Read this article for How Fast Time Is | What Is The Speed Of Time. Time is actually another dimension. Now before you double-check that, you haven’t logged into some Sci-fi channel by mistake. Let’s discuss what I mean by dimensions.
While in popular culture different dimensions are often described as parallel worlds that are very similar to ours. Yes subtly different in this context When we talk of different dimensions, we are referring to the dimensions of space as in three-dimensional space or 3D space.
Which may be far more familiar to you. This is by no means trivial though 3D space is all around you. It is around you and is very relevant to our topic. Let’s begin by making sure we understand the 3D and the relationships between them before we add the fourth dimension. Broadly speaking 3D or three-dimensional space simply refers to space that can be measured in three different perpendicular directions.
The perpendicular nature of these Dimensions is important but we’ll get to that later. Three-dimensional space is usually described as having height, width, and depth.
And they all have 90-degree angles between them simply put objects like us that exist in 3D space can move left and right up and down and forwards and backward. We are comfortable with this kind of space using this as our basis it becomes much easier to imagine what we mean by 2D space and even 1D space.
To move from one space to another all we need to do is remove or add an extra dimension of measurement or movement that must be a 90-degree angle from all previously existing angles. So 2D objects move in a plane that’s bounded by the X and Y directions or the x and z directions or the Y and Z directions but not all three at once. 1D objects can only move either along X or Y or Z.
Imagine a person who lived in such a 1D world the whole existence would be found either moving one way or the other. All of reality would exist either to the left or to the right of them and would appear as a singular dot they could not move or see in any of the other directions and probably could not even comprehend such directions as even existing.
Protons Wishing by them would only be visible if they entered the singular line that was a 1D person’s whole area of existence. Now adding extra directions of movement is what’s needed to move things up from 1D to 2D to 3D.
So in theory we can predict what we need to do if we were to jump to 4D. However here we hit a snag while it’s easy to draw a line that’s perfectly perpendicular to a single other line or to draw another line on top of those lines that is perpendicular to the two previous lines.
How would we draw a fourth line that’s perpendicular to all three surely such a thing is impossible. Well within 3D space such a thing is impossible. The best we can do is draw approximations for instance it’s possible to draw an approximation of a 3D shape on 2D paper by doing something like this. These lines are all two-dimensional but we look at this and our brain recognizes that this is a picture of a 3D shape.
So in the same way we could probably do something similar to what a 4D object might look like using just 3D lines. Mathematicians have attempted to do this although their results tend to be a little confusing. Although this is mathematically sound as a basis for a 4D object. I personally don’t find my understanding of 4D Space deepened by looking at it. So I won’t focus on it in this article.
There is some evidence however that the fourth Direction exists and we are moving along it right now. That fourth direction or Dimension is time. Einstein predicted this connection when he linked to space and time into one unified space-time in his theories of relativity. According to him time and space are two parts of the same thing. To me, this connects with 4D space very nicely just as there is no real difference between the Z and the X or Y directions.
So there would then not be any difference between time and space if time is just another Direction. All be it one that we can’t see and time is important Without time our 3D space wouldn’t move it would perpetually be in one state because it’s time that allows us to move about in it. But why can’t we see it why can’t we look in the direction of time to explain this let’s look at the difference between the different dimensional spaces.
We best notice this when we consider what 2D objects might look like if they were to move around in 3D space. This is where we start to delve into the model. Let’s begin by visualizing a standard 3D space. But because we want to eventually see all of space and time in one model. let’s cheat a little. Let’s compress all of 3D reality as we know it into a flat two-dimensional place.
In this plane let’s make that our X-Y plane, Which we will label space which frees up the Z dimension for time. In this model, all 3D people are now just 2D. A 2D person could exist and live they are lives in the place marked space at the bottom of our chart. However, by moving them up on the chart at a constant rate they are also moving through time.
Let’s put ease and convenience say that the top of our diagram is the future while the bottom is the past. So the higher up our 2D person goes in this diagram the older they get. As we don’t seem to have a whole lot of control over our ability to travel through time. Let’s imagine for a second that our 2D person travels upwards at a constant rate as if there is some consistent force or wind at play pushing them upwards toward the future.
Sadly we cannot slow down time for ourselves simply through willpower no matter how much we might want to do so. However, it is misleading to say that we can’t change it at all. The faster we travel in Space the slower we travel in time. This is one of the guiding principles of Einstein’s relativity. This model can express this idea through the power of vectors.
As our 2D person tries to move to their left or to their right their Vector of travel changes. While traveling at a fixed rate like a sail on a ship catching a breeze we can only go as fast as the wind takes us.
So the vector coming out from their front must always remain the same to travel the fastest through time our 2D person must Orient his Vector completely in the future direction or upward. However, if they are to travel any amount in either direction to their sides they can only do so by pointing their Vector away from their direction of travel. They have Motion in the X Direction now but they have done so by reducing their Motion in the Z Direction, they are moving through space.
But at the cost of moving a little slower Through Time. Taking this to its furthest extreme our individual has completely flipped on their side and now only has Motion in the direction of X and none in the direction of Z. They have velocity in space but not time so I suppose this implies our Vector is the speed of causality or the speed of light.
If this is the speed we’re talking about then moving at low speeds through space would not have any noticeable difference in our speed through time. We’d have to go really fast before we started to notice anything. The vector still mostly points upwards. An interesting result of this model is that from the 2D man’s perspective, nothing has really changed. he has his own view of what reality is. for him, the vector coming out of his chest is still time.
The dimensions of the plane he’s lying flat on is his space. To him, it’s the rest of the universe that’s gone a little weird but he himself is perfectly normal. However, once he reorients himself it is clear that the rest of the universe has moved on without him. This is clearer if we add a second 2D person. Initially, both of our individuals do not move in space all of their Vector is pointing in the direction of time. Nothing that strange seems to happen so far.
However, if our stick man on the right turns and vectors at near the speed of light for a bit then reorients himself while the second 2D man on the left just stays where he is it becomes clear that our 2D men have not moved at the same rate Through Time. Assuming that our two stick men can somehow still see each other.
Let’s imagine that they somehow project an image of themselves onto the other person’s space plane they immediately notice that there is a difference in age. the one who traveled at the speed of light did not advance so quickly through time as the other who remained stationary and so is younger.
But why do we find this model so compelling? Well, it is because of what those projections would look like during changes in Direction. From the point of view of the first Stickman initially, the projection of their friends seems fairly normal. However, as they start traveling very quickly in space and they’re Vectororiented in a direction away from time a 2D shape reveals its inherent flatness and from a face, on the perspective, it goes from this to this.
The speedily traveling Stickman appears to flatten with an effect that’s more pronounced the faster they go and the flattening takes place in the direction of their travel. The stickman who remains stationary might wonder about the strange change that is occurring to their friend never comprehending that it represents a reorientation of a 2D figure in 3D space. Now what captures my imagination about this is that this same thing happens in real life.
According to Einstein’s theories of Relativity objects traveling at Great speeds in 3D space would appear from the next eternal Observer to flatten in the direction of their travel. This squishing effect happens exactly in line with this model and is to do with time dilation. However, from the person whose traveling perspective, they do not flatten. But it is the rest of the universe that warps, I talk about this in Greater depth in another article of mine.
Where we can see the effects of spatial warping in a computer model from their perspective everything would stretch at the edges of their Vision while their destination would seem further away. Which is again what this model would predict.
The only difference is that in this model we’re just exploring a 2D object stretching. so the stretch is only in One Direction while in real life it’s 3D, which means it stretches in two directions instead. But that is what you might expect as you turn away from our conventional three dimensions and start orienting yourself away from time.
But if this is correct so why does it matter, if time is truly a direction then it deepens our understanding of the universe, it also raises more questions What is the force that pushes us ever forward in time why does it seem that we can never move against it although in this model. There is no reason why a vector could not Point downwards in real life that doesn’t seem to ever happen.
This model also answers the question of if time is a direction what is our shape in time thus part of us protrudes into the past or into the future according to this model that does not happen. We are flat pancakes in the fourth dimension pennies that look round when you look at us head-on but reveal our thinness when we turn away from you.
That’s a strange thought but it may just be true. This might explain why we are unable to see through time we just don’t extend enough in that direction for it to be visible. your form might be quite different than you first thought. Of course, this model is just a theory of ours although we have tried to base it on scientific observations and conventional Theory but what do you think does this model help you make sense of time as a fourth dimension?
Please leave your ideas in the comments below on the nature of time. And what they might actually be Instead hope to explore more strange Concepts like this in a new series called The Unseen World where I want to explore the shape of reality around us. while it’s normally invisible to us the shape and dimensions of the universe can explain why things are the way they are and I’m excited to explore it with you, if you are interested in it., let me know. I hope you learned.
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