• SumoMe

Rob Bryanton’s video, “Imagining the Tenth Dimension” is one of the most cogent and comprehensive visualizations of the tenth dimension I’ve ever seen (which, admittedly, is only three). This video does an excellent job at explaining, among other things, the fourth dimension on down. It’s important to understand the concept of the first four dimensions, because this is what we most readily experience in our daily lives.

Some of you might dismiss this as “mere theory,” which is unfortunate for your mind, because knowledge of how the four dimensions work is the sort of basic knowledge that you need for scientific literacy. However, for those of you who venture through the entire video, you’ll see that thinking of the problem in terms of cross-sections is useful (see the example of the balloon). A two dimensional view of a human is much like a cross section, similar to a CT scan. A two dimensional creature would view us as individual, flat “slices” that grow and shrink as perception moves from front to back and finally out of perception.

This framework is useful because we three dimensional beings experience the fourth dimension in the same way that two dimensional beings experience the third dimension–in cross sections. We experience time moment to moment, and only perceive it broken up into nanoseconds (or however short in duration you want to get). The fourth dimensional version of ourselves is that long undulating (because we get taller in height from birth to smaller in height as we age) snake that consists of our entire past and future cross section perceptions. However, we can only see one section (much like the CT scan) of our fourth dimensional self. This is fascinating.

Hopefully, this video allows you to take this general background knowledge and apply it to the fifth dimension and beyond. Rob Bryanton really does a great job at explaining all this, and I think the video is about as simple as it can get. If you’ve never thought about the other dimensions, this might be a lot to take on all at once. However, this video is great, and I encourage you to pause it or replay it if you don’t fully understand something. Understanding higher dimensions is not only useful to having a well-rounded understanding of the world, but it is a pretty cool “party trick” to know.

Have you ever thought about the tenth dimension? How helpful is the video in furthering your understanding of it? Let’s talk about dimensions in the comments below.