visualize 6 dimensions


Bah, linux has had that as a screen saver for years.

Must say, with my limited brain power, I fail to see more than 3 dimensions. Though I do beleive them scientists.

Is it really possible to see the sixth dimension if we exist in the third? It really boggles the mind, I mean what other direction is there besides X, Y, and Z?

Well, using contour lines on a two dimensional surface, we can visualize a third dimension. Many maps combine contour lines with color to depict elevation (z axis) on an xy surface. I suppose they may be using the red/blue color shift to show a possible fourth dimension in the three dimensional model. Also, the model may change over time, showing a possible fifth dimension. How they visualize a sixth dimension, I have no clue.

I believe orinoco is right on the visualisation theory. After all, its a 2d image and color and shape etc are used to represent and visualize it. You are not looking at it directly, but you guys know that already :slight_smile:

Mind boggling isnt it? I wonder what are the possible uses of a 6th dimension? and what would it represent. 1,2,3 are X,Y,Z, the 4th is time (generally) but What in the world is the 5th and 6th?

I guess that is out of question. Humans (or at least the humans which we are now) will never be able to think of more than 4 dimensions, well, we even have problems with the fourth, which we call time.

Probably because I’m a maths student, I make my life easy and take the mathematical approach to extra dimensions. It’s just more work to do calculations, you just have some extra co-ordinates but who cares? The principles are always the same.
You can then work even in “spaces with infinite dimension”, whatever that is. It is much more delicate to work there, though, as there are some surprising phenomenas which are not possible in finite-dimensional situations…

So, I must confess I’m not a big fan of visualizations of higher-dimensional spaces. They never show you what the object really is and most of the time you don’t even get the concept…

Like in this case.

It’s not really out of the question, Myke, human beings think of more than 6 dimensions constantly, we just don’t have a geometric analogy for this type of thinking. For example: the dimensions of a piece of music: mood, theme, melody, style, instrument. Add the music to a video, and you’ve got another four dimensions xyz+time and the video image may have colors which come in hue, value and intensity, three more dimensions…and so it goes.

Or a simple rendered object with a couple of textures applied, it’s a fairly simple exercise to identify more than three dimensions in this case.

If we tie dimensionality to geometry, then there’s a problem, because we’re limited in our perception of geometry to the stuff we can move around in: x y and z. In fact, some early mathmeticians dismissed the idea of algebra solving anything beyond quadratics, since there wasn’t a “natural” analogy to the mathematical equations.

Hyper small realms are very peculiar. Physisists have invented qualities called charm, flavor, spin and so on to describe qualities they have discovered in this realm that have no analogies on the macroscopic level we live in. This 6 new dimensions is an attempt to describe something that we cannot directly perceive, thus have no ready referents to use.

Where do you learn this stuff? Is there a documentary on this subject that you can recommend to me? This is all really interesting and thought provoking… I wonder what else lies beyond what we can perceive.

“The Elegant Universe”, a NOVA special with Brian Greene. Scientists suspect that there could actually be up to 11, yes 11, dimensions! Google “String theory” or “M theory”.

Actually the story doesn’t really talk about showing what the extra 6 dimensions postulated would look like. They are trying to figure out what shape they would be. The dimensions in string theory are curled up and twisted in weird shapes (called Calabi-yau spaces).

These rather clever people have figured out what we would expect the CMB to look like if the dimensions had certain shapes. Working backwards, they can then work out what shape the dimensions should be. This is incredibly important in string theory, because it explains WHY particles behave like they do and why there are the ones we see.

Indeed, although worth noting that these are aspects of particular particles (except spin, which is a property of all particles), not of space itself.

You can watch the entire 3-hour special online for free. It’s one of my all-time favorites. Hour 3 is where you dive into upper dimensions. He covers it pretty well. I think I’ll watch it now. :smiley:

10 dimension in 5 min.