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Viewing the fifth dimension

  1. Feb 5, 2014 #1
    I've been thinking about this problem of how we could possibly visualize the fifth dimension. The fourth dimension is easy enough as all you have to do is view a 3D projection of the object as it moves through 3D space. If you look at animations of the projection of a 4D hypercube you'll know what I mean. How would we ever have a chance to view the fifth dimension however? One possibility that I have been thinking about is the following. Imagine a line in 1D space. Each point on this line is a 3D projection of a 4D object. As you move down the line, you go from point to point, projection to projection and thus making an animation of the projection of a 4D object. Now the only way I can think of to bring this to the fifth dimension would be to have a multitude of these lines arranged together so as to form a plane. As you finish viewing one line, you would then move to the next line, the next set of projections. This would be just like viewing a 4D object but you would in fact be viewing an animation of the multiple 4D projections that the fifth dimensional object would make. I'd just like to see input of other ways this could be done.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2014 #2

    Stephen Tashi

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    Science Advisor

    Moving around an object is so much work. Within 20 ft or so, a person with normal vision has "depth perception". Can you generalize that?
  4. Feb 8, 2014 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    In 1D space (i.e., the real line, there are only points, line segments, and the whole line itself.
    A point, which has a dimension of zero, cannot be three dimensional. Or did you mean something other than what you said? Unless I'm misunderstanding what you meant, what you said makes no sense to me.

    In the plane (2D space), the projection of a circle onto one axis is a line segment. This projection is one-dimensional.
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