More than one dimension?

So my friend was talking about dimensions and that sort of thing, when my other friend came in and started talking about how scientists have already discovered over 16 dimesntions. Now, honestly, I know very little about space and physics, my realm is blender (although that does include both of those…) but I was wondering if someone could clarify some of this for me.

I am assuming that the theories have got to be pretty lengthy and exclusivley deep; but does someone know the readers diegest version? Thanks.


I believe those other “16 dimensions” he was speaking about are with the String Theory.

I have heard of this. Very complex stuff. Yet very interesting as well. Thanks for the link Ditto.

Hmmm… 16 dimentions… Maybe I’ll suggest that on the blender development forum. :stuck_out_tongue:

That depends of what kind of dimensions you´re talking about.
scientific dimension cand be found by mathematics, you can work with virtually infinite dimension, but´s that just maths. In phisics, usually the 4th dimension is related with time, but there are more than one theory. Speaking n esoteric/spiritual therms, the 4th dimension is the next one where humans should evolve (if we want to continue with evolution)…but this is even more complex than maths and phisics :D.

In Yoga filosophy…they´re called Margas
1srt marga: Karma, means action, thing just happen.
2nd marga: Bakti, means devotion, it´s related with “believing” and just that, that´s all.
3rd marga: Jnagna, means knowledge (it´s supposed where finishing Jnagna)
4th marga: Raja, means “Real”…and it´s supposed we´re entering this 4th dimension ,letting basic believes and knowledge to REALLY understand what´s behind the entire universe…sounds simple but´s complicated and really deep.

This is my collaboration, i´m not an good at maths or phisics…
Oh, and this Yoga/Vedic filosophy is 7.000 years old. There are much more “dimensions” or “margas”

Hmmm… 16 dimentions… Maybe I’ll suggest that on the blender development forum.

How d’you know they’re not already there? :o

As per string theory, a TV special I saw (I know, so scientific) said that varying types of the theory require different numbers of dimensions. IIRC, it went from 6 to like 28 or something. Basically, they’re “making up*” theoretical dimensions so that their theory can work fine.

Neat stuff though. Wish I could see that TV special again.

*Not without good reason, I’m sure

Consider this analogy:

Imagine a 2D universe (plane) shaped as a 3D sphere in a 3D universe surrounding it. Now imagine our 3D universe shaped like 4D sphere in a 4D universe.

Even though we can never see or interact with the 4D universe we are actually part of it and our universe has practically 3+1 dimensions.

That is, the 4th dimension need not necessarily be time. There could also be a 4th dimenesion of space. I prefer using time as just another dimension besides space.

A - H - A


That is, the 4th dimension need not necessarily be time. There could also be a 4th dimenesion of space. I prefer using time as just another dimension besides space.

now [sigh] I understand the guys at maxon!

I recommend you read “The Elegant Universe” from Brian Greene to begin with if you want to understand the different dimensions. It would be long to explain here and honestly I am not quiet sure I would be able to explain it in an understandable way.

The book goes over the basics of Einstein’s theories and build up a clear image of what quantum physics is all about and presents the string theory as a way to reconcile general relativity and quantum theories.
Greene does not extensively talk about the different dimensions but I think his book his a very good way to begin understanding the more specialised literature on the matter of dimensions and other physics related sciences.

Hope this will help,



For those who might have missed this book…

For a ‘very’ simple idea on multidimensions have a read of ‘Flatland’ by Edwin Abbot. Please bear in mind that it was written for schoolchildren but it is still regarded as a bit of a classic even now.

First published in 18**, Abbot (a schoolmaster) wrote the story in order to explain the concept of 4 dimensions to his pupils. The book considers the entry of a 3D sphere into a 2D universe and it’s effect on one of the inhabitants. Armed with an understanding of how 2d life would view 3d life it helps the reader to visualise how we might view 4d life.

The online version is here now that the copyright has expired.

You can also grab a copy at amazon for about $1.50 :slight_smile:



That would be the PBS Nova about Quantum Mechanics by Brian Greene as mentioned above in The Woods post? Just because most of the junk on television isn’t all that worthwhile doesn’t mean you don’t have a good source.

Edward Witten was the individual who added the extra dimensions to the math to resolve the Superstrings theory discordance. He called it the M theory. Dimensions were always there in theory, just no one was assuming they were real.

Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has a good page on Superstrings that has a nice description of dimensions.

An interesting description I read once used the Great Wall of China as an example. It is a very large 3D object, as you travel from it (going up into space) it eventually is just a long line to you: you only see it as a 2D object, although it is actually 3D. This means that the as it is so small the 3rd dimension is now hidden from you.

So the theory said there could be many more dimensions but they are too small for us to see.

I found it quite interesting :slight_smile:

Yes, The Elegant Universe was a really good book, as was it’s following PBS special.

11 was the highest I’ve read about, being 3 space, 1 time, and 7 extras. From what I know, first there were the 26 dimensional basonic string theories, but when supersymmetry was discovered, it was changed to 10 dimensions, and yet another was added when the 6 individual theories were united into M-theory. The theory sais that tiny strings (which are the Plank Length across [10^-33 cm]) vibrate to form the tiny particles of matter and force. In order for the idea to work, a string would have to be able to vibrate in 11 totally independent directions.

You can watch the PBS special for free online here:


Scientists just make up these theories so that they can hope to be better than Einstein. It’s a whole ego trip. It says so on the Wiki site: “String theory was originally invented to explain certain peculiarities of hadron behavior” except they spelled hard-on wrong.

Anyone who has ever sat through a quantum mechanics course will know it’s just a bunch of crusty old men looking for some undergead poontang so they make up these fancy theories to impress them. It’s the same with the computer scene with the whole super-user thing.

I’m not saying it’s not true but if there are more dimensions then I wanna see 'em. You could make up any number of dimensions - like Jet Li’s The One where he was able to travel through these dimensions killing himself to contain the power in one dimension (or one set of 4 dimensions I guess) %|.

Anyway, like the almighty Wiki says “However, these models appear to contradict observed phenomena.” They have to keep adding fancy patterns on to make the theory fit but none of it is useful. At least Einstein helped make nuclear weapons/power. Until string theory does that, it’s just baloney in the minds of some social misfits with raging libidos.

I understand your point of view osxrules. It is true that a lot of Quantum theories and other part of physics contradict each other. However, I think this is not the best way to think if you want to see things evolve. You sound a bit like the “holy” inquisition burning heretics who would claim to have discovered some new sciences.

Also, if you are an Einstein supporter… do not say that at least he helped inventing nuclear weapons. This is definitely not what he wanted since he was a pacifist. Einstein was a genius and I think everybody knows that. However, towards the end of his life, he got stuborn and kept looking for an alternative to quantum physics with his “theory of everything”.

Even genius make mistakes. He was human after all.

Even if some quantum theories seem to be hard to believe, I think this is because most people do not have enough knowledge to understand them.
Some people spend years calculating stuff and putting numbers down to prove one single thing related to quatum physics and they do not expect everybody to understand them.

The problem with quantum physics is that the technology comming out from it is a “by-product” technology (at least for now). This means we made enormous progress in science simply by evolving in quantum physics. However the quantum theories themselves are not directly useful yet to most of the people around. But if you look at space exploration, being on the moon did not helped us a lot per se but forced us to develop new techonolgies to go there. Things like microwave ovens, teflon, solar panels, etc. all are results of space exploration (or were greatly improved for it).

So let’s just wait for quantum theories to mature. Give it a chance and most of all, let’s not go back to the middle age anti-new-science type of mind and spare our scientists from the stake.



osxrules and TheWood - Both VERY well said.

The problem with modern physics, is you cannot combine large and small, relativity and mechanics. You get nonsensical answers, like probabilities with infinate as an answer. Thats why black holes are such a mystery. They are incredibly heavy, but also incredibly small. The same goes for the big bang model right at and around the “beginning”. But, if string theory is correct, it should be able to unite the forces and to explain everything.

Plus, you cannot see higher dimensions… at least I cannot. I read this book a few years ago about higher dimensions. I lent it to someone, and cannot remember the name, though. The author referenced Flatlant quite a few times. Because it’s a new dimension, you need two more directions. He called them upselin and delta (along with up-down, forward-back, left-right, and before-after). So if you jumped upselin to the 4th dimension, what would you see? It’s easy to comprehend it if you think of lower dimensions. 2D-ers would see a 3D sphere as a circle that grows then shrinks as it passes thru. So you would see a 4D sphere as a ball that grows and shrinks.

According to the book, in order to actually be able to see higher dimensions, we need different retinas along with the brain programing to understand it. 2D-ers have a 1D retina. We have 2D retina. So, if you extrapolate, you would need a 3D retina to see a 4D object completely.

But there is reason to study all this. Mainly, space travel and information. Even if one was to travel at the speed of light, it would take 4.5 years to get to the next star. With string/M-theory, it may be possible to use higher dimensions, worm holes, and other such things to take “shortcuts” through the universe, or maybe even go faster than light.


AN][ARES wrote:

That is, the 4th dimension need not necessarily be time. There could also be a 4th dimenesion of space. I prefer using time as just another dimension besides space.

Just thought that time is sometimes compared to the speed of light. Because the light is made up with all kinds of wavelenght, it should be one dimension/wavelenght…?!..That is a lot of dimensions %|

thsi is how it is acording to phisics we live ina 4 dimentional world the 3 dimentions of space floting on the 4th dimention of time

now i think that acoording to string teary there are 10 or 11 dimentions but the rest are budeled up

i red that somewhere

the amon of dimentions menioned at teh start are far to meny (if that was treu then phisics would be turned on its head)

It’s been a few days, but I think I got it. I was so amazed at the amount of information I even bought a book called ‘String Theory and Physics.’ Not a bad book.

I am not going to give my input though, until I know entirely what is going on. But thanks for all your clarity!


H G Wells talks briefly about time as a dimension in The Time Machine, and it makes a lot of sence. Dont think of time as special from the other dimensions. If the idea is right, time is a spacial dimension (like x, y, z). The analogy he made was to think of the normal 3. You can freely move forward-back or left-right, but moving up-down is a lot harder. For all intents and purposes, you are stuck on a single slice of the z plain: the ground. Time is the same way. We are stuck to it, but to a point where we cannot escape its’ grasp.

Also think of an animation. You can look at any frame of animation. The 2D characters are fixed to their 2D world as they can move left-right, or up-down. Now if you take the frames and line them up (we will pretend each frame is physical, like on an index card) front to back like a stack. You could say traveling thru the stack is time, and the 2D-ers have no choice but to go in that direction.

So the idea is if you could somehow free yourself from the “pull” of time, you could rise above it and see any instant ever and then go there.