Extra dimensions, string theory and the TARDIS!

Imagine if I told you that your notion of reality is flawed. Imagine if I told you that instead of being three dimensional beings, you are just an imprint of a four dimensional snake like object in a three dimensional world. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Well it might not be very far from the truth. It’s hard to visualise four dimensions, but string theory tells us there might as well be 10 dimensions. Outrageous! You say. Why can’t we be happy with the three we have? Apart from the fact that the string theory is our best shot (as of now) at uniting the classical and quantum mechanical models of physics, it also has something to do with gravity. Or rather, the weakness of gravity. Now, gravity is very much weaker than electromagnetic force and scientists were trying to figure out why. So they came up with a theory that states that gravity drops down much faster that electromagnetic force because of the extra dimensions it traverses.

Coming back to the dimensions. The first proposed example to explain these dimensions (which I will steal er…quote) is the flatlanders. Flatlanders are two dimensional beings (something like conscious paper). A flatlander can’t have any kind of digestive tract with two openings because that will rip them apart. A bit like this:


So our conscious paper or flatlander perceives everything two-dimensional-ly. In its world, there is just left and right but no concept of above. So for example, if a flatlander (let’s say, a very orthodox and stubborn square) comes in contact with another flatlander (say, a triangle), the only way it can figure out the shape of the triangle is by observing how the lengths change as it moves around the triangle.

Now to convince this stubborn square that there does exist a three dimensional world, we’d have to pull it up in space (our 3-dimensional world). By observing his 2-dimensional world from our 3-dimensional world, our flat friend would see the error of his ways.


If we apply this same analogy to us, we become the ignorant, arrogant square trapped in our 3-dimensional world. The only way we can effectively visualize the fourth dimension is if a four dimensional being pulls us into his world. Scientifically, this fourth dimension is time. And so we come to our snake-y incarnations. If we were to perceive ourselves in the fourth dimension we would look something like this:


 We can continue theorizing more and more dimensions until we reach the tenth dimension. For a better explanation as to why, refer to this video here.

Now, this is not all theoretical, mind you. We can actually test for the existence of more dimensions at the LHC, CERN. (Watch this video, here.)

And this is where my imaginative musings begin. So we might have extra dimensions. And if you have seen the first video referenced, you might know that it is possible to jump from one place to another in a single dimension by using the dimension above it. So for example a flatlander can traverse the entire length of a flat piece of paper instantly, if we were to somehow roll the paper in the third dimension. This, my friends, is teleportation. Similarly, if we were to somehow, fold the dimension of time we could, theoretically jump from one point in our timeline to another point instantly. Or in another words time travel. So here is my theory, (completely imaginative), the Doctor is a humanoid alien. And his TARDIS makes these trans-dimensional jumps possible. But we know that the TARDIS itself is a living being. So that would make TARDIS a higher dimensional being. If travel between parallel universes was also possible, I would say the tenth dimension. So it can not only travel in time but also in space…

I’ll leave you with that today. If you find something factually incorrect, please let me know and I’ll edit it. Except the last paragraph. Because, well, that’s not science, just imagination.

Until next time.


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