Friday, April 16, 2010

Vibrations

In Fourth Spatial Dimension 101, we said this:

That "long undulating snake" imagery we've used really is a gross oversimplification - the complex web of atoms and molecules, water and energy, choices taken and not taken, and all the potential "worldlines" representing a single person is a vastly more complex shape than a simple hypercube. In both cases, that extra dimensional pattern casts a shadow into the third dimension which moves in specific ways: but a rotating hypercube casts a much more predictable and essentially unchanging shadow than the 3D shadow cast by a living and breathing human being!
In You Are the Point, we looked at the following three illustrations of vibrating strings which are found in Chapter Three of my book. Please refer back to that blog entry if you'd like to read the text that accompanied these illustrations in the book. Afterwards, I said this:

"Looking at the second of these three images, then, helps us to imagine the symmetry we're thinking about here - when the left hand side of that waveform is going up, the right hand is going down, and so on. But let's be clear: even when the string is vibrating freely as in the top image, all those other vibration modes are happening. A high-speed strobe light set to very specific frequencies would be able to reveal (though interference between the frequency of the strobe and the patterns of the vibrating string) the other vibration modes such as the two we're picturing here."

This returns us to the string theory idea that our reality comes from superstrings that are vibrating in the tenth dimension, and the important idea that Kaluza convinced Einstein of: our 4D reality is really resolved at the 5th dimension. But vibrations, waveforms, and repeating patterns are an important idea whether you are talking about physics or metaphysics, and the subject has come up again and again with my project as we explore different ways of thinking about how the reality around us is being created by extra-dimensional patterns that are "outside" the limits of our 4D spacetime.

Which leads us to this charming video that was forwarded to me by my friend Pete Chema of Ten Feet Deep, and ties all of the above together in a simple but profound manner. The speaker heard in this video is British philosopher and writer Alan Watts, an influential thinker who lived from 1915 to 1973, and who devoted his life to finding ways to blend Eastern mysticism with modern science. This video is less than five minutes long, please give it a listen and think about the ideas and pictures we've been looking at in today's blog entry.