Saturday, July 28, 2012

Imagining the Tenth Dimension - 2012 Version

A direct link to the above video is at
Modern theories tell us that there are ten spatial, or "space-like" dimensions to our reality. My name is Rob Bryanton. With this project, I have developed a creative way to use a variation of what's known as the "point-line-plane postulate" to visualize those ten dimensions, a concept that most would have thought impossible for the human mind to comprehend. How can we do this?

We start with a point.

Like the "point" we know from geometry, it has no size, no dimension. It's just an imaginary idea that indicates a position in a system.

A second point, then, can be used to indicate a different position, but it, too, is of indeterminate size.

To create the first dimension, all we need is a line passing through any two points. A first dimensional object has length only, no width or depth.

If we now take our first dimensional line and draw a second line crossing the first, we've entered the second dimension.

The object we're representing now exists within a plane that has length and width, but no depth. Way back in 1884, a fellow named Edwin Abbott wrote a book about a race of two-dimensional creatures called "Flatlanders". Whether these imaginary creatures could really exist or not, they’re useful for thinking about what it would be like to live in a flat, two-dimensional world.

If we were to watch a balloon passing through the Flatlander's world, for instance, it would start as a tiny dot, become a hollow circle which inexplicably grows to a certain size, then shrinks back to a dot before popping out of existence. But what would the flatlander actually see? Imagining the extremely limited viewpoint of a creature confined within this 2D plane gets even stranger than that.

Now let’s move to the third dimension. This should be the easiest for us because every moment of our lives that's what we're in.

A three dimensional object has length, width, and depth. But here's another way to describe the third dimension: if we imagine an ant walking across a newspaper which is lying on a table, we can pretend that the ant is a Flatlander, walking along on a flat two-dimensional newspaper world.

If that paper is now folded in the middle, we create a way for our Flatlander Ant to "magically" disappear from one position in his two-dimensional world and be instantly transported to another.

We can imagine that we did this by taking a two-dimensional object and folding it through the dimension above, which is our third dimension.

It'll be more useful for us as we begin to imagine the extra dimensions if we can think of the third dimension in this way: the third dimension is what you "fold through" to jump from one point to another in the dimension below.

To be clear, no matter what dimension you are "folding",  it provides a way to move instantaneously from one distant position to another. A "wormhole" is the scientific term for this concept.

Now let’s look at the fourth dimension. Just like any other spatial dimension, it’s made up of two opposing directions, but we 3D creatures only experience this dimension in one of those directions. Why is that? It's because you and I are made out 3D atoms and molecules, and we derive our energy from chemical reactions which move in one direction only. But science shows us that time's reverse direction is just as valid, and in fact the standard definition of anti-matter is that it's matter which is moving backwards in time!

So rather than saying the fourth dimension is "time", let's use the word "duration". If you were to imagine your body's duration as a shape in the fourth dimension, you could think of it as a long undulating snake, with your embryonic self at one end and your deceased self at the other. But because our reality is observed one quantum frame after another from the third dimension, we are like our second dimensional Flatlanders.

Just like that Flatlander who could only see cross-sections of objects from the dimension above, we as three-dimensional creatures can only see cross-sections of our fourth-dimensional self. And just as you and I require the fourth dimension to change from state to state, think about how for a 2D flatlander, "time" would be one of the two possible directions in the third spatial dimension.

Quantum mechanics tells us that the particles that make up our world are derived from waves of probability simply by the act of observation. It is for this reason that I like to refer to the fifth dimension as our "probability space", and this relates very nicely to a theory which is now gaining acceptance: advanced in 1957 by Hugh Everett III, his theory is commonly known as the “Many World Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics“. It was Everett who showed us that these parallel outcomes reside within a space which is "orthogonal" to space-time, and the versions of the universe that we don't observe are just as real as the ones we do. What's orthogonal, or at right angles, to space-time? With this project, this leads us to the conclusion that Everett's Many Worlds reside within the fifth dimension.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this approach to visualizing each new dimension as being orthogonal to the previous one is that it means we can be observing one dimension and be unaware of our motion in an additional one. Here’s a simple example: if we make a Möbius strip (take a long strip of paper, add one twist to it and tape the ends together) and draw a line down the length of it, our line will eventually be on both sides of the paper before it meets back with itself. It appears, somewhat amazingly, that the strip has only one side, so it must be a representation of a two-dimensional object. And this means that a two-dimensional Flatlander traveling down the line we just drew would end up back where they started without ever feeling like they had left the second dimension. In reality, they would be looping and twisting in the third dimension, even though to them it felt like they were traveling in a straight line.
The fourth dimension feels like a straight line to us, moving from the past to the future with what some have called the "arrow of time". But that arrow is, without us even being aware of it, actually twisting and turning in the dimension above. So, the long undulating snake that is us at any particular moment will feel like it is moving in a straight line in the fourth dimension, but there will actually be, in the fifth dimension, a multitude of paths that we can branch to at any given moment. Those branches will be influenced by our own choice, chance, and the actions of others. We move through those branches one planck frame at a time, and this is why some physicists say that the fifth dimension is "curled up at the planck length" - because from our reference frame, that's how it appears.

It's important to note, though, that Everett was also very clear that causality could not be violated as we observe one outcome or another. So right now, there is zero probability that you or I can suddenly be in the world where (for instance) Michael Jackson is still alive. And yet the Many Worlds Interpretation says those versions of the universe really exist within the quantum wavefunction. So how could we get there?

We would need to "fold" our 5D probability space through the sixth dimension. I like to call the sixth dimension our universe‘s "phase space“. Why? A phase space is defined as "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." So those points representing the versions of our universe where Michael Jackson is still alive are inaccessible to us from our current position within the fifth dimension, but they still exist within our sixth-dimensional phase space.

Now, as we enter the seventh dimension, we are about to imagine a line which treats our entire sixth dimensional phase space as if it were a single point. You could say that this point represents what Einstein was thinking about when he said the separation between past, present and future is only an illusion. Some would call this point infinity for our universe: all possible outcomes, all wrapped up as one single, timeless "everything".

So if we intend to draw a seventh dimensional line that passes through this point, we need to be able to imagine what a different "point" in the seventh dimension is going to be, because that's what our line needs to pass through. But how can there be anything more than infinity? The answer is, there can be other completely different infinities, other different "everything"s, created through initial conditions which are different from our own big bang.

Different initial conditions will create different universes where the basic physical laws such as gravity or the speed of light are not the same as ours, and the resulting branching time lines from that universe's beginning to all of its possible endings will create a "phase space" of all possible states different from the phase space associated with our own universe. Think about this: what if the 7D line we just drew represented all possible universes with different values for gravity, with our universe some place on that line? Lower gravity than ours would be in one direction and higher gravity in the other. Would that line be a way to get to every possible universe? No! In order to represent other universes with the same value for gravity as ours but with other basic physical constants changed, we need to "branch off" to the possibilities contained within the eighth dimensional phase space of all possible physical realities. And this would be true no matter what variables we were adjusting within the seventh dimensional line: we would still need the additional degree of freedom afforded by the eighth dimension to get to every possible physical universe.

Now. How do we get to the ninth dimension? The same logical rules we’ve been using would apply - if we were able to instantaneously jump from one eighth dimensional point to another without passing through the intermediate points, it would be because we were able to "fold through" the ninth dimension.

Within this approach to visualizing the dimensions, then, the ninth spatial dimension is beyond any physical reality, and is much more about information, a seething foam of possibilities which could represent impossible universes which exist only as concepts, or selection patterns which could be the beginning of a path toward a universe such as ours or any other. And to complete the logic we have used from the outset, we now take the entire ninth dimension and conceive of it as a single point.

But this is where we hit a roadblock: if we're going to imagine the tenth dimension as continuing the cycle, and being a line, then we're going to have to imagine a different point that we can draw that line to. But it can’t be done! By the time we've imagined an ultimate ensemble of every conceivable information pattern as a single point of indeterminate size, there's no place left to go.

M-Theory says that our reality is defined from ten spatial dimensions plus time. And that’s what we’re talking about here: a tenth dimension without time. As soon as anything 'tries' to happen within the tenth dimension, we are spilled back into the dimensions below, as subsets are carved out from this ultimate ensemble, this omniverse, this timeless and unchanging "everything" which underlies our reality or any other. And that is a beautiful and fascinating idea for us all to ponder.

I hope my project, "Imagining the Tenth Dimension - a new way of thinking about time and space" has given you some valuable food for thought, and that this will be the beginning of your exploration into understanding the underlying structures of our reality that the great scientists of our day are introducing us to. It's important to note that this project has reached millions of people around the world because it can also be related to many other belief systems, and not just mainstream science. I've created many other videos as part of this exploration of the wide-reaching implications of this visualization: here's a list of some good starting points which look at each of the dimensions in more detail. You can also read more about these ideas in my blog, or in my books: Imagining the Tenth Dimension, O is for Omniverse, and Imagining the Fifth Dimension. Thank you all for watching, and enjoy the journey!


Myrtone said...

How about conisdering a paralell universe where trams still run in Montreal?

Rnet said...

Is this not more like grouping the possibilities of 'all-possible-states' ? Your description of each dimension seems more like a grouping, for ex (ignore that I've mentioned the initial conditions after the big bang)
1) bigBang ->Gravitational Constant is G+1 -> leads to a different universe#1-> all possible states ....
2) bigBang->Gravitational Constant is G+1 -> leads to a different universe#2-> all possible states ....
3) bigBang->c is c+1 -> leads to a different universe#3-> all possible states ....
4) bigBang->c is c+1 -> leads to a different universe#4-> all possible states ....
and so on
From what I understand, you're 'grouping' at different levels, here you 1 & 2 belong to the same 'point' in the 7th dimension, and 3 & 4 in another point. The sequence#1 is a possibility, sequence#2 is a possibility, and so on.... and the dimensions are just grouping at different stages(?) The word dimension seems to be a misnomer here.
Let's take another example where I'm organizing some files on my computer, I've a simple video file, now I can have another video file in which some frames are slightly different, there could be a host of video files similar to one I've but have different frames, a 'dimension'? apart from video files I could have a different type of file, like audio files ('dimension'?), and a host of audio files whose bit rates are slightly different... I could've a directory which contains all these files and a different directory which contain a different set of files with all their variations and so on.....
I'm sorry for making such a terrible analogy, I wanted to ask how is your explanation of dimensions is not just a simple organization of the various possibilities?

Unknown said...

You're teaching inaccurate pseudoscience to the Internet. You really need to stop all this. You are literally making people LESS educated. You know you're wrong, and still you see the thousands of likes and views and yet you peruse this ridiculousness. For other people reading this on the Internet: you may feel like you are finally understanding and thinking that he is using facts to prove something, but he's not. Disregard this "educational" blog, please. Don't fall for it.

Rob Bryanton said...

Hi Dylan, I've created a project which has been loved by millions of people. I hear regularly from students who say "thank you Rob, you opened my eyes to the wonders of the universe, and because of you I'm now pursuing a science-related degree." What I am showing is no more wrong than saying "gravity is like a bowling ball on a rubber sheet": it's a visualization, not a scientific theory that I'm showing people. So it's not that I'm explaining the math behind these concepts, I'm just giving people a "way in" to thinking about these big picture ideas, and over the last six and a half years this project has become a jumping off point for people who want to know more about that actual science. Frankly, I don't see anything wrong with that.

Rob Bryanton said...

Hi Rnet, I've made the same comment myself about my approach being akin to a filing system. Here's one of my blogs where I refer to that idea:

But I would submit that this is a valid way to think about dimensions, and is well-connected to the point-line-plane postulate. Let's say your first folder contains all the possible points on a one-dimensional line. If we now have another point that isn't on that line, should it go in that first folder? Not if we want to keep our points organized! But we could put the first folder inside a second folder, and also put that new point in the second folder as well. What else could go in the second folder? All the other points that intersect with the "line" points in the first folder and with the new point we just placed in the second folder. The first folder represents a one-dimensional line, and that folder sits within a second folder which contains the points that lie within a 2D plane shared by the 1D line we started with.
So yes, I see nothing wrong with this idea of dimensions being a way of organizing information, as long as that's the methodology we're using, and it's not just randomness. Once you've filled a dimension with all of its possible expressions, any new point not contained within that set moves you to a different dimension, a new folder that contains all the previous folders in the relevant hierarchy.

Duke said...

Several times I have watched your video and tried to put your concepts into my own words to then see if my understanding could stand on its own.

I think it might work for dimensions 0 through 9 and I guess the point of all of this must be stepping from 9 to 10.

Is your understanding of the 10th dimension a realm of lines where one line is between possibility and impossibility? Possibility and impossibility seem like such a binary comparison. It seems like dimensions 4-9 all involve line segments and not lines since all have beginnings and ends, which suggests to me that a beginning (possibility) and an end (impossibility) is appropriate but I can’t imagine being able to imagine a point between the two, much less other line segments that intersect or are parallel.

For what it is worth here are my words as I understand your video:

0. A location with no size
1. Any one line between two points
2. All lines in any plane
3. All planes
4. Any one timeline between a big bang and a possible ending of that world
5. A plane of all timelines between a big bang and any possible ending of that world with a common moment
6. All timelines between a common big bang and all possible endings of that world (a universe)
7. Any one line between a universe and another universe (with a different big bang)
8. A plane of all lines between a universe and another universe
9. All lines between universes and all other universes

Am I missing something fundamental?

Meenu said...

great video, Mr Rob.I still havent seen the other videos which u have creaqted separartely for each dimension. This was a really good one

matter93 said...

Show me then evidence how he is wrong? What I know that there is many competing theories not hard evidence because it is almost impossible get. So you are not very convincing

Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist