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I Hypersphere mock-ups for educational purposes

  1. Mar 17, 2016 #1
    There is always a fine line between giving too much info and not enough needed to have your questions answered but to make a long story short, my 8 year old loves math and all that it applies to. For an 8 year old he's pretty good at math so I've been inserting sort of high level implications of advanced math so he knows where he needs to go with his understanding. And, sorry for all the prelim info but Cosmology just happens to come up all the time. I've been explaining to him in very lamens terms (very) my understanding of the shape of the universe based on (lurking around here) what I've read and found: http://www.hypersphere.com/hs/abouths.html

    I don't think they are selling these anymore but what I'm fishing here for are suggestions on how to steer my son towards advanced math, and eventually Cosmology if that's what he's into. Educational materials good links etc.

    Just to add they get a little South of science in that link but was the model OK for a meager representation of a 3d hypersphere (shadow) nested in 4d space? That's pretty much all I got from that link, there was some magery in there and that has nothing to do with math.

    Thanks for all your help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Why not introduce your son to other kinds of visual math like origami or knots.

    There's a lot to be said about origami:

    Its Art. Its math. Its engineering. Its Origami.

    I think you'd need to play with it and then show it to him. You could start with paper planes and all the myriad ways of folding them.
  4. Mar 17, 2016 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    This might be an interesting toy, but it is not a good way to understand the shape of the universe.

    Definitely not.
  5. Mar 17, 2016 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  6. Mar 17, 2016 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Another thing you could show your son is the power of ten presentations from the smallest to the largest objects in the universe.

    This would be a much better representation of the universe for a small child. They like small and they like big and everything in between.
  7. Mar 17, 2016 #6
    Thanks for the replies. He's pretty good at origami and folding paper and understanding some of the basics of planes and how math relates to them. I'm looking for something specific to Cosmology though and the shape of the universe, (a little deeper than origami - he's asking ALOT of good questions). Obviously that paper machete model was a bad example, but I guess I'm looking for something similar that we can actively experiment with from a young age that points to higher math and perhaps some careers he can go into with what it takes. My apologies if this isn't a good place to ask.
  8. Mar 17, 2016 #7
    This is good stuff, we've watched this and the couple of interactive flash videos going from strings to the farthest known size of the universe. He's just asking questions specific to 3d shapes nested in 4d hyperspace. We have gone through the whole expansion analogies and he gets that we didn't explode and space is expanding and the concept of raisin bread. He's curious about what's beyond that and if course my responses are to tell him to learn a lot of math. :)

    I guess when I read back on the post title it probably makes a few people cringe - it should have been titled something a little more general in relation to my kid wants to learn more about Cosmology - I just saw the model and wondered if it was legitimate. Thanks again.
  9. Mar 23, 2016 #8
    That spiral bears no resemblance to a hypersphere.
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