Sunday, June 29, 2008


A direct link to this video is at

In my book I talk about wormholes, an interesting topic to look up in wikipedia, and how the "folds" we talk about in the Imagining the Tenth Dimension visualization are really another way of thinking about the wormholes that science has been theorizing about. My project is unique, though, because it provides us with a "filing system" for how the different aspects of our reality are derived, and this logical organization gives us a way to envision how our universe is kept from wandering off into some other universe where the fine structure constant is different from ours: because it is constrained within the seventh dimension. But ultimately, we are talking about what physicists like Brian Greene are asking us to hold in our minds: a place where everything for every universe and every possible expression of matter and energy exists simultaneously. As Dr. Greene says:

"Just as we envision all of space as being out there, as really existing, we should also envision all of time as being out there, as really existing too." - Brian Greene
If you go to the Preamble link at the main tenth dimension website you will see a list of recommended books to read which connect to the ideas in this project, which includes Brian Greene's writing.

So, the animation for this project continues to generate a steady string of comments and questions. One of the ones that came up recently was this: "would a wormhole be in the 4th dimension? or the fifth?", and my answer to that question would be "depends on the wormhole". This question is also discussed in the tenth dimension faq, but it seemed like a good topic to tackle here in more depth.

Counting to Seven
According to the line of reasoning that comes from this project's "filing system" of how our reality is derived, a wormhole in the third dimension would allow instantaneous teleportation to other locations with no passage of time, a fourth dimensional wormhole would allow time travel to one specific causal future/past, a fifth dimensional wormhole would allow travel to other possible futures and pasts that are logically consistent with our current "now", and a sixth dimensional wormhole would allow travel to other logically incompatible pasts/futures - like where it's 2008 but the attack on the twin towers never took place, or dinosaurs aren't extinct. A seventh dimensional wormhole would allow travel to other different-initial-conditions universes that have a different fine structure constant and different laws of physics from the universe in which we live (and as such most of those other universes would not be a place where our physical bodies could exist or survive).

That was a far as I took the analogy in my book: since each extra dimension becomes more and more unlike our own spacetime, this gets harder and harder to visualize with each additional dimension. But let's continue this thought experiment now: by the time you're in the 8th dimension, you may well be in the highest dimension which can express matter in any way, and this may be the dimension where you are able to fold across universes which are derived from multiple or oscillating fine structure constants, but as a speculation that's getting pretty out there. As I've said before in this blog, the fact the Garrett Lisi's E8 rotation is also based upon an eight dimensional matrix may be able to be tied into this, but that remains to be seen.

The ninth dimension could well be what physicists like Wheeler and Boltzmann were thinking about as they described the roiling, fluctuating, underlying fields of quantum indeterminacy where partial bits of order are continually appearing and disappearing ("John Wheeler and Digital Physics" and "Infinity and the Boltzmann Brains" are two blog entries related to this). The ninth dimension would be mainly fragmentary bits of order, some of which could then organize into the dimensions below, and this is where I would place things like "big picture memes" or (as quantum computing expert Seth Lloyd says) initial yes/no states for the beginnings of different possible universes. So a ninth dimensional wormhole might be what you use to jump from the "I prefer universes that start from a high degree of order" meme that our own universe is within, to the "I prefer universes that change very little over their entire existence" organizing pattern that would be elsewhere in the ninth dimension. This all relates to the idea that "information equals reality", a phrase I first learned from Anton Zeilinger, and one that other quantum physicists use as well.

Ten and Beyond
The tenth dimension is the enfolded symmetry state where everything achieves equilibrium (a concept from this project that Dr. Sean Carroll is coincidentally now also promoting) - so no wormholes are possible in the tenth dimension because anything that disturbs that equilibrium state takes us into the dimensions below and the potential expressions of mass and energy again. Likewise, since this project says time is just a direction, not a dimension, and M-Theory says there are ten spatial dimensions plus one of time, I would say you can't have an eleventh dimensional wormhole because time isn't a dimension, it's a direction.

I also say that "time" is always a subset of the dimension above the one you're examining, because time is part of the causal/probabilistic set of expressions that are directly accessible from the current dimension in its current state. As I discussed in "The Flipbook Universe", without the fourth dimension, the third dimension has no way to change from state to state. In "Time in Either Direction" I talked about physicist Sean Carroll's ideas on this - time is only one of the possible ways of navigating through the dimension above. A wormhole would be another, but wormholes (folds) would allow us to jump from one part of the possible realities to another without traveling through the causal/probabilistic relationships that we are party to as we travel down our entropy-derived line of time as a particular direction within the fourth dimension.

Here's a song about the seven dimensions that define our unique universe: it's called "Seven Levels":

A direct link to this video is at

While we've been playing with these ideas, we should keep in mind that wormholes are not just science fiction: and folding your mind around these concepts can be a mind-expanding experience.

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton
Next: The Google Suggestions Time Capsule Project, 2nd quarter report

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