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Fringe What is the fourth dimension? (My belief)

Invader

Last Living Souls
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#1
Unlike many people, I do not believe that the fourth dimesnion is time. I believe it is another spatial dimension. Mathematically, you have infinitely many dimensions. (x is 1 dimension, x^2 is two dimensions, x^3 is three dimensions, x^4 is four dimensions, etc.) But mathematics does not always translate directly into reality. But I believe that in this case, it does.

Time is just a convention we use to describe events. "Time" gives us order and proximity. We use time to say that this happened "first" and that this other event happened "almost immediately after" this event. However, unlike length, area, and volume, time does not measure a dimension. It can be compared to a set of encyclopedias. Volume 1 comes before Volume 2, and page 65 comes before page 78. King Louis V and King Louis VI are on the same page, while aardvarks and zoos are at opposite ends. However, this "encyclopedia" is not ordered alphabetically, but in the order the events "happened". Nor is it finished. More and more volumes are constantly added. But the first volumes have already been written and cannot be rewritten.

If the fourth dimension was time, then it would allow time travel. Just like you can go forward and backward in the three spatial dimensions, you could travel forwards and backwards in the "time" dimension as well. While this may sound fascinating, it allows for some unavoidable paradoxes.

One example is what is often called the "Grandfather Paradox". It states basically that if you go back in time and kill your grandfather before he married your grandmother, then your parents wouldn't be born, and neither would you. But if you were never born, then you couldn't have traveled back in time to kill your grandfather!

There are countless other paradoxes and impossible situations that would arise if time travel was possible, and that is yet another reason to believe the fourth dimension is not time.

Comments, Objections?
 

void

Banned - What an Asshat!
4,126
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#2
time?

i'm with FZ on this one..

And his little shiny pig-hoofs on the
Desk, Greggery ponders the
Question of eternity (and fractional
Divisions thereof), as mysterious
Angelic voices sing to him from a
Great distance, providing the
Necessary clues for the construction of
This thrilling new trend!

Sunday

Sunday?
Wow!
Sunday,
'monday

Sunday,

Saturday. . .tuesday through
- monday'!

Saturday. . .

And thus the calendar,
In all of its colorful disguises
Was presented to
The bored & miserable people
Everywhere!

Greggery issued a memo on it.
Whereupon the entire contents
Of the steno pool
Identified with it strenuously,
And worshipped it as a way of life,
And took their little pills by it.
And went back 'n forth from
Work by it.
And paid their rent by it,
And before long they were even
Having
Birthday parties in the office
By it.
 

Invader

Last Living Souls
111
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#3
I have thoroughly thought my arguements through with the 4th dimension being time. I have been thinking about this for weeks at a time. And this is what I think about it.


The idea most of us think of is the ability to travel forward or backward in time, to be able to specify the number of years you travel, or even to specify the date you want to go to, and to be able to return to your "correct" time safely.

Of course, there are other, more restricted definitions, but this is the broadest one possible. There are several proposed scenarios for time travel, and we will look at each in turn. For our discussions, we will focus mainly on traveling back in time, and then forward to the "present".

The possibility involves what I will call "branching time lines". This is the basic premise for many movies. It envisions time as a line. Now if you travel to the past, you can (and probably will) make some changes. Just by being there, whether you interact with someone or not, you will change things. You will cast a shadow. You will breathe the air. Your weight will make some sort of impact on the ground. Your body may block wind, rain, or snow from falling where it would have otherwise. You will leave footprints where you walk and fingerprints on everything you touch. And if you do interact with someone or something, it could have an even bigger impact. And whatever kind of impact you have on the world around you, it will forever change the course of the future.

The "future" as you know it would no longer exist. It may be a miniscule change or a radical change, but it would not be the same.
 
R

RedOctober

Guest
#4
Hilarious..

Time is related to space in all kinds of formula's and therefore a dimension.
 

Onsube

Fresh Meat
4
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#5
Invader said:
One example is what is often called the "Grandfather Paradox". It states basically that if you go back in time and kill your grandfather before he married your grandmother, then your parents wouldn't be born, and neither would you. But if you were never born, then you couldn't have traveled back in time to kill your grandfather!
Comments, Objections?

What if you were your own grandfather?

futurama
 

OylE

Man. Nature. Technology.
23
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#6
Time as the 4th dim...

A lot of what you say makes sense.
It has been said that "Time is Nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once".
As far as time travel, we all are time travelers, we just all travel through time at the same rate, and only in the forward direction. Time machines DO exist in this Universe, only they are called "telescopes". Light entering telescopes from the other side of the Universe left there millions and billions of years ago; how we see the universe now is how it existed millions and billions and trillions of years ago; we do not even know what it looks like today. Conversely, the closest galaxy to our own is the Andromeda Galaxy, known as M31 (Messier 31). It is the brightest galaxy visible to the naked :D eye, and it is 2.2 million light-years away. 2,200,000 miles, and we can see it from a dark sky without a telescope.
There are some scientists that believe there are 14 dimensions, and yes, time is still one of them.
:rolleyes:
 

OylE

Man. Nature. Technology.
23
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#7
Also...

There is also the theory of "bubble universes". Everything we have ever seen exists only in our local bubble. Adjacent to the bubble that contains the Milky Way, all 11,000 objects of the NGC (New General Catalog), all 8,000 objects of the Uppsala catalog, the 110 Messier objects, etc, all exist in our own "bubble universe". Adjacent to our bubble universe are an infinite number of adjacent bubble universes we can never access, not even with a wormhole.
Pretty cool stuff, when you think about it.:hairout:
 

Captain 151

Seeped in a dry Merlot
4,261
4
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#8
how about this:

take a 2 dimensional object. That object can only operate in its 2 dimensional world. introduce a 3-D object into that world, it will merely appear as a pulsating disc, to comment most simply on it. now suppose that 3-D object were all encompassing to that 2 dimensional object, would that not then function as "time"?

if we are agreeing that a 4th dimension exists, then to us we would have to see some visual representation (like the 2 dimensional pulsating disc example), otherwise the 4th dimesion would have to be all encompassing... so that we cant see it, but still know the effects. Time applies I think.

*brain explodes*

please note: this poster was once a physics major, but quickly failed all his courses. He actually knows nothing of the subject, and is merely firing blanks.
 

pyrodude

The real man's bitch
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#9
In response to the time travel statement we slow time down a lot in our daily activitys. As you get close to the speed of light time appears to slow down. This has been shown a number of time and even in relatively slow speeds (speed of sound for example) time changes. When the Concord airplane used to fly people experienced a slowing of time by about 1 second from London to New York.
 

tw33k

Theoretical Realist
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#10
Umm, Einstein told of time being the Fourth dimension in his Special and General Relativity theories. 3 dimensions of space and 1 of time. Quantum physicists now hypothesize that there are up to 11 dimensions. Here's something stranger; in quantum physics, there is no time on the smallest scale. Before and after have no relevance, particles seemingly pop in and out of existence.

Heisenberg, one of the fathers of quantum theory, stated in his Uncertainty Principle that you cannot know the position of a quantum particle and it's direction (or momentum) at the same time. By simply observing one property the other property changes. Einstein, by the way, hated that theory and never could come to grips with quantum mechanics.

So General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are two disparate theories that can be used to describe the movements of planets and the movements of subatomic particles, respectively. But they can't interact, so there has to be somethings scientists are missing. Einstein worked on the Unified Field Theory until his death but never could come up with a correlation. Now the top physicists are working on String Theory, where everything thing in the universe is made up of infinitesimally small "strings" that vibrate at different wavelengths to create all the types of matter and energy. But they will never be able to prove it, because of the Uncertainty Principle.
 

CVN70

That's CPT. Forge to you!
49
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#11
Ahh! You've blinded me with science!

Seriously, my brain hurts. So much of what invader says I can agree with, but then other people put up such a good fight. But..

I believe time is a concept kept by man, not a fourth dimension. I mean, back in the old old days when England was the most powerful country in the world, the Prime Meridian was put right through it. Someone obviously said, "OK, let's set it on the Prime Meridian and make Greenwich the mean time." Time is kept by man on how long it takes the Earth to rotate once on it's axis. If time were a fourth dimension then wouldn't Daylight Savings Time screw everything up?

the Earth is roughly 24,000 miles around. so 24 hours in one day, every hour, the Earth rotates 15 degrees on it's axis. 15 x 24 = 360. a full day on earth. someone obviously came up with this. besides, if it were a fourth dimension, do we really have any proof that it is, there really isnt any cold hard evidence.
the earth is simply rotating on its axis and around the sun.
but i do agree with olye, light takes time to travel, so what we are really seeing is the universe billions of years ago. who knows if the earth will be around to see what the universe looks like presently. maybe the conspiracy of the maya's prediction could be right. since really we don't see the present, slipstream ruptures and whatnot could be rushing at us right now, and the ETA could be 2012. who knows.

my brain hurts.
 

JLXC

WTF's Official Conspiracy Fanatic
Premium
7,550
262
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#13
I believe the 4th dimension could be time as well. Though time travel is possible I think because of the infinite reality theories. The "branching timelines" as discussed above is how I envision it. Infinite realities spawned constantly by choices and their actions on the world. If you changed time and then moved forward along that branch you'd see the changes, though if you went back to the exact branch you came from you'd see no difference at all. Interesting stuff and very intellectual for WTF! Huzzah!

:thumbsup:
 

dirtlover

The best and the worst
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#14
hmm.. Newton's first law states that anything moving with sime speed in some direction will go on doing so if it does not interact with anything else. so our planet here is moving at speed something in direction x (dimension 1), different speed in direction y (dimension 2) and another speed in direction z (third dimension) at the same moment. so it goes through time at a certain speed, as far as i can see, so time could be a dimension. Doesn't matter though, wether it is or isn't won't change your life as far as i van see.

and as for the grandfather theory, if u went back (and killed your grandfather) you would start a different time branch, like a river, where your granfather did get killed. but it could be as rivers end oceans, it wouldn't matter in the end, we'll all die in the sun exploding or the univerese shrinking back etc, and time would be one whole again :D

PS. our planet does interact with many celestial objects, those object might also have affect on our time speed. not that it would change anything, cos for us it would still feel the same, because time as we feel it is compared to what is happening on earth, but if we compare to other objects we might see a difference in time, though as we cannot find out what really happens to them, only with help of light and other waves, so we might think the difference in speed is caused in one of the three dimensions. this might just as well make time travel possible, right?

PPS. sorry, i am just lazy to make this post more readable.
 

pantlessninja

the overlord of cookies.
1
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#15
Dood

I aint no quantum physican but i dont think time would be the 4dimension and that is because im just distrusting evry existing being on this hellole of a planet...
i do think that your dimensions are false we have based you dimensions on what we can see depth lengt width.....so why start creating dimension that we cant understand (the human is simple show something to her and shell belive in it but say soimething that she cant see and se will not belive it..)


damn that took alot of brain power to come up with....
 

drnknbndr

Car gone. CAR GONE!!
141
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#16
ok

This is how I think of the 4th dimension, time, and space. It's all utter bullshit. I think. Who knows? Did we REALLY reach other planets with unmanned satellites? Did we REALLY travel hundreds of thousands of miles into space, and can't even find a cure for the common cold? Who knows? Why do people that keep dying always have the information? Were Einstein's dying words "Time is the 4th dimension"? Nobody knows. Well, i'd like to lay it down for you all. Space probably doesn't exist anymore. Our galaxy could be the only one for all we know. Maybe time is at a stand still when it hits the Earth's atmosphere. Does the Earth REALLY rotate at an exact time as it has for billions of years? No. A day on Earth 500 millino years ago was 24h 26m 20s, now it is 23h 56m 49s. Interesting eh? Maybe the Earth is picking up a few pounds from all that cosmic dust. Do you really think that all the space dust burning in the atmosphere just all of a sudden disappear? No! It stays in the atmonphere, and the earth is getting heavier by the second. The 4th dimension, eh? I think it doesn't exist. What IS the 1st dimension? Does anyone know without going to Google.com? I don't think so, unless you're a Quantam Physics teacher, which we have aplenty of. Besides, what ARE you doing on WTF.com? Anyways, The second and third dimension are the main ones. Time does not exist. It's just a bunch of numbers on a clock. Why do our bodies deteriorate? Because of all the funk in the air. How many days are there in a year? Alot, but I knor for sure it's not 365/366. How long do we REALLY sleep for? 8 hours or 32? Maybe we skip a day automatically. Who knows. Well, when we die and go to Heaven, or Hell for you naughty boys and girls, we'll know. :]
 
#18
drnknbndr said:
This is how I think of the 4th dimension, time, and space. It's all utter bullshit. I think. Who knows? Did we REALLY reach other planets with unmanned satellites? Did we REALLY travel hundreds of thousands of miles into space, and can't even find a cure for the common cold? Who knows? Why do people that keep dying always have the information? Were Einstein's dying words "Time is the 4th dimension"? Nobody knows. Well, i'd like to lay it down for you all. Space probably doesn't exist anymore. Our galaxy could be the only one for all we know. Maybe time is at a stand still when it hits the Earth's atmosphere. Does the Earth REALLY rotate at an exact time as it has for billions of years? No. A day on Earth 500 millino years ago was 24h 26m 20s, now it is 23h 56m 49s. Interesting eh? Maybe the Earth is picking up a few pounds from all that cosmic dust. Do you really think that all the space dust burning in the atmosphere just all of a sudden disappear? No! It stays in the atmonphere, and the earth is getting heavier by the second. The 4th dimension, eh? I think it doesn't exist. What IS the 1st dimension? Does anyone know without going to Google.com? I don't think so, unless you're a Quantam Physics teacher, which we have aplenty of. Besides, what ARE you doing on WTF.com? Anyways, The second and third dimension are the main ones. Time does not exist. It's just a bunch of numbers on a clock. Why do our bodies deteriorate? Because of all the funk in the air. How many days are there in a year? Alot, but I knor for sure it's not 365/366. How long do we REALLY sleep for? 8 hours or 32? Maybe we skip a day automatically. Who knows. Well, when we die and go to Heaven, or Hell for you naughty boys and girls, we'll know. :]
Yeah, tell it like it is! Frozen Milky Ways dominate!
 

drnknbndr

Car gone. CAR GONE!!
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#19
Ofcourse they do, my cosmic funk. There is no 4th dimension, so get over it. It's like saying: "Hey! I found a bajillion planets in our solar system! But they're all in the 4th dimension, so you can't see them. Only I can, because I have 't3h l337 haxx0rz'." Get it, no?
 

megalania

The Awesome
422
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#20
Invader said:
Time is just a convention we use to describe events. "Time" gives us order and proximity.

If the fourth dimension was time, then it would allow time travel. Just like you can go forward and backward in the three spatial dimensions, you could travel forwards and backwards in the "time" dimension as well. While this may sound fascinating, it allows for some unavoidable paradoxes.
Comments, Objections?
Do you understand the concept of a dimension. We can trivialize it and reduce it to x, x^2, x^3 and so on bu t a dimension is just a limitation on the way stuff happens. Time is a dimension because it is measurable and it, like volume, shows a limit.
However, whether or not it is the fourth dimension has always been a problem for me. Following the contruction menthod (you make a 3D image on a blackboard so you can make a 4D image in space (they have a toy that looks like it) it almost looks like you are right. But not quite.
And just because it is a dimension does not mean 'we' could travel back in time. We travel forward through time, one instant after another. Scientist have found a way to send objects forward in time (the science behind it is weird, just remember it involves assloads of energy); however, no one knows how to travel back in time. But ask yourself, could a 2 dimensional image control anything in the third dimension? The answer is of course no. A drawing of a person is contrained by the third dimension in ways similar to times own constraint on us.