Wednesday, May 11, 2011
This idea occurred to me as I was answering a question posted to me on YouTube about whether a "flatlander on a möbius strip" is kind of like looking out at the track in front of a roller coaster. With the 2D flatlander example, he's twisting and turning in the next dimension up, but unaware of this additional motion. But what is the corresponding "next dimension up" for we human beings? Here's the answer I gave.
Yes, we're made out of 3D atoms and molecules, but we can't move without using time, so you and I are really in the fourth dimension, traveling in a specific direction which we call "time". My point is that as we travel in the fourth dimension we would be like the flatlander on the möbius strip - we can think we are traveling in a straight line, but we're really branching and twisting in the fifth dimension.
But wait, doesn't that mean the flatlander can't move without using the third dimension? And if we live in "spacetime", is the flatlander really in "planetime" or some such term? That's certainly true. As I've always said with this project, it's quite useful to say that "time" can be thought of as a direction in the next dimension up to whatever spatial dimension you're considering, but saying those words doesn't always clear things up for people. These are the kinds of language traps we can fall into when we're talking about "time" in the context of spatial dimensions. Am I a 3D creature or am I a 4D creature? Depends upon the frame of reference you're using, either is true in its own way.
But I'd still like to see somebody build a Möbius Strip Roller Coaster!
Enjoy the journey,
Next - New Video - Photons and Free Will
Reading: Möbius Strip Roller Coaster!Post Link to Twitter
Posted by Rob Bryanton at 2:33 PM