Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Imagining the Ninth Dimension

"The string landscape can be visualized schematically as a mountainous terrain in which different valleys represent different forms for the extra dimensions, and altitude represents the cosmological constant's value."

I've been saying that the eighth dimension is as far as you need to go for any expressions of matter, while the ninth can only contain information/meme patterns, preferences for one kind of reality over another. How could I arrive at such an ambitious statement?

With my Imagining the Tenth Dimension project, I begin by saying that a point indicates a position in a system. In Imagining the Sixth Dimension, I mentioned that thinking about the set of all possible states for our unique universe would be thinking about our universe's phase space. In fact, that's the definition of phase space: a space in which all possible states of a system are represented. I believe there's a way to apply this thinking to every single dimension - in a sense, a dimension when considered as a "set of all possible states for that dimension" becomes a finite but unbounded hypersphere, and that hypersphere becomes a point in the next dimension up. Let's go back and see how that logic holds up.

If I'm on a boat in the middle of the ocean, I can see a horizon that appears to be the same in every direction. From this I can deduce that there is a slight curvature to the surface of the ocean, which is topologically speaking a 2D plane, and understand that I'm really on a 3D sphere. From the 2D topological perspective, I could head in a specific direction forever, giving me the impression that I was on an infinitely flat surface, but with the added curvature of the third dimension we can see how "apparently infinite" can be equated with "finite but unbounded".

With the knowledge that it takes a certain amount of "time" for light to reach our eyes, we realize that what we're seeing around us is not space, but space-time, and that as counter-intuitive as this may seem at first it's actually impossible for us to see 3D space: we can imagine and use the logic of 3D shapes, but we can only see them from our moving position within 4D space-time.

From our position within 4D space-time, we look out to the furthest reaches and see a cosmological horizon which is the same in all directions. From this we can deduce that there is a slight curvature to space-time, and that we're really a point moving on the surface of a 5D hypersphere. There are many other indications that our reality comes from the fifth dimension: back in 1921 Einstein accepted this idea as proposed by Kaluza. Holographic universe theories propose that we are an interference pattern projected from the fifth dimension, or from the "edge of the universe" but I disagree with those who say that this edge is far, far away.  Think of it like this: the third dimension is at the "edge" of the second dimension no matter where our imaginary 2D flatlanders are located. In the same way, this "edge" they speak about in holographic universe theories as being at an additional right angle to our space-time reality is not far away, it's right "here" in the next dimension up, no matter where we are within our space-time reality. And Hugh Everett, even through he didn't propose extra dimensions with his Many Worlds Interpretation, did propose that the branching universes derived from quantum mechanics occur within a space which is orthogonal (at right angles) to space-time.

Some quantum physicists are fond of saying that extremely unlikely events such as one of us suddenly disappearing from here and reappearing on the moon are allowable within the quantum wave function, but they are so unlikely that they would take longer than the life of the universe to occur. Likewise, Everett talked about how there are branching tree-like structures which are causally connected, and he even allowed for the possibility that some of those branches might fuse back together further down the causal chain, but he was very clear that causality could never be violated - so the universe where dinosaurs never became extinct or JFK was never murdered or where I died in a car crash last year would exist within the universal wave function as described by the Schrödinger equation, but they are now inaccessible from the universe we are currently observing. Those other universes, in a manner of speaking, are beyond the horizon of our 5D probability space, which leads me to conclude that we are a 5D point moving on the surface of a 6D hypersphere.

This sixth dimensional "phase space", as some have called it, includes all possible versions of our universe, from its beginning to its end. But within that phase space, we never wander off into one of the other universes with different physical laws, because those are in effect "beyond the horizon" of our universe's phase space, and from this we can deduce that the system representing our universe as a timeless whole is a point on a 7D hypersphere.

From here we are beginning to move into discussions of information flow rather than physical realities, but we're not all the way there yet.

In his book Just Six Numbers, Sir Martin Rees tells us that we only need to define six "deep forces" to describe our unique universe. Adjusting any one of those parameters by surprisingly small amounts would cause our universe to fall apart as the laws of physics break down. So if our unique universe is located at a position within the multiverse landscape, or constrained by a D7 brane as some string theorists have suggested, then are we moving, or are we stationary on the surface of this 7D hypersphere? There has been some evidence that the basic physical laws of our universe may have been slightly different at the earliest history of our universe, which would indicate that perhaps we have changed our 7D position slightly according to the logic we're pursuing here. But the idea that there is a certain natural selection occurring at the seventh dimension and beyond also makes sense - if we move too far away from our position, the incredibly delicate balance of forces that allow our universe to exist would collapse, so at nearby positions within this multiverse landscape there might not be universes that cohere into any meaningful structures, but further away another universe completely different from ours could be assembled with its own unique set of intricately connected physical laws and its own unique expression within the sixth dimension and below.

We also talked last entry about how we can imagine a data set of universes within the seventh dimension which would then require the "beyond the horizon" additional degree of freedom of the eighth dimension for us to be able to simultaneously consider other data sets not included within the seventh dimensional one: but to be clear, those data sets could be interchangeable, so this is more of a question of reference frames than it is of some data not being part of the seventh dimension. In that sense, the seventh dimension harkens back to the "garden hose" analogy used by string theorists: it's useful to imagine that the seventh dimension looks like a straight line, but when we move closer we can see the dimension has the potential for additional twists and turns that are inside the "rolled up tube" that is, topologically speaking, the "plane" of the eighth dimension.

(We looked at the following animation of vibrating Calabi-Yau Manifolds before in June 2011, in an entry called "Will the LHC Reveal Extra Dimensions?")
With this project, I'm proposing that the eighth dimension would encompass every possible physical expression of every possible universe. This would even include the extremely unlikely universes that result from oscillating rather than static constants - the degree of freedom to allow such changes would be within the eighth dimension. So no matter what universe we are imagining, we can visualize it as a point on an 8D hypersphere, but in the case of our own universe I suspect that we are not partaking of that additional potential degree of freedom, so we are definitely not moving away from our 7D position within the eighth dimension.

What's beyond the horizon of the 8D construct we've just envisioned? String theorists who talk about there being ten to the power of five hundred possible universes are really describing the different possible shapes the extra dimensions could take. In The Hidden Reality, Brian Greene uses the following image to picture the terrain of possible extra-dimensional shapes: he calls this terrain the Landscape Multiverse (as opposed to the Brane Multiverse, the Quilted Multiverse and so on), and describes how quantum tunnelings through this mountainous string landscape realize every possible form for the extra dimensions in one or another bubble universe. To tie this idea to my approach to visualizing the extra dimensions, the topological "plane" of this landscape is the eighth dimension, and the additional degree of freedom allowing this tunneling to occur would be in the ninth dimension.

(this graphic © 2011 by Brian Greene)
So here we are in the ninth dimension. Now we really are into the realm of organizing patterns, or "big picture memes" as I've called them in my book, where we are finally fully into the "information" side of the "information equals reality" equation. What caused our particular universe to be selected from out of the sea of potential patterns that roil and froth like quantum foam at the ninth dimension?

Back in July 2008 we talked in this blog about Michael Shermer, who's the well-known publisher of Skeptic Magazine. Michael's goal has been to poke holes in the questionable claims of fringe science, the paranormal, and a wide range of other areas that he has targeted with his razor-sharp debunking skills. This is why I found it quite marvelous when I picked up an issue of Scientific American back then, and found that Mr. Shermer's regular column that month was entitled "Sacred Science: can emergence break the spell of reductionism and put spirituality back into nature?".

Mr. Shermer's article is about a fellow who comes from my neighboring province of Alberta, Canada: Stuart Kauffman, founding director of the Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics at the University of Calgary, who has written a book called "Reinventing the Sacred". To quote from Michael Shermer's article about the book:
Kauffman reverses the reductionist's causal arrow with a comprehensive theory of emergence and self-organization that he says 'breaks no laws of physics' and yet cannot be explained by them. God 'is our chosen name for the ceaseless creativity in the natural universe, biosphere and human cultures,' Kauffman declares.
By the time we are thinking about the ninth dimension as selection patterns that represent a generalized preference for one kind of universe over another, I believe we're in the same intellectual neighborhood as the "God 2.0" concept. And I think Michael Shermer, famed atheist and skeptic, got it right when he concluded his article saying that Stuart Kauffman's "God 2.0 is a deity worthy of worship".

Why do I say this? Because by now we're talking about labels: "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet".  Whether you want to call these selection patterns that caused our universe to be selected from out of this sea of potential information patterns "God", or some other less emotionally-charged name, doesn't change the ninth dimensional reality that we're describing here. As I say in the last verse of my song The Unseen Eye:
Now the universe of all universes
If the truth be known
Is an awful bore, viewed as a whole
But just a tiny shard viewed from any angle
Reveals complexity
It reveals such beauty, reveals a soul
So does it make a difference
How we got to what we see
If it’s really just coincidence
It’s still a wondrous thing
If you are one of those persons who recoil at the use of words like "God" and "soul", I apologize. This project is not an attempt to enforce a spiritual viewpoint onto the nature of reality, but it also tries to show that there are a great many possible connections between these different schools of thought. If you prefer physics over philosophy, so be it, that is one point of view. But likewise, if you prefer spirituality over science, I'm hoping that this project has given you some new food for thought for where the meeting ground between the two might reside.

There are 26 songs I attached to this project (I chose that number as a bit of an inside joke for fans of the history of string theory), and the very last one is called "Thankful". Having a sense of wonder and gratitude for the immense processes which selected the universe we are in right here and right now is, to my way of thinking, a completely appropriate response.

Are you enjoying the journey?

Rob Bryanton

Next: Wrapping It Up in the Tenth Dimension

Imagining the Eighth Dimension
Imagining the Seventh Dimension
Imagining the Sixth Dimension
Imagining the Fifth Dimension
Imagining the Fourth Dimension
Imagining the Third Dimension
Imagining the Second Dimension


ak40sexy said...

awesome entry as always rob! i love how all encompassing and open minded your ideas are. definitely a useful guide for the emerging scientific and spiritual paradigm that is shaping the future of humanity. thanks for your thought and insight!

Black Napalm said...

Hello, Rob!
Have you seen this article?

What are your thoughts/comments?

Rob Bryanton said...

Thanks ak40sexy! And Black Napalm, there's certainly a lot of buzz about this new report that neutrinos arrived 60 billionths of a second faster than allowed by the speed of light limit. Have you seen this article?

According to my approach to visualizing the dimensions, the only way something can travel faster than the speed of light is if it somehow burrows or "folds" through an extra dimension. Could these neutrinos have done just a little bit of that? It's still too early to say for sure whether we're talking about something that is real and confirmable by other experimenters. Definitely worth keeping an eye on!

Anonymous said...

Time travel happens every day. :) Once we all can see the 90º interface of higher dimensions presented to us as our creative reality expands, we have the option to use our mind intent engage this angular momentum when we are emotionally motivated enough to alter the "time" line.
As in Schrödinger's cat, the "time" spent during the period when the cat is in multiple dimensions offers the opportunity for optional dimensions to present themselves for validity in "your" "time" line.
It is up to you to weight the "occurrence" with your integrity. The omniverse will respond by offering fertile creative "space" at the next Plank length.

Anonymous said...

Hey, What's the difference between the tenth and ninth dimension?

Rob Bryanton said...

Hi anonymous, what's the difference between the ninth and tenth dimension? M-Theory says there are ten spatial dimensions plus time. "Time" is a way of describing change from state within any dimension. So within this approach to visualizing the dimensions the ninth dimension can have "time" added to it, in other words it's a set of information patterns that we can navigate within using "time". The tenth dimension, though, has to be the timeless version of that information: absolutely every possible pattern conceived of as one timeless whole, an "ultimate ensemble" as Tegmark refers to it. As soon as you add "time" back into the equation, you are automatically spilled back into the other dimensions... as you navigate from state to state, whatever those states might be depending upon the dimension you're thinking about.

Unknown said...

Hello Mr. Bryanton. Thanks to your videos I could understand dimension between 4 and 8.But I really couldn't get the idea of 9th. I understood how much freedom it gives but really can't tell the difference between 8 and 9.

Unknown said...

Something comes to our mind …we constantly think and we forget …where do information go? Sounds travel where? Why is destination predefined …..theory of nothingness…there is some reality in universe is made up of matter ….I say some because what beyond it ? We know what we comprehend is true or rational ….basis what? Basis filling up of emptiness of what is retained by our mind …why do we sleep? to fill emptiness with emptiness …to relax ….why people are not satisfied? They want their emptiness to be filled …but why do they want to fill emptiness…what are the answers do they look for ? Desires keeps on coming and going likewise thoughts ..they keep on coming and going ? Go where ? There are dimensions in our world but we know nothing about them precisely… Why ? The power of unknown is so strong that we cannot come it of it ? Much stronger than gravity…more than beliefs? And of course insurances business? Why do we loose consciousness? Or why are people consious? Why do people go in coma ? Or why not everybody is in coma? Information comes and goes out of a black box …radiating ..why do we sometimes go on staring something…why do we loose track of time at that time ? It is because in actuality nothing is there ? Absurd right ? But think of matrix movie …was it real.?no it was a movie but why did you thought of that movie ? It was not there in your mind a second ago…I made you think of it …likewise we are surrounded with information for nothing ….means we are constantly thinking of something to absolve nothing .

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