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Getting A New Angle On Things Is Easy When You’re From The Fourth Dimension

Topics: Editorial & Opinion | 1 CommentBy admin | July 20, 2009

A kid from A-Square confronts his spheres and talks about hypercubes to help give your otherwise two-dimensional morning a new perspective.

A Three-Dimensional Representation
Of A Four-Dimensional Object

Although we originally started our Monday Demotivators to add a little dimension to your Monday morning, we’ve fallen a little flat this week; all we have is this simple game in which you guess the shape of a three-dimensional object as it passes through your two-dimensional field of view. This game will be familiar to anyone who’s familiar with the book Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, which Isaac Asimov described as “The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions.” This, by the way, was one of my favorite books when I was young. I was admittedly a rather annoying kid; as a seven or eight year old, I had no idea what the big deal was about Roald Dahl and Dr Seuss books, I was busy designing model rockets and wondering what the fourth dimension was like, and if it ever passed through our dimension like the sphere in Flatland. Don’t get me wrong, I was a pretty dumb kid too. Once, after some “preliminary field tests” using the front porch, I jumped off the chicken coop using a large umbrella as a parachute. This didn’t turn out so well, as you might imagine. But since we’ve got you imagining, imagine this: although any discussion of Möbius Strips will inevitably be one-sided, when you start talking about the fourth dimension, things get a little crazy. Try to imagine that if two-dimensional beings see three-dimensional objects the way the characters in Flatland see them (Carl Sagan does a nice 7 minute explanation in this clip), and we see two-dimensional objects the way we do, then four-dimensional beings can see all six sides of an opaque box simultaneously, and in fact, what is inside the box at the same time! Unfortunately the best look we’ll get at the fourth dimension is an animated diagram of a hypercube, like the clip above. My brain just exploded. Hope yours did too. Your day should shape up nicely from here…

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  1. Posted by Increasingly Impossible Objects Becoming Increasingly Possible at dissociatedpress.com on 10.07.10 7:39 pm

    [...] dimensions, but require a little imagination or mental investment to grasp. We’ve touched on hypercubes and extra-dimensional ideas before, but today I ran across something I’ve longed to see for ages, which is detailed, 3D [...]