Coordinates and dimensions

  • Thread starter geordief
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Would I be right in supposing that the function of coordinates is to allow one to find an object that one knows to exist in relation to another which one also knows exists?
And if said coordinates do an acurate job then these coordinates are said to be correct until such time as innaccuracies do appear at finer measurements?
Now ,suppose we are just talking 3 dimensions (obviously time as well) would it be fair to say the the 3 coordinates we use are merely a conventional convenience and that any other set of 3 that did the job would be acceptable?
So ,what about if we were to replace the x and y courdinates with coordinates (say called x" and y") that were in fact 2 lines that intersected at an angle other that 90 degrees (45 /135 say) and again the z axis was likewise tilted at another angle that wasn't a nice symetric 90 degrees?
Would these axes be capable of performing the same job (albeit more laboriously) as the conventional axes we normally work with?

Carrying on from this (assuming that all that was correct) can a similar argument apply to phenomena like dark matter in the universe.What I mean is that, if we cannot locate it , does that argue for a need for an extra dimension?
Apparently 11 is the number that I hear being talked about.
But would it be fair to say that the proof of whether any of these dimensions actually exist in reality would be that they would locate an object (that we know exists) which we cannot pinpoint with the dimensions which we have been using previously?
 

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  • #2
ZapperZ
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Er.. this is a bit puzzling.

First of all, the cartesian coordinates (i.e. x,y,z) are not the only type of coordinate system that we use. We also use spherical, cylindrical, etc. So yes, we already are using different coordinates systems. Not only that, we also use moving coordinate systems, as those use in Special Relativity.

But how such use can somehow be applied to the dark matter problem is rather puzzling. It has nothing to do with not being able to "locate" it. That's not an issue, because a "detection" implies we located something at a particular time. It is trying to identify what it is and then detecting it that are the issues. It has nothing to do with "dimensions", at least, not in the way you are implying.

Zz.
 
  • #3
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isn't it possible that , until extra dimensions are used that it will remain undetectable? (maybe that is just wishy washy thinking)
Or are there other explanations as to why it is undetectable?
Does the mere fact that we have deduced that it must be there mean that we have in fact detected it , if only in an imprecise way ?
Yes I did know that there were diffent coordinates apart from the x,y,z ones but was wondering if you could skew these axes about any angles and they would still work as well even if the maths was ridiculously complicated (not for a computer I suppose)
 

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