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howareyou?
December 11th, 2002, 09:51 PM
I was wondering if anyone could help me come up with a description (preferably a brief one) about alternate dimensions

choppy
December 12th, 2002, 04:38 PM
I might be able to help, but I'm afraid I'd need to know more specifics about what you're trying to write about.

I know of two fairly decent ways of explaining the physics.

1) Schrodinger's Cat.

To illustrate a paradigm in quantum physics Schrodinger came up with an elaborate idea whereby a cat could exist both as alive and dead at the same time inside a box. As soon as a person opens the box, an observation is made which forces this state of superposition (alive and dead at the same time) to collapse. The cat ends up either alive - or dead. A lot of people have trouble with this concept because in the real world, a cat's either alive or dead - he can't be both. Essentially though, this describes how the world works on the quantum level - when we're talking about say the spin states of electrons. Before a measurement is made, they exist as both spin up and spin down.

One proposal suggested to rectify this dilemma is the multiple-universe theory. Essentially, when our observer makes an observation, the universe splits in two - one where the cat is alive, and the other where the cat is dead. SF authors then make the intuitive jump to the macroscopic world. If things work like this then we can all imagine that parallel universes exist where outcomes of "universal choice" are different. For example, an alternate year 2002 dominated by communist Russia, or a world in which gunpowder was never discovered. These alternate universes are often referred to as "alternate dimesnions."


2) Physical Dimensions.

We're commonly aware of 3 spatial dimesnions in everyday life. Most physicists consider time to be a 4th dimension - one through which we cannot stop moving. Are there others? Yes, but they are very difficult to resolve. Consider a man walking on a tightrope. He is basically confined to one dimension as he can only move frowards or backwards. To a flea, however, that same rope is the surface of a long cylinder. He has two dimensions to move in. For subatomic particles with high enough energy (like those produced in particle accelerators), dimensions analogous to the tightrope appear. Getting humans to move through such dimensions would be pretty difficult.

Does this help at all?

manticore
December 12th, 2002, 05:02 PM
nice!
Throw in some Heisenberg, and we got a party going!
howareyou, do you mean a sort of parallel fantasy universe with magic as a basis for everything rather than Herr Schrodinger?

D.S. Moon
December 12th, 2002, 07:54 PM
In SuperString Theory. I know its old.

There are anywhere from seven to eleven dimensions.

All but the four we know about have collasped on to themselves.

In the Bubble Universe Theory of Hawkings. There are any number of "Bubble" Universes in a Super-Universe matrix.

You can travel between the "Bubbles" through Worm holes with black holes attached to either end. Each new Universe would have its own Physics.

And then Are we humans dreaming of Butterflies or Butterflies . . .

kater
December 12th, 2002, 10:11 PM
Always thought that a universe based on a technology that could actually compensate for a black hole and pass through them into other universes would be cool, but explaining or attempting to explain the technology would just be wayyyyyy too tough.

IaNo
December 16th, 2002, 07:22 AM
kater:

thats exactly what my current book is about! I have explained it well, I believe, considering that it is of course entirely fictional. I even have mathematical formulas and complex diagrams. I dont want to give away my secrets, but I must tell you that it is an excellent idea and it is working well for a basis for my story that really has little to do with it.

Lifino
December 17th, 2002, 12:46 AM
Ahh, real discussion... This has been a pet topic of mine for a long time... IF you want I can explain my own thoughts on why time does not exist, and really can't be a fourth dimension. But to put it short, I never liked the idea of Time as the fourth direction...

There a ton of great material on this subject out there, Godel Escher Back, In Search of Schrodinger's Cat, are two at the top of my list...

My personal favorite author is Rudy Rucker. He just recently came out with a new book, Spaceland. It's sort of a tribute to Flatland. But it goes a step farther than Sphereland did. Flatland describes a 3D space to a 2D creature... Space land is what the 4th directional dimension would be like... While I recomend it I haven't read too much of it. Other reading got in the way. I'll get past the first chapter eventualy...

Two other Rucker books that are excelent, but much more technical:
Geometry, Relativity, and the Fourth Dimension... This book has been my personal bible.

and

Infinity and the Mind... Very technical, more like G.E.B.

Rucker has a wonderful abillity to take super complicated concepts and put them into words that the everyday person can understand...

Needless to say, I'd much rather read about a non-euclidean explanation than the wormhole idea would be nice. But it's another solution to the same problem. How many ways can 1+1 add up to 2?

-Silas

kahnovitch
December 17th, 2002, 07:35 AM
The most common one I've seen is the "parrallel universe" idea, in such things as "Sliders" and "The One".
The idea of every alternative time-line being lived out in another universe where you marry the girl of your dreams, or you decide you WILL kill that annoying bartender with the smug grin and foppish hair-do etc.

BTW cool avatar Linfino.

Lifino
December 17th, 2002, 09:26 AM
Kahn, I've thought of characters who are able to recognize all those options...

I see it as a tree, similar to a family tree. Problem is at every instant there is another tree, a tree with an infinite # of options... So at any of an infinite set of instants there are an infinite possible outcomes.

I'd love to have a character, or a race who are able to see all those options, and continuously are able to choose which of those branches in the tree they wish to travel. I suppose, in a sense, this could be seen as travel in a fourth dimension(indeed it is the only option I've seen where I would accept 'time' as a dimension)

BUT, for these characters to really capitalize on their talent, I feel they would need to be slightly Pre-cognitive. I'd personaly hate to see more than a momentary pre-cognition, nothing over 1-2 minutes. Why worry about the tree of options, when you can see the future? But to be able to use this talent you would want to see what the outcome of your choices are going to be, thus pre-cognitive perceptions... Otherwise knowledge of all the options would drive you insane. Seeing all the potential, yet still randomly bouncing through time, that'd suck.

THEN you get into the fact that at every moment there is another infinite set of options, so if you have pre-cognitive ability you not only see into the future of this moment, but also all the infinite options of the next moment and the one that follows that. Chaos theory would say that the options two moments from now are nothing at all like they are now, for one string, and for the next choice the options are totaly different...

okay, I can go on... but this is not only getting long, but reptitive and borring too. I could write a chapter or two discussing this line of thought...

-Silas