Saturday, April 28, 2012

Top Ten Tenth Dimension Blogs, April Report

Previous lists:
. April 08 . May 08 . June 08 . July 08 . August 08
. September 08 . October 08 . November 08 . December 08 .
. Top 100 Blog Entries of 2008 . May 09 . June 09 . July 09
. August 09 . September 09 . October 09 . November 09 .
. December 09 . Top 100 Blog Entries of 2009 .
. January 10 . February 10 . March 10 . April 10 . May 10 .
. June 10 . July 10 . August 10 . September 10 . October 10 .
. November 10 . December 10 . Top 100 Entries of 2010 .
. January 11 . February 11 . March 11 . April 11 . May 11 .
. June 11 . July 11 . August 11 . September 11 . October 11 .
. November 11 . December 11 . Top 100 Entries of 2011
. January 12 . February 12 . March 12 .

Based upon number of views, here are the top blogs for the last thirty days.

1. New video - Imagining the Sixth Dimension
2. New video - Imagining the Fifth Dimension
3. Brain Pickings
4. New Video - Imagining the Eighth Dimension 
5. Psychedelics and Surprises
6. Observers and Addictions
7. What is Life?
8. Why Only Ten?
9. Scientific American on Rob Bryanton
10. New video - Imagining the Seventh Dimension

And as of April 26th, 2012, here are the twenty-six Imagining the Tenth Dimension blog entries that have attracted the most visits of all time. Items marked in bold are new or have risen since last month.

1. Jumping Jesus (1)
2. The Pencil Visualization (2)
3. What's Around the Corner? (3)
4. Mandelbulbs (4)
5. Is Reality an Illusion? (5)
6. The 5th-Dimensional Camera Project (6)  
7. Gravity and Love (7)
8. Bees and the LHC (8)
9. 10-10-10 Look Before You Leap (11)
10. Vibrations and Fractals (12)
11. An Expanding 4D Sphere (9)
12. Just Six Things: The I Ching (10)
13. Light Has No Speed (13) 
14. Time Travel Paradoxes (14)
15. Changing Your Brain (15) 
16. Roger Ebert on Quantum Reincarnation (16)
17. Our Universe Within the Omniverse (17)
18. Magnets and Morality (18)
19. Quantum Weirdness and Water (new)
20. Simultaneous Inspiration (20) 
21. How to Time Travel (19)
22. Photons and Free Will (25)
23. Creativity and the Quantum Universe (21)
24. Dancing on the Timeline (22) 
25. Complexity from Simplicity (23)  
26. What is Reality? (24)

Which means that this worthy entry is leaving our top 26 of all time list this month.

 Language and the Mind (26)


By the way, if you're new to this project, you might want to check out the Tenth Dimension FAQ, as it provides a road map to a lot of the discussions and different materials that have been created for this project. If you are interested in the 26 songs attached to this project, this blog shows a video for each of the songs and provides more links with lyrics and discussion. The Annotated Tenth Dimension Video provides another cornucopia of discussion topics to be connected to over at YouTube. Also, a lot of people are enjoying discussing these ideas with me on my facebook page: .

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: Why Can't We Stop at the Fifth Dimension?

Monday, April 23, 2012

New video - Timelessness and the Ultimate Ensemble

A direct link to the above video is at

Next: Why Can't We Stop at the Fifth Dimension?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Abolishing the Fourth Dimension

Seems like there's a lot of new discussion happening in the last few days about whether it's proper to call space-time the fourth dimension. With this project, I've often argued that time is not a dimension, it's a direction, and as with any of the other directional names (like up, forward, north, and so on) it's arbitrary what dimension we assign a particular label, as long as we recognize that there's an opposing direction (like down, backward, south, and so on) which we need to pair it up with if we're going to be thinking about a dimension rather than just a direction. But the following video, posted on the YouTube Minute Physics channel just a few days ago, takes the controversy to another level: it's titled "There is no 'Fourth' dimension".

A direct link to the above video is at

(By the way, the lovely optical illusion at the top of this blog was posted in the comments area for a Gizmodo article about this MinutePhysics video. If this optical illusion works as well for you as it does for me then you may be surprised to learn that this is not an animation, it's just a still image. Any motion you might see is being imparted by your observation of the still image - what a wonderful visual metaphor for the quantum observer! I wish I could give credit to the creator but that information is too difficult to see in this copy of the image.)

Here's the comment I sent to the Minute Physics channel, if they ever respond I'll be sure to add what they say to this blog entry.
Dear Minute Physics,

Congratulations on the success of this channel! Scientific American published a blog last summer asking why there weren't more viral science channels on YouTube (and at that time identified my channel as one of the few). Clearly you have moved into that space, good for you. I have some comments about your latest video.

Larry and Moe. Who is the third stooge? Curly.
Moe and Curly. Who is the third stooge? Larry.
Length and width. What is the third dimension? Depth.
Depth and length. What is the third dimension? Width.

Saying there's no fourth dimension is the same as saying there's no third stooge or there's no third dimension. At best it's a semantics discussion: yes, you can't say who the third stooge is unless you also first identify who the other two stooges are. But at worst this video has the danger of leading people to conclusions such as this: wasn't Einstein wrong then when he agreed with Kaluza about our universe's field equations being resolved at the fifth dimension? Surely, some people will say, if this video's claim that "there's no fourth dimension" is correct, then there must also be no fifth dimension or no tenth dimension as well.

I agree that it's important for people to realize that you can't have a fifth dimension without acknowledging the other four dimensions that are included within. But saying there's no fourth dimension seems like a dangerous oversimplification to me. Your thoughts?


Rob Bryanton
Then, as a further interesting coincidence, my friend Lee Price sent me a link to this new article written by Lisa Zyga and posted at It's entitled "Physicists Continue Work to Abolish Time as Fourth Dimension of Space". Here's the opening paragraphs from that article:
Philosophers have debated the nature of time long before Einstein and modern physics. But in the 106 years since Einstein, the prevailing view in physics has been that time serves as the fourth dimension of space, an arena represented mathematically as 4D Minkowski spacetime. However, some scientists, including Amrit Sorli and Davide Fiscaletti, founders of the Space Life Institute in Slovenia, argue that time exists completely independent from space. In a new study, Sorli and Fiscaletti have shown that two phenomena of special relativity - time dilation and length contraction - can be better described within the framework of a 3D space with time as the quantity used to measure change (i.e., photon motion) in this space.

The scientists have published their article in a recent issue of Physics Essays. The work builds on their previous articles, in which they have investigated the definition of time as a “numerical order of material change.” 
As Lee pointed out when he sent me this article, this is a viewpoint that would have interested Gevin Giorbran. Gevin's Everything Forever - Learning to See Timelessness encouraged us all to visualize the underlying structures of our reality from a perspective where we are "outside" time. But in his book Gevin also embraced my approach to visualizing the dimensions, because he saw how that same timeless viewpoint is reached by the time we've envisioned the ultimate ensemble of the tenth dimension.

So is it really possible to say "time is independent from space" (Sorli and Fiscaletti's viewpoint) while still acknowledging the existence of extra dimensions? As I've said in entries like Imagining the Third Dimension, visualizing the third dimension as timeless is the approach that physicists like Julian Barbour ask us to use, and accepting the need for some additional degree of freedom to change from state to state is how I describe the direction of time no matter what dimension we're discussing. It would be nice to say both of the above examples are just semantics, that a rose is a rose, and no matter what you call the additional degree of freedom the third dimension uses for change from state to state doesn't change the fact of its existence. But Sorli and Fiscaletti are talking about a change which is more fundamental than that, and ultimately may not require the existence of extra dimensions at all. As I said most recently in Connecting Zero to Ten,  "the idea that there are really no dimensions, that there are just infinite vectors within one underlying fabric which is dimensionless, actually resonates more strongly for me..." because that's another way of describing this timeless ultimate ensemble my approach reaches with the tenth dimension.

One final note: as long as both of the examples we've looked at here (from Minute Physics and the work of Sorli and Fiscaletti) are willing to acknowledge the existence of the multiple outcomes predicted by Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, then I believe we really are talking about different ways of describing the same thing. On the other hand, if either of these are intended to encourage us all to believe that there is only one possible set of outcomes for our universe from its beginning to its end, then that's where my project would have to part ways.

Even if time is an illusion, free will is not. Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

P.S. - here's my video for Imagining the Fourth Dimension, which works very nicely as a response to the Minute Physics video.

A direct link to the above video is at

Next: New Video - Timelessness and the Ultimate Ensemble

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Are the 6th and 9th Dimensions Empty?

Not long ago Jim Evins, a senior student from Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, CO sent me a list of questions for a school paper he was writing about my approach to visualizing the dimensions, and I thought his questions did a good job of underlining some of the misconceptions that can arise. We'll look at his questions over the next couple of entries. Jim's first questions was this:

"How would you conceptualize a line in the 6th and 9th dimensions? From your description in the book all I gathered is that those two dimensions are more or less empty space for the 5th and 8th dimension to fold through."
And my response:

My approach to visualizing the dimensions is related to the point-line-plane postulate, which is the accepted methodology for visualizing any number of spatial dimensions. Think of dimension “x” in its entirety as a point, then any point not included within that first point would form a line in dimension “x+1”, and any other point not on that line would be part of a plane in dimension “x+2”. You can now start over: think of the plane you just defined as a new single point in a new dimension “x”, and you can repeat this process indefinitely according to the point-line-plane postulate. Try using this approach to visualize the first, second and third dimension, no problem. Try using it to visualize the entirety of 3D space as a point, then some other point not encompassed by that point would be a way to define a line in the fourth dimension, and a point not on that line would be a way to get to the fifth dimension. Try using this to start from the 4th dimension or the 7th dimension, and you will have thought of a way of defining the 6th dimension or the 9th dimension.

The line/branch/fold logic that my project presents can be used to start at any dimension as well, although for simplicity in most cases I have started with the 1st, 4th, or 7th dimension as the line just to avoid some confusion in the discussion. But no matter what spatial dimension you’re describing, if there is a way of describing every possible state within that dimension, then whatever is not encompassed by that set of all possible states gives you a way of getting to the next dimension “up”, or “outside” of the current dimension. The term phase space is useful for these discussions: as it says in wikipedia, this is a “space in which all possible states of a system are represented, with each possible state of the system corresponding to one unique point in the phase space.”

Again, this logic can work no matter what dimension you start from: if you can define the phase space for a particular dimension as dimension “x”, then conceive of that phase space as a single point, then some other point not within that first system allows you to draw a line in dimension “x+1”. Although this gets harder for us to visualize as the number of dimensions increases, what we’re really talking about is that each additional dimension is orthogonal, or at right angles to the previous one. So let’s use all of this logic to answer your question.

Our 3D universe in its entirety can be thought of as a point. This is space, but not space-time. In order to form a 4D line, if we think of our 3D universe in some other state as some other point, that gives us a line which passes through those points and extends in either direction to the beginning and end of our space-time universe. If there were only one possible timeline (or “world line” as some physicists prefer to call it) then this would be as far as we could go. But from any point within that 4D line, quantum mechanics tells us there are many probabilistic outcomes that could occur, and Hugh Everett III’s Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics defines these other possible causally-related outcomes as being in a sub-space which is “orthogonal to space-time”. Although Everett’s theory did not explicitly invoke extra dimensions, I insist that this means Everett’s Many Worlds lie within the dimension which is orthogonal to 4D space-time: the fifth dimension. But the words “causally-related” are important here: Everett did not believe that his Many Worlds theory allowed for us to jump to other versions of our universe which are not logically connected to our own. As Everett put it, “causality cannot be violated”. My project advances the same idea: at any particular point within the fifth dimension there are a number of possible futures and pasts, but causality cannot be violated: so here in 2012 you and I can no longer get to the version of our universe where the twin towers still stand in New York, and so on. In order to get to that version, we would either have to go back in time to 2001 and choose a different fifth dimensional branch (no time machines around yet as far as I know so we can’t do that) or find a way to use the sixth dimension to jump to some other non-causally-connected version of our universe.

What we’re talking about with the 6th dimension then is the phase space of our unique universe: every possible state, every possible outcome for our particular universe as constrained by its deep structure constants.  Each possible state of the system corresponds to one unique point in the sixth-dimensional phase space. And unlike the causally-connected lines of the fifth dimension, you would have the complete freedom to travel on a line that passes through any two points within that 6D phase space, like the version of our universe where it’s 2012 and Michael Jackson is still alive.

Now if we happened to live in a different universe with different basic physical laws, the same would apply: we would have a completely different but equally real 6D phase space representing all possible states for that other universe. You could start from any point within one of those 6D phase spaces, but there would be no way for you to get from that phase space to our phase space because they are not connected to each other. But what if we want to? This is how we can imagine the seventh dimension: perceive one phase space as a point, and the other phase space as a point, and the line that passes through those two points is a line in the seventh dimension.

Let’s say that the first point represents all possible outcomes (all possible pasts, presents, and futures) for our unique universe, and the other point represents a universe where the speed of light is different. There could be a line that passes through those two points, and traveling on that line in one direction would be a journey through different possible universes where the speed of light has a higher and higher value, while traveling in the opposite direction would take us through universes where the speed of light is lower and lower. Does this 7D line encompass the multiverse of all possible universes? No! No matter what parameter we adjust, we would need the “plane” of the eighth dimension to be able to get to other universes not included on that line.

Which takes us to the second part of your question. Isn’t the phase space of the eighth dimension as far as we need to go? Within the 8th dimension, no matter what point we define, there can be a line to some other possible universe with different basic physical laws, and in fact this is the conclusion I have drawn as well: for physical manifestations of reality, the 8th dimension is as far as you need to go. The 9th dimension, then, is where I would place information patterns which can have no physical expression, such as naturally arising tendencies or “preferences” towards one kind of reality over another, or impossible universes which can exist as ideas only. Saying that the ninth dimension is empty space, then, is not really accurate. The ninth dimension is more closely related to what quantum physicists like Anton Zeilinger or Seth Lloyd are talking about when they say “information equals reality”: ultimately, everything about our observed reality or any other is derived from an underlying fabric of potential information states. With my project, then, I would say a “line” in the ninth dimension is a way of connecting one unrelated information pattern to another, which is admittedly a very abstract concept, but such is the nature of these biggest-picture-of-all discussions.

To complete this thought: if we take that sea of all possible information patterns and perceive it all as a single unchanging point, that’s how I would propose we think of the tenth dimension. Any attempt to navigate within the tenth dimension, then, immediately spills us back out in the other possible states that are contained within the geometries and patterns of the other dimensions.

In summary, it’s not correct to say that the 6th and 9th dimensions are empty, because they are full of the possibilities of the dimensions they encompass. A 1D line is full of all the points that lie on that line, but there are many other points that lie outside that line. A 2D plane is full of all the lines that lie within that plane, but there are many other lines that lie outside that plane… and so on. Likewise, the 6D phase space for our unique universe is full of its probabilistic outcomes, but there are still many other universes outside our 6D phase space that have their unique and completely separate set of probabilistic outcomes. The 9th dimension, then, is full of the different information patterns that could result in a universe such as ours or could be only abstract concepts. But there is no “other” 9th dimension, which is why I say it’s impossible to draw a line in the tenth dimension without having that line manifest in some way in the other dimensions… or to have superstrings vibrating in the tenth dimension without creating patterns in the other dimensions.

Thanks for the questions, Jim! Next week we'll look at his question: Why Can't We Stop at the 5th Dimension? But coming up next: Abolishing the Fourth Dimension.

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cadbury Eggs and the Sixth Dimension

A nice Easter-themed science video for your enjoyment. Once again, another idea from mainstream science which so easily interfaces with my approach to visualizing the dimensions: as I've said many times, all possible states for our particular universe are contained within the entirety of our unique version of the sixth dimension.

A direct link to the above video is at

Next: New video - What is Life?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Poll 91 - Free Energy within Ten Years?

Poll 91: "By ten years from now (2022), 'free energy' technologies will finally be in common usage around the world." Poll ended March 24 2012. 35.7% agreed, while the remaining 64.3% did not.

Is free energy a crazy idea? The conspiracy theorists who say free energy technology has existed since at least the time of Tesla, and that this knowledge has deliberately been suppressed, do have mounting scientific evidence to support the idea that it's possible to get "something" from "nothing". Here's a link to a recent New Scientist magazine article about the scientific research in this regard. Let me quote the opening paragraphs from this article, "Harnessing the Quantum Power of Empty Space", which was written by David Harris:

"NOTHING will come of nothing." Shakespeare's epithet seems the kind of self-evident statement that only poets and philosophers would argue over. And physicists like Chris Wilson.

Last year, Wilson and his team at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, provided what seems a particularly egregious case of something for nothing. They claimed to have conjured up light from nowhere simply by squeezing down empty space (New Scientist, 19 November 2011, p 16). That would be the latest manifestation of a quantum quirk known as the Casimir effect: the notion that a perfect vacuum, the very definition of nothingness in the physical world, contains a latent power that can be harnessed to move objects and make stuff.

Sightings of this vacuum action have been mounting over the past decade or so, leading some physicists to propose a new generation of nanoscale machines to take advantage of it, and others even to suggest a leading role for vacuum energy in determining the origin and fate of the cosmos. Others remain to be convinced.

Within this online version of this New Scientist article there's a nice little three minute cartoon about the concept of energy from the supposed "nothing" of empty space, check it out.

A direct link to the above video is at

Speaking about the concept of "nothingness", next week we'll look at this question: Are the Sixth and Ninth Dimension Empty? But first, coming up next: a Cadbury Eggs and the Sixth Dimension.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

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