Friday, April 4, 2008

Imagining the Sixth Dimension

By taking our astonishingly large universe encompassed by the third dimension, then treating that as a line of time being created by quanta that are one planck length after another to imagine time as a direction in the fourth dimension, we are already holding a mind-boggling amount of information in our minds. By imagining that the fifth dimension is a "ray", or a bush-like branching structure of parallel universes at both the quantum and the macro level, we have exceeded what most people are able to hold in their minds simultaneously. The human brain is not built for holding so many differently-scaled concepts in our head at once - we prefer hierarchies of information, groupings, layers of meaning. So, while we know that the fourth dimension is not really as simple as a first-dimensional line, and the fifth dimension is not really as simple as a second-dimensional plane, by taking these higher concepts and simplifying them, this way of visualizing allows us to continue building ideas on top of each other, one layer of meaning stacked upon the next.

Here's the question, then. If our four-dimensional universe of spacetime is being created from a set of choices within the fifth dimension, what choices are not available to us? Now you're starting to think about the sixth dimension.

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Next: a more expanded version of this entry - "Time is a Direction".

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