The Deep Wells

Dimensionality is something that we see everyday, but take for granted. The first dimension is either length, width, or height. The second and third dimensions are the other two – in some order. Therefore, we have the first three dimensions which make our world what it is. Homer Simpson discovers the third dimension in one of his cartoon shorts and winds up somewhere in Los Angeles after a trip through some sort of black hole. It must be strange to come from a two dimensional universe and try to adapt to a three dimensional one.

Mathematics tells us there are infinite dimensions. Though I don’t remember the exact equations required for the proofs, I can understand the concept. The question then becomes, what are these extra dimensions? Some have an answer, that is generally, accepted for the fourth: time. But can time really be a dimension?

Time is an invented concept. We have calendars and other methods of keeping the passing of events straight. How do you know that you are 25 years old? Because you were born twenty five Earth circuits of the sun ago. Why, though, does this mean that you are a certain time, old? Because that is what we have deemed, and that is the only way we have of keeping track of the passage of…time.

So what about this dimension thing and can we go forward or backward in time? Well first of all, time as a dimension makes sense. There is a general aging of the universe around us. You can see it in everything. Therefore, time is not just an invented concept, but moving force. It is also measurable, as was mentioned previously. That would have to be one of the criteria for a true dimension, it would have to be, in some way measurable. As far as traveling through the fourth dimension, here we delve into trickier ground.

H. G. Wells coined the phrase “time machine” in his 1895 book of the same name. His idea was that a machine could be constructed that would somehow traverse the fourth dimension. His book is fantastical because it offers no real explanation of the mechanism, but he got other authors considering the problem. One of the latest to give a new twist to this concept is Michael Crichton, who added quantum physics and the multiverse theory to his concept. These is no knowledge of how we could effectively travel through time, but some have advanced the following possibility.

One person stands on a mountain, and another is in a valley about a mile distant. The valley person shines a flash light at the mountain dweller. If valley guy was able to travel fast enough to reach mountain man before the photons from the flashlight, he would have effectively traveled backward through time. Therefore, as the theory goes, time travel is about speed. Either arriving somewhere in the past or future because we short circuit the logic. By this I mean, that time in this concept is seen as a circle, or at least a rounded line. If we arrive at a point on the circle prior to or after others of our “time” we have traveled through time. Now doean’t that blow your mind!