Today’s nerd word is “multiple dimensions”

ENTRY # 19 Among the various roles I play, one is co-host on a local public radio show called What the Tech!. I have weekly segment called “the nerd word”. Im posting this weeks nerd word today. Multiple dimensions… cool and makes my imagination spin. If youre in Rochester, the show airs on 1370 AM Saturdays at 1:00pm and Monday evenings at 11:00pm. Farther folk can download the show after Sunday.

Today’s nerd word is “multiple dimensions”. Suppose we start with the simple assumption that space and time are infinite. Given some unlikely event- say that the proverbial roomful of monkeys banging away at a typewriter have a slim chance of typing out Romeo and Juliet, still with all of that infinite space and time in which to bang, it could happen. In fact, it does happen. Slim chances are still chances. Given all the time and space in the universe, a million to one shot will eventually shoot. This is the basis for multiple dimensions. There are, in fact, 4 different flavors of multiple dimensions. Flavor one: Scientists have theorized that somewhere, in this physical universe, out there is an earth just like this one, surrounded by eight planets, just like this one, and that on it is a you, just like this one. But that you may at this moment be turning off the radio and opting to do something else, while you, curious creature that you are, await the end of this story. The reason you donÔø?t see this parallel universe, is that itÔø?s tremendously far away. There are millions of permutations, each far far away. So the chances of you running into your doppelganger is nil. (But then again, what did we say about chances?) Thats flavor 1 – infinite space, parallel universes all in one. Flavor 2 has infinite space and infinitely varied time, and perhaps changeable physics. This theory says, okay, Bang! The universe begins to expand. But like eddys in water, there might be hot and cold spots. If the universe all expanded uniformly, time/space has a shot at uniformity too – but with this notion of eddys- actually (postinflation bubbles), time would behave differently. (Remember discussions about the speed of light and relative time- well there you go!) In these bubbles, the initial conditions of the parallel universes, the very primordial soups, would be different. So not only do we have parallel universes, we have totally different pockets of alien physics. Maybe your doppelganger breathes methane and eats acid, has tentacles and does a mean eight-legged tango. Flavor 3 – I do so want to explain this clearly to you, but I cannot because it assumes an understanding of quantum physics which Ive been trying to wrap my head around now for 20 years. Shroedingers cat? The notion that things are happening infinitely in the here and now, but that existence is based upon what youve observed, but that it does not necessarily connote the only reality… ow. It just hurts. It makes my head hurt. So that said- flavor 3, multidimensions, right here. Same spatial plane somewhere you cant see. There. Listen to Adam Frank- heÔø?ll explain it better. Flavor 4 is entirely theoretical. We live in a world of 4 dimensions- the three dimensions of x, y, and z to locate position, and the fourth dimension of time. That can be represented mathematically. Some scientists posit that any mathematical formula represents some reality. Infinite variations on formulas suggest multiple dimensions beyond our puny 4 dimensional imaginings. So there are Multiple dimensions.–lots of them. Id like think that in some alternate dimension, during my sophomore year of high school, Id had a clue that Mike Simpson had asked me on a date and that alternate me went. Or that several other times in the sad and promiscuous 80s Id said “no” more often to several other guys- and you can guess who you are. It is an intriguing notion. Still, My hope is that there are many different varied happy endings for us all.


fivecats,,, ,, 1056088716, 2004-05-16 20:41:17, Personally, Ive always liked your weekly “Nerd Word” segments. You take a complex subject and make it understandable. Not only that, but you do so with humor, making it not only interesting but fun as well. A rare gift, indeed. An additional comment — your presence in the show is, IMHO, very important. When youre not on the show, for whatever reason, I can sense the balance of the show being slightly off. Stephe, God love him, needs good people around him to keep him from getting too far ahead/into himself. Dave-A-Zoom is a bit too Stephe-like at times, and Uncle Rick only makes the rare appearance these days. Thus, it falls to you to keep of the WTT chi in harmony. There are times I wish life had turned out differently and Id been hired by RIT. I know full well Stephe would have roped me into doing WTT with him. There are other times when I know that were both better off with me not a part of the weekly cast & crew. Its far better to do the occasional tech review and leave the real radio to the pros. You do a great job. Tell Stephe I said you deserve a raise. 🙂 …

elouise,,, 1056123970, 2004-05-16 20:41:17, Thanks Tom! Lets see, we could go from zero to getting paid lunch every week. 🙂 Right now, all of us are doing it out of faith that its a good thing. Any sponsors out there that want a technically literate citezenry?

fivecats,,, ,, 1056126530, 2004-05-16 20:41:17, Actually, I knew you all were doing this for less than a free lunch. Hopefully the NSF Grant will come through and there will be some money trickling in for all of the hard work that goes into putting together an hour long weekly show. Come to think of it, Stephe could at least bring in a bag of bagels or something, right? 🙂 …

Francois Lachance,,, ,, 1083804461, 2004-05-16 20:41:17, The multiple dimensions here described as flavours could serve well the crowd in the Elouise-conjured pub of the entry of March 19, 2004 where Everybody Knows Your Name Me I like flavour 3 (its the export market version of the American spelling of flavor 3). There is a Blakean element in that notion of the infinitely happening apprehended by finite perception. It neatly supports two separate attitudes: theres more and enough. One can concentrate on what there is to perceive and run away with a quest for more input (and granularity). One can concentrate on the perceiving and deem that one has had sufficient whatness to rest content. Baroque minimalism. Layered flavo(u)rs.

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