A direct link for this video blog entry is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHob4jxtwUQ
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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
With this quote, Michio Kaku was summing up the work of Michael Faraday (1791 - 1867), who, with very little mathematical or scientific training but a strong visual imagination, came up with a way of describing the waves of electromagnetic energy that underlie our universe, and created the cornerstone for much of the twentieth century's discoveries about the nature of our reality. Since my project is also about a powerful way of visualizing how our reality is constructed, and incorporates the idea of patterns and waves across the dimensions as being key to that process, Dr. Kaku's quote struck quite a chord for me. With that in mind, this time around I'd like to talk a little more about dark energy and dark matter.
In Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Dark Information, we looked at the astonishing fact that 96% of our universe is invisible and undetectable dark energy and dark matter. What a strange situation science is caught in right now! Some have expressed hopes that the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, which is scheduled to go online this summer, may reveal evidence of extra dimensions or the source of dark matter and energy: but the astonishingly huge amounts of data (15 trillion gigabytes per year!) the LHC will be collecting means it will still be a while until that evidence is analyzed and the findings revealed.
We have two poll questions currently running that ask visitors' opinions on what the LHC is going to find, please be sure to cast your vote. In the meantime, let's talk a little more about how the way of visualizing reality that we're playing with here might be used to portray the missing parts of our universe. Coincidentally, the current edition of What is Enlightenment? magazine interviews five prominent physicists about dark matter and dark energy. Here's a couple of quotes from that article:
If you add up all the matter and energy in the universe, it comes to just four percent of all that drives cosmic expansion. So we're clueless... with no idea about what occupies the remaining ninety-six percent of the universe.
- Neil de Grasse Tyson, astrophysicist, author, and director of New York's Hayden Planetarium
I've been interested...whether or not the dark energy could come from extra spatial dimensions...where a kind of vibration in those multidimensional spaces creates this energy that's felt everywhere in the universe.With my way of visualizing how our reality is constructed, we are looking at a way to explain dark energy and dark matter, and how they are both related to the mainstream physics idea that gravity is the only force which exerts itself across the extra dimensions. So let's go back and look at the original Imagining the Tenth Dimension animation in a little more detail.
Now with dark matter, it would be nice if it connected to dark energy in some way, and it wasn't just a completely separate, random piece of information about the universe. It would be nice if it were somehow a different side of the same coin...
- Janna Levin, theoretical cosmologist, author, and professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University
A direct link to the above video for "Flatlanders On a Line" is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbZJ4ZsogUg
How is One Dimension Related to Another?
In Flatlanders On a Line we talked through the logic of this project's visualization tool more deeply, and how the "ray" of the fifth dimensional probability set from any current "now" is (of course) much more complex than the simple line/branch/fold that I'm using to build our image of the extra dimensions. This relates back to the ideas Edwin Abbott was introducing us to with his original "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions": using what we know of the limitations and inter-relationships of the lower dimensions can help us to build a concept of the additional dimensions. Abbott talked about the imaginary worlds of the Linelanders (living on a one-dimensional line), the Flatlanders (living on a two-dimensional plane), and the Spacelanders (which would be three-dimensional creatures like us).
Most people have drawn the conclusion that Abbott's concept of the befuddled 2D Flatlander trying to imagine a fantastically improbable world of three dimensions is useful for us as three dimensional creatures trying to imagine the fourth spatial dimension. The idea that we've arrived at with this project, though, is that it's even more valuable for us to think of the one-way-arrow of time (as one of the two possible directions in the fourth dimension) as being like the limited one-dimensional world of the Linelander.
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9_-ZOIES0U
Living On a Line
In What Would a Linelander Really See, we tried to visualize the highly limited viewpoint of a creature living on a one-dimensional line. Now, let's imagine our 3D universe as a sphere, and a one dimensional line passing someplace within that sphere. If you were a point on that line, in what direction would you perceive the 3rd dimension to be? Clearly, it would be all around you, pulling equally on you from every "side". Of course, as a point on a line someplace within that sphere, the source of whatever was pulling on you from that 3D world would be very mysterious indeed, as you wouldn't even have a name for the direction that this mysterious force was coming from.
Now what if your one-dimensional line was really a part of a 2D plane, and there were a large object nearby on that plane? Two things would happen - from the point of view of the first dimension the gravity of that object would tend to be more localized, and would tend to bunch things together rather than pull things apart. In fact, because the object was only one dimension away, it would be almost like there was an invisible gravitational material or an invisible force pulling together on a part of your one-dimensional line.
Do you see where I'm going with this? Now let's go back to us as "4D Linelanders". Cosmologists are now mapping dark matter throughout the universe, and finding evidence of higher and lower concentrations of this invisible matter based upon its gravitational signature. Imagining the fifth dimension as being like the 2D plane our 1D Linelander was being influenced by shows us how dark matter really could be in the fifth dimension, with higher and lower concentrations that are part of the neighboring bits of the multiverse that are "just around the corner", at that additional right angle that the fifth dimension would be to the fourth: creating areas of higher gravity that, by virtue of their existence in the fifth dimension, have become part of the dark matter that has kept our universe from flying apart as quickly as cosmologists would have expected it to.
And what about the mysterious force of dark energy, which now drives our universe apart, uniformly in every direction? If you're following along here, I hope you can see the logic of my conclusion: dark energy has to be from above the sixth dimension, and is much like the "pulling in every direction" that a 1D Linelander would experience as the 3D sphere of our universe pulled him from directions that he's incapable of perceiving, or even conceiving of.
My song "The Unseen Eye" talked about Dark Matter as well:
And the missing dark matter that binds the universeSo let's look at one of the videos for that song.
The mysterious mass that science cannot find
Is in the many worlds of possibility
That are just around the corner in time
A direct link to this video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qShK3FKYWts
Will the LHC find evidence of extra dimensions? Will, as I have predicted with this project, Kaluza's fifth dimension be proven to be the source of dark matter, a gravitational force from Everett's parallel universes that are nearby to our fourth-dimensional line? And will, as I've also predicted, dark energy be shown to be gravitational attraction from the sixth dimension and above, where we can find the "pulling apart" to other completely different expressions of matter and energy that are found within the surrounding regions of the omniverse? These are exciting times for thinking about the nature of reality, and I can't wait to see what we discover in the upcoming few years.
Enjoy the journey!
Related blog entries:
How the extra dimensions are "compactified" from our perspective:
- Magnets and Souls
- Changing Your Genes
- Crossing Your Arms to Change Your Trajectory
- Making New Connections
Next: The Top Ten Tenth Dimension Blogs, July Report