinite number of points
on the line that passes through those 2 points
But even though there are an infinite number of points on that line,
there could still be another point that we could imagine that's not on that line
No matter where we place that additional point, we'll now have to think of not a line
But a plane, and that plane will extend to infinity in both of the new directions we just added
Again, this new point could have been anywhere
As long as it isn't on the line we started from
But no matter where we place it the plane we're creating
is still just a subset of all possible planes
And no matter what plane we imagine, we can still add an additional point
That is not on that plane and requires us to add an additional dimension
Again, with two new directions that extend both ways to infinity
This cycle can be repeated endlessly -
define a system, add a point that isn't within that system
add a dimension for that new point to be within
which adds two new opposing directions that each extend to infinity
in either of those two new directions.
For the first few dimensions, this is easy to imagine with graphs and arrays -
we can imagine a two-dimensional data set, a two-dimensional array (x,y)
with values for two different co-ordinates:
X on one axis, Y on the other, simple to draw on a piece of paper.
But this gets harder to picture as the number of dimensions climb:
So while we can easily define a seven-dimensional array with seven different co-ordinates,
Visualizing the graph that could represent such an array
is not an easy thing for our 3D sensibilities to accomplish.
If we're trying to visualize our reality as coming from extra dimensions
it's helpful for us to keep imagining what new degree of freedom
each new dimension is adding.
The "point-line-plane postulate's" idea of using a current dimension
to define a line,
the next dimension up to define a plane
and the dimension above that to define a space created
by those potential lines and potential planes
Is a way for us to keep visualizing
past what we as 3D creatures
are used to thinking about.
We're going to continue talking about these ideas next time, with an entry called "You are a Point Within the Omniverse". In it, we're going to go back to the idea that the omniverse is an enfolded symmetry state, which we can think of as a perfectly balanced zero. But one of the ideas we haven't talked about much is how that symmetry state is always ready to fall out of balance and create a universe - it's like a pencil balanced on its tip, always ready to fall one way or another and create a new pattern in the information that becomes our reality or any other.
To finish, a song sung for me by Ron Scott, one of the 26 songs attached to this project. This one is about the mysterious spark of life and consciousness, a point moving within the omniverse. The song is called "Burn the Candle Brightly".
A direct link to the above video is at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=Ydru-VYfybU
That's all for now. Enjoy the journey!
Next: A Point within the Omniverse
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
A direct link to Ocular Stream's version of my video is at http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=HvgwR9ERCBo
Yesterday someone posted our tenth dimension site to digg (again!), and it got almost 4500 diggs (that's a lot in digg-land), and Youtube user OcularStream's copy of the original tenth dimension movie got over 100,000 views in the last twenty-four hours. Yikes! What is it about this project that keeps grabbing people?
If you click on youtube's "stats and data" you'll see this video already has some very impressive stats, right now it's the top 5 favorited video of all time in Canada for Education videos!
Next - We Start With a Point