Visualization of Our Travels (Part 1)

Well, this is another one of those long posts, so I’ll break it up into bite-sized chunks.

There are two very important concepts of physics covered in The Physics of Success that pertain specifically to success; namely the concept of motion, and the concept of more than three dimensions. Both of these concepts are basic fundamentals of physics, and have been for close (if not more than) 100 years. This is not news, but it’s news to people who aren’t used to thinking in those terms.

As far as motion; between the earth spinning around, moving around the sun, the sun moving around the galaxy, and the galaxy itself moving….well let’s just say you don’t need a physicist to tell you about that, just ask an astronomer. We’re moving. As far as dimensions, every time you hear the phrase “space-time continuum” it is a reference to four dimensions, and at every solar eclipse some astronomer is measuring the curvature of the space-time continuum around our sun. That’s five dimensions. Old hat, but when was the last time you thought in those terms?

Read The Physics of Success to see just how fast you are moving, and how many dimensions there may be. We already know we can’t see them all, and since everything around us is moving pretty much the same speed and direction as us, we don’t notice the motion, either. This brings up the tricky issue of visualization of these “extra” dimensions. It’s actually pretty fun, and you can get close to doing it.

First, let’s talk about visualizing our “normal” three dimensions. We think we seen three dimensions (height, depth, width), but in fact we have millions of cells (remember the rods and cones at the back of your eyes?) that can each be stimulated by a photon traveling in one dimension, which is pretty much what photons do. So, really we can only see that one dimension, a bit of light – a pixel, so to speak – at the back of our eyeball. Our brain takes each of these millions of bits of information spread out over the back of our eyeball, and assembles a two-dimensional image. Notice that the brain is what is interpreting these millions of separate one-dimensional bits of information into a two-dimensional picture. We can’t really “see” two dimensions, we can only interpret data and visualize two dimensions.

Okay, now you can open your other eye, because it’s doing the same thing. Because each eye is in a different place, you get two different two-dimensional pictures, and that same brain that’s already assembling those millions and millions of bits of one-dimensional information is now able to juxtapose those two pictures and visualize three dimensions. Again, this is a matter of the brain interpreting one-dimensional information from many sources and interpolating three dimensions from the data. We can’t actually directly perceive three dimensions, we only think we can.

So, before we start in on visualizing more than three dimensions, give some thought to the fact that we can’t really even see the three that we think we can see. More to come…

Posted in Physics, Physics of Success, Random Interesting Thoughts, Uncategorized