A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nhcUQ27X1E
Here we are on the way to the fourth anniversary of the July 2006 launch of this project, currently there've been about five and a half million unique visitors to my website. The original animation, posted at revver.com, is now at almost 1.4 million views and has climbed to within thirty of being that site's most-watched video of all time. That same animation at youtube is also well on its way to a million views, and googling the title of my book in quotes, "Imagining the Tenth Dimension" reveals around 2 million separate references to my project on the net. Wow!
So, with all the chatter that's been out there, we have some naysayers who have proclaimed my project to be a scam, to be completely wrong, even to be dangerous! Some of these attacks have been downright vicious. What prompts such outrage? Part of it is a knee-jerk reaction: "this is not what I learned so it must be wrong". I guess the phrase "a new way of thinking about time and space" doesn't mean anything to those people. Meanwhile, more and more people keep seeing ways that this approach to visualizing the dimensions can be aligned with their own understanding of reality, and that's why the audience for this project continues to grow.
This time around, let's talk about the "person observing the waveform" as seen in the above graphic from my animation, and look at some of the new theories and new discoveries that are gradually moving the mainstream towards my "new way of thinking"
Two important ideas are represented in the above graphic.
1. The idea that the quantum and the macro worlds are in some way completely separate, and that there is a dividing line where we are either in one realm or the other, is starting to fall by the wayside. Demonstrations of quantum entanglement and superposition with increasingly large molecules move us towards understanding that this is a continuum, and research indicating that algal photosynthesis and even migratory birds' navigational abilities are using quantum effects argue against the old idea that our "warm and wet" macro world is completely separate from the quantum one. Advances are also continuing in quantum computing - did you hear that Google is now demonstrating a quantum computing system that can recognize and sort individual images by their content? More and more, visualizing the underlying wave structure of our reality is essential to our understanding of what we are observing.
2. The idea that there is something holographic about our reality, with the fifth dimension holding the many different possible states for our universe, and interference patterns causing one version or another to be observed at any particular instant is also going through a resurgence. In the 1970s, both Stephen Hawking and Jacob Bekenstein explored holographic approaches to cosmology. Michael Talbot's popular 1991 book The Holographic Universe created much excitement about the work of physicists David Bohm and Karl Pribram, both of whom had also independently come up with holographic models, but that excitement seemed to be overshadowed as string theory and then M Theory became the dominant research models over the following years. Still, the idea didn't go away, with notable physicists like Juan Maldecena, Leonard Susskind and Gerard 't Hooft suggesting important holographic concepts during the 90s. In this blog we've talked about a number of holographic universe theories that have been advanced in the last few years, and some of these models do incorporate quantum mechanics and string theory. Last week, in More Slices of Reality, we mentioned an exciting new approach from string theorist Erik Verlinde of the University of Amsterdam which explains gravity using a blend of string theory, quantum mechanics, holograms, and the key idea that when you look at the underlying structures of our universe, information equals reality.
In the New Scientist article on Dr. Verlinde's new approach, they sum it up like this:
"Like the fluidity of water, gravity is not ingrained in matter itself. It is an extra physical effect."To which I would add, if there are parts of the multiverse where gravity is stronger, than we could liken that part of the multiverse landscape to syrup rather than water, and perhaps we could liken low gravity regions to water vapor.
One of the side effects of Dr. Verlinde's approach would be to disprove the need for the theoretical graviton particle. I am currently running a poll question here about that idea: will the graviton ever be observed?
If you read the above article, you will see the suggestion that with this new approach gravity and thermodynamic entropy are related. Since there is more entropy in the future than the past, would that mean that gravity comes from the future? Again and again, I return to Einstein's proposal that the distinction between past, present, and future is ultimately meaningless. I think this article on Dr. Verlinde's approach could have used a good dose of that timelesness in its analysis: eventually, I believe, it will be shown that gravity comes from both the past and the future simultaneously. That will prove to be related to the fifth dimensional probability space that we are navigating within, where the past is as fluid as the future, but some events are more likely than others to occur or to have occurred. Understanding that information equals reality requires us to think about the space where everything that can occur does occur, simultaneously, outside the constraints of our 4D spacetime. This also requires us to understand that any events that are currently impossible for our own version of our universe must reside outside of our fifth dimensional probability space.
Dr. Verlinde's approach has attracted at a lot of initial attention, although he cautions people to understand that this is not a fully developed theory yet, but is offered as a framework that should now be explored. This is something I've always said about my approach to visualizing the dimensions as well: I have offered it to the world as a framework for discussion, and a great many other people around the world have enjoyed playing with these ideas.
Next: more about the underlying ideas to my approach: Strength of Gravity, Speed of Light.
Enjoy the journey!
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