A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzhLlsk1k78
Have astronomers finally found direct evidence of other universes? Read this Technology Review article for more on that.
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTtGcNk7Rhs
The above newly published video accompanies a blog entry from earlier this year, called "Are Bees More Sixth-Dimensional?". More recently, we talked about bees, Terence McKenna, and Stephen Hawking (an unlikely trio if ever there was one) in Bees and Tangential Thinking. Do bees sense the sixth dimension, and that's why the "waggle dance" they use to convey the presence of food sources to each other make sense when analyzed using six dimensional flag manifold geometry, the same geometry which can be used to analyze the actions of quarks at the subatomic level? It's fascinating to consider! But at this point there are still mainstream scientists not convinced that extra dimensions even exist.
The June issue of Scientific American, as shown here, had as its cover story "12 Events That Will Change Everything". As you've probably guessed, the one that stood out for me was the event described by George Musser: the discovery of definite evidence of extra dimensions. Here's a few paragraphs from Mr. Musser's excellent article:
As fantastic as extra dimensions of space sound, they might really exist. From the relative weakness of gravity to the deep affinity among seemingly distinct particles and forces, various mysteries of the world around us give the impression that the known universe is but the shadow of a higher-dimensional reality. If so, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva could smash particles together and release enough energy to break the shackles that keep particles in three dimensions and let us reach into that mind-blowing realm.
Proof of extra dimensions “would alter our whole notion of what reality is,” says cosmologist Max Tegmark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who in 1990 wrote a four-dimensional version of the video game Tetris to get a taste of what extra dimensions might be like. (You keep track of the falling blocks using multiple 3-D slices of the full 4-D space.
In modern physics theories, the main rationale for extra dimensions is the concept of supersymmetry, which aims to unite all the different types of particles into one big happy family. Supersymmetry can fulfill that promise only if space has a total of 10 dimensions. The dimensions could have gone unnoticed either because they are too small to enter or because we are, by our very nature, stuck to a 3-D membrane like a caterpillar clutching onto a leaf.
To be sure, not every proposed unified theory involves extra dimensions. So their discovery or nondiscovery would be a helpful data point. “It would focus what we do,” says physicist Lisa Randall of Harvard University, who made her name studying the caterpillar-and-leaf option.
...If the LHC produced subatomic black holes, they would be immediate proof of extra dimensions, because gravity in ordinary 3-D space is simply too weak to create holes of this size. For geometric reasons, higher dimensions would strengthen gravity on small scales. They would likewise change the small-scale behavior of other forces, such as electromagnetism. And by dictating how supersymmetry operates, they might lead to distinctive patterns among the masses and other properties of particles. Besides the LHC, scientists might find hints of extra dimensions in measurements of the strength of gravity and in observations of the orbits of black holes or of exploding stars.
The discovery would transform not only physics but also its allied disciplines. Extra dimensions might explain mysteries such as cosmic acceleration and might even be a prelude to reworking the entire notion of dimensionality—adding to a growing sense that space and time emerge from physical principles that play out in a spaceless, timeless realm.
In Bees and Tangential Thinking, we looked at Terence McKenna's proposal that perceiving extra dimensions is the more natural state for living creatures, but that as complex creatures like us evolved there were certain evolutionary advantages to limiting awareness to the "here" of 3D space and the "now" of our point within 4D space-time. In Are Bees More Sixth-Dimensional? I made the somewhat whimsical suggestion that bees could now be disappearing from the planet because of their sixth-dimensional awareness, which might be a confirmation of McKenna's ideas. Commenters at YouTube were quick to point out that the most popular theory is that it's a fungus which is decimating the honeybee population of the world, but the jury seems to still be out on that one, as this recent article from Ars Technica explains. Microbes? A fungus? A virus? Pesticides? Coincidences that bees in different parts of the world are dying off at the same time, but from different causes?
And finally, how would being able to see sixth-dimensionally protect a honeybee from these popularly stated causes? Perhaps there would be no advantage, or no disadvantage, since the bees (like us) are physically constrained to the 3D atoms and molecules of their bodies.
The interesting information remains that there may be creatures on our planet able to perceive extra dimensions, and that in itself should be added to the evidence that we expect to mount in 2011 that the extra spatial dimensions are physically real, and not just "mathematical masturbation" as some critics have claimed.
Enjoy the journey!
Next: Time Travel Paradoxes