Post 6: All Dimensions and a brief introduction to String Theory

In this post I will try and explain all the dimensions, and a give a brief introduction to string theory.


  1. This is an extremely dialled down version of the actual concepts, their goal is to give an idea of the basic understanding of all the dimensions, if you wish to explore in a more detailed manner, please go to your nearest library and read the latest books on Quantum Mechanics and String Theory.
  2. This post is related to physics, it is long, mind bending, and requires focus to understand. Many of you might find it boring and difficult to comprehend. But if you have the curiosity of how the universe functions you will absolutely love this post.
  3. The last time I touched a science book, I was 15 and it was for my 10th std Exams, ever since I have been a commerce student. So there are possibilities however remote of errors.
  4. Find additional disclaimer from the page of “About the Content”



I Dimension

You start with a point, like the point we know from geometry, it has no sides, no dimensions. it’s just an imaginary idea that indicates a position in a system.

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Then we take a second point which indicates a different position in the system, but it too is of indeterminate size.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 12.58.42 PM Now, in order to create the first dimension, all we need is a line between any two points. A first dimensional object has length only; no width or depth.

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II Dimension

If we now take a first dimensional line and add a second line, crossing the first dimensional line, we have entered the second dimension.

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The second dimensional object has a length and a breadth but no width. For ease of understanding we will express the second dimensional object as a line and another line emerging from it, not crossing. Thus, we have the second dimension.

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Now, let’s imagine a universe of two dimensional creatures called flatlanders. What would it be like to be a creature living in the two dimensional world? Two dimensional creatures have only length and width, as if it were like being a royalty on flat playing card.

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A flat lander viewing our three dimensional world will only be able to perceive things in two dimensional cross sections, for eg a balloon for a flat lander will appear as a dot growing to a hollow circle, and then shrinking back to a dot till it goes out of existence when it pops.

III Dimension

Imagining the third dimension is the easiest for us because that’s where we are in.

fig 3a

For the purpose of understanding let us now imagine an ant walking on a newspaper edge, and consider it as a flatlander walking in two dimensional space. We can now FOLD the paper, make the edges meet, and the ant walks from one edge to another, what happened here is that, from the second dimension we reached out to the third dimension to create a fold, that caused the ant from magically disappearing from a point in the second dimension and appearing on another point.

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Therefore let’s call our third dimension ‘the fold’.

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IV Dimension

We know what the third dimension is, length, breadth, and height but what further? WHAT IS THE FOURTH DIMENSION!? The fourth dimension is called, *drumrolls* DURATION/TIME. Yes you read that correct. The fourth dimension is time. If we now imagine ourselves 1 minute ago and ourselves right now, the line we can draw between these two is called the fourth dimension.

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The way flatlanders can’t perceive the third dimension completely, WE can’t perceive the fourth. If we were able to perceive the fourth dimension we would see ourselves as a long snake with our infant self at one end our deceased self at another. But we can only perceive three dimensional cross sections of the fourth.

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Not exactly this way, but it’s close.


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The most intriguing aspect of dimensions being stacked upon each other is that we in the the dimensions below have no idea about our motions in the dimensions above.

The easiest example I can think of is that of the mobius strip. Imagine a mobius strip:

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Since, the mobius strip can be a plane of paper we can call it being in the second dimension, now if a flatlander starts drawing a line from any point on the strip he will eventually come back to it, and perceive the strip as a straight plane of paper, whereas in reality he’d be twisting and turning in the third dimension.


BTW: This is where it gets tough, so buckle up.

V Dimension

The fourth dimension, time; feels like a straight line to us moving from the past to the future but in fact the fourth dimension is like the mobius strip, twisting and turning in the dimension above.

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So the long ovulating snake we see as a line would actually be twisting and turning in the fifth dimension. It is actually a multitude of paths in the fifth dimension, that we could branch to at any moment. These paths are influenced by our own choices, chance and actions of others.

Quantum Physics tells us that the sub atomic particles that make up our world are collapsed by ways of probability simply by observation. In the picture we are drawing ourselves here we can now start to see how each of us are collapsing the indeterminate ways of probable futures contained in the fifth dimension into the fourth dimensional mind that we are experiencing as time.

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VI Dimension

What if you wanted to go back into your own childhood and visit yourself? We can imagine folding the fourth dimension through the fifth, jumping back through time and space to get there. But what if you wanted to get to the world where, for example, you had created a great invention as a child that by now had made you famous and rich? We can imagine our fourth-dimensional selves branching out from our current moment into the fifth dimension, but no matter where you go from here the “great child inventor” timeline is not one of the available options in your current version of time — “you can’t get there from here” — no matter how much choice, chance, and the actions of others become involved.

There are only two ways you could get to that world – one would be to travel back in time, somehow trigger the key events that caused you to come up with your invention, then travel forward in the fifth dimension to see one of the possible new worlds that might have resulted. But that would be taking the long way. The shortcut we could take would involve us folding the fifth dimension through the sixth dimension, which allows us to instantly jump from our current position to a different fifth dimensional line.

VII Dimension

In our description of the fourth dimension, we imagined taking the dimension below and conceiving of it as a single point. The fourth dimension is a line which can join the universe as it was one minute ago to the universe as it is right now. Or in the biggest picture possible, we could say that the fourth dimension is a line which joins the big bang to one of the possible endings of our universe.

Now, as we enter the seventh dimension, we are about to imagine a line which treats the entire sixth dimension as if it were a single point. To do that, we have to imagine all of the possible timelines which could have started from our big bang joined to all of the possible endings for our universe (a concept which we often refer to as infinity), and treat them all as a single point. So, for us, a point in the seventh dimension would be infinity – all possible timelines which could have or will have occurred from our big bang.

VIII Dimension

When we describe infinity as being a “point” in the seventh dimension, we are only imagining part of the picture. If we’re drawing a seventh dimensional line, we need to be able to imagine what a different “point” in the seventh dimension is going to be, because that’s what our line is going to be joined to. But how can there be anything more than infinity? The answer is, there can be other completely different infinities created through initial conditions which are different from our own big bang. Different initial conditions will create different universes where the basic physical laws such as gravity or the speed of light are not the same as ours, and the resulting branching timelines from that universe’s beginning to all of its possible endings will create an infinity which is completely separate from the one which is associated with our own universe. So the line we draw in the seventh dimension will join one of these infinities to another. And, as boggling as the magnitude of what we are exploring here might be, if we were to branch off from that seventh dimensional line to draw a line to yet another infinity, we would then be entering the eighth dimension.

IX Dimension

As we’ve explored already, we can jump from one point in any dimension to another simply by folding it through the dimension above. If our ant on the newspaper were a two-dimensional Flatlander, then folding his two-dimensional world through the third dimension would allow him to magically disappear from one location and appear in a different one. As we’re now imagining the ninth dimension, the same rules would apply – if we were to be able to instantaneously jump from one eighth dimensional line to another, it would be because we were able to fold through the ninth dimension.

X Dimension

Before we discussed the first dimension, we could say that we first started out with dimension zero, which is the geometrical concept of the “point”. A point indicates a location in a system, and each point is of indeterminate size. The first dimension then, takes two of these “points” and joins them with a line.

When we imagined the fourth dimension, it was as if we were treating the entirety of three-dimensional space in a particular state as a single point, and drawing a fourth-dimensional line to another point representing space as it is in a different state. We often refer to the line we have just drawn as “time”.

Then in the seventh dimension, we treated all of the possible timelines which could be generated from our big bang as if this were a single point, and imagined drawing a line to a point representing all of the possible timelines for a completely different universe.

Now, as we enter the tenth dimension, we have to imagine all of the possible branches for all the possible timelines of all the possible universes and treat that as a single point in the tenth dimension. Whew! So far, so good. But this is where we hit a roadblock: if we’re going to imagine the tenth dimension as continuing the cycle, and being a line, then we’re going to have to imagine a different point that we can draw that line to.  But there’s no place left to go! By the time we have imagined all possible timelines for all possible universes as being a single point in the tenth dimension, it appears that our journey is done.

String Theory

In String theory, physicists tell us that Superstrings vibrating in the tenth dimension are what create the subatomic particles which make up our universe, and all of the other possible universes as well. In other words, all possibilities are contained within the tenth dimension, which would appear to be the concept we have just built for ourselves as we imagined the ten dimensions, built one upon another.

This method of explaining the ten dimensions was developed by Rob Bryanton, you can read more about Rob Bryanton by clicking here.

Read on and Suave It Mate!

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“All Dimensions and a brief introduction to String Theory” by Ayush Agrawal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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