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B Was H.G. Wells Correct?

  1. Oct 8, 2016 #1
    In the book by H. G. Wells "The Time Machine"

    In the first chapter of the book, the "time traveller" character asked the question "Can a cube that does not last for any time at all, have a real existence?" and then goes on to explain that everything physical has at least 4 dimensions, height, width, depth, and time.

    So my question is was he correct in this description?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 8, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor


    I translate your question as "Does something that never existed ever exist?" The self-contradictory language gives you the answer, "No."

    Riddles based on contradictions are not physics. I suspect that the mentor might close this thread because of that.
  4. Oct 8, 2016 #3
    How many dimensions does a physical tangible object have, ie. a desk, a phone, etc. Is that part correct, that you have to have at 4 dimension to be able to describe an object accurately?

    I do apologize if my question seems simple, most of what little i know of physical sciences is self taught.
  5. Oct 8, 2016 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    A physical object exists in 4D space-time. That does not describe it.
  6. Oct 8, 2016 #5
    Thanks, guess i need to go back to reading the primers again.
  7. Oct 9, 2016 #6
    Yes, that is a correct description. The newly discovered sub-atomic particles have been confirmed to exist by being observed in a time interval, albeit a very short interval of time. Time is the fourth dimension of the physical world.
  8. Oct 9, 2016 #7
    Euclidian 4-dimensional geometry is not an accurate model of spacetime. Wells was on the right track but he made no distinction between the space and time dimensions, so his theory was incomplete.
  9. Oct 9, 2016 #8
    David and Pete, thank you, granted the time machine is pure fiction. But I did find it interesting that quite a few books from that time period have been "prophetic" for a lack of a better term. in regard to real world science and engineering.

    Wells did describe the time dimension at being at right angles to the other 3, my brain is not quite agile enough to be able to easily grasp the geometry of that.

    Thanks again
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