View Full Version : What are dimensions?

2003-Sep-03, 02:09 AM
Most books on string analysis favor 11 or more dimensions but they do not define what dimensions are.

I have my own ideas but I am curious as to what others think.


2003-Sep-03, 05:18 AM
From what I understand, it's a mathematical thing. Since we live in a 3-dimensional Universe, we can't really wrap our brains around it. But the point is, the math works when you plug in 11-dimensions. So, that's the theory.

2003-Sep-03, 09:37 PM
Dimensions are measures of change.


2003-Sep-06, 01:33 AM
If dimensions are measures of change, and the universe is full of independent things that change, then there are many dimensions.

How many times I smile in a day can be used to create my personal “smile dimension”. Over the course of time it would be possible to determine when I was happy and not so happy. You could even compare cultures and get a measure of some fundamental characteristic of the societies involved.

Physics is a bit fussier about dimensions in that the minimum number of dimensions must be used to describe events. I do not think the string approach is quite the best way. Complexity can be based upon simple structural arrangements of dimensions that interact based upon simple rules (familiar to anyone?) .

I am an advocate of the use of three spatial dimensions and two temporal dimensions to describe reality. At the core there are really two dimensions, just distance and time, which are forced to conform to a specific dynamic structure. It is the structure of three orientations of distance and two orientations of time that can map or be used to describe most of reality.


Brian Sand
2003-Sep-10, 06:10 AM
I am also interested. Books often ellude defining them with anything other than a name. If I had to show my ignorance and guess on the first four, I would say:

- First Dimension... The space between nothing and something; Existence
- Second Dimension... The plane between somethings; Space/Distance
- Third Dimension... The amount of space displaced; Matter
- Fourth Dimension... A relationship the above three share; Matter in motion=Time

I imagine it builds from something similar to this. To continue the progression, perhaps the Fifth Dimension could be the Past, the Sixth could be the Present (an illusion or is this what we call reality?) and the Seventh could be the Future.

Or, it would not be surprising to find out that the Fifth Dimension is all of the above. Past, present and future co-existing much as they do in our sense of reality.

Could it be that the present is the only thing that brings order to all of this? With out it, the past and present would have no meaning. They would be the same thing. Total chaos.

What comes next?

2003-Sep-10, 10:41 PM
Maybe the "fifth dimension" is instantaneous travel, or near it. But depending on how you look at this can be classified as time travel.

2003-Sep-12, 07:54 AM
If one uses my definition that dimensions are measures of change, then breaking reality down to how things change would describe the dimensions.

For example, space on the large scale can be described by one dimension of distance, with three degrees of freedom (which provides the x,y,z “dimensions”). To include the positive and negative values it is possible to assign 6 degrees of freedom with provisional orientations but it is simpler to add another dimensions that allows with a positive and negative changes. so what is called three dimensional space is composed of three fundamental dimensions, 1 spatial dimension, 3 degrees of freedom dimensions, with a + or – dimension.

What is intriguing about this kind of description of reality is that the same description for space, seems to also be compatible with the description of matter. The + or – can become charge in another spatial dimension that is much smaller or “atomic” sized.