City-Data Forum Quantum Physics: Trying to visualize concept of other dimensions... (flash, dvd, cameras)
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12-06-2010, 10:34 AM
 Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake 13,138 posts, read 22,804,086 times Reputation: 14116

When Quantum Physcists try to explain other dimensions the loose me. I've seen and read the whole ant on a wire thing and so forth, but it still doesn't make sense. Also trying to visualize a 5th dimension by backing up to the 2nd dimension show the diference between those two but does nothing when trying to visualize higher dimensions.

Anyways, from what I understand now a different dimension is really just a different perspective of reality. In other words, if reality is defined as everything (all dimensions) that exists, your dimension is merely your perspective point within all reality. Is this accurate?

Could another dimension also be visualized say, by using a video game as an example?

For example, an average "sandbox" game could be looked at as a simple world unto itself contained on a DVD disk. The physical space it takes up in the real world is very small, but when you enter the game, it would appear to be quite large and varied to your computer avatar.

Help me out here... how would you visualize an alternate or higher dimension... or is our brain even capable of comprehending something so far out of our experience i.e., kinda like trying to teach a dog algebra?

12-06-2010, 10:51 AM
 Location: Orlando, Florida 43,854 posts, read 51,154,207 times Reputation: 58749
I don't think, without alternate lenses, you can actually VIEW additional dimensions. You just have to understand the concept of them.
Here is a link to some good, easier to understand, films on the subject.
Quantum Physics Double Slit Experiment - What The Bleep Movie

12-06-2010, 04:27 PM
 5,462 posts, read 9,631,116 times Reputation: 3555
I'm guessing what Chango was talking about (in terms of the "ant") is probably the video about Rob Bryonton's "Imagining the Tenth Dimension". We have to take it with a grain of salt because it's just an example showing dimensional relationships. It doesn't necessarily mean it represents what the actual dimensions are though.
Imagining the Tenth Dimension - A Book by Rob Bryanton

I don't think we can actually view any dimensions, those we're familiar with or higher dimensions, at least not directly. As illustrated by a 2-dimensional "Flatlander" viewing a 3-dimensional entity, the 3D entity would only show as a single line that would suddenly appear and change length. On the other hand, the 3D entity would be able to see the 2D Flatlander.

The same thing would apply to us trying to view an entity in higher dimensions. For example, we're aware of time as a 4th dimension, but we can't really see objects in 4D perspective. The best we can do is see the effects of it. One way of doing that is by using time-lapse photography to observe changes. Here's a good example. In reality, these changes are so slow and gradual that we don't directly see it happening in the same way because we live in the present from moment to moment (so to speak).

It's also worth keeping in mind that dimensions are not physical things nor are they places. As far as I kinow, there are no names or actual descriptions of anything higher than 4 dimensions. There might be extra dimensions of space and time in the universe. If there are, they may be so small or large that we don't have the means to detect them. The LHC might be able to infer the existence of an extra dimension or two, but again it would be indirectly by means of effects.

Multidimensional models have been animated, but they only show relationships, not what the dimensions actually are. Here are a couple of examples illustrating hypercubes that are 5D and 6D.

02-27-2011, 04:12 PM
 Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts" 8,852 posts, read 10,451,396 times Reputation: 6670
Cool stuff!! One good way of thinking about different dimensions, is to imagine how a 3-dimensional sphere must look to a 2-dimensional universe (like just a circle).

But probably one of the best explanations for imagining the dilemma of multiple dimensions is here, where physicist Michael Talbot explains the idea of the Holographic Universe (@ ~6 minutes into the video).

Basically, he says, imagine an aquarium tank, where the only way to view it is thru two video cameras, with one mounted facing the front of the tank, and the other camera facing the side. So when you see, say, a goldfish swimming towards the front, you get a very different view than when seen thru the side camera, and of course neither can see the aquarium and its surroundings! This, he's suggesting, is the current limited view within our own 3-dimensional universe, which also helps explain some of the strange discoveries in Quantum non-locality (sub-atomic particles with behaviors that appear to be linked at great distances from each other).

03-01-2011, 02:39 PM
 Location: Victoria TX 42,554 posts, read 86,928,948 times Reputation: 36644
What's the problem? I can draw a 3-dimensional figure on a flat piece of paper. It's called a Hexagon. It has a measurable axis through 60, 120 and 180 degrees (instead of only two at 90 and 180), it's perfectly symmetrical along all three axes, and parallels keep forming new hexagons. It just takes a while to get used to thinking of the universe along those lines, because we are so used to the two-dimensional plane.

03-04-2011, 09:21 AM
 Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts" 8,852 posts, read 10,451,396 times Reputation: 6670
Um, sorry to break it to you, but we already live in a 3-dimensional world (4 actually, if you consider "time"). If you bothered to read the OP, the trick is trying to imagine worlds with multiple dimensions in addition to that (not just other 3-dimensional worlds). For example, how to imagine a universe having 7 dimensions?
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