Posted in Derren's Posts

Posted by Derren Brown January 14, 2010 at 1:12 am

Rather good animation offering an easy (ish) way to conceive of string theory. And some rather good gadgets to browse elsewhere in the site, which I have to confess is how I came across this.

January 14, 2010 at 1:15 am
Liam says:

Blimey derren up late. My birthday… just sat waiting for your card. Cant wait to se enigma in march ๐Ÿ˜€

January 14, 2010 at 1:17 am
Roxie says:

Wow that’s pretty cool ๐Ÿ™‚

January 14, 2010 at 1:37 am
jameshogg says:



January 14, 2010 at 1:51 am
Pseudonym says:

Just to be clear: This animation is cool, thought provoking and mind-expanding, but it has almost exactly nothing to do with string theory.

The “extra” dimensions of string theory are believed to have compact support, which is why you can’t see them. One way to think about this is to consider a sphere, whose surface is 2-dimensional. If you shrink the sphere down to a small enough size, it appears to be a 0-dimensional point. Those two dimensions are there, they’re just so small that you can’t see them.

January 14, 2010 at 2:24 am
Edd says:

This has nothing to do with string theory. It has nothing to do with theories of physics – those that operate in higher dimensions or not.

The author himself even says:
“The “theory of reality” that I advance on this website and in the book “Imagining the Tenth Dimension” is not the one that is commonly accepted by today’s physicists.”

Please, please do not propagate this nonsense. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to correct people on this twaddle. It has no bearing whatsoever on reality.

January 14, 2010 at 7:01 am
Josh says:

This has been one of my favorite animations for a couple of years now, it does such a wonderfully good job of explaining dimensional theory.

January 14, 2010 at 8:47 am
Jonathan says:

Nope, I’m afraid not. As a string theorist I can say categorically that this has absolutely nothing to do with the extra dimensions which are regularly dealt with by theoretical physicists.

There is nothing mysterious about extra dimensions, they are essentially the same as the others, they just may be curled up into strange shapes and we may live on some slice of a higher dimensional space (these are two non-exclusive possibilities).

I made a similar comment on the scitalks website a while back:

On this page I described how we really do deal with extra dimensions:

I hope it’s ok to link to these sites, but I truly do feel it’s important to clarify this misleading video.

Read Brian Greene to learn more.

January 14, 2010 at 10:19 am
Tim Atyeo says:

That has the WOW factor, I think I will watch that a few more times. really really good.
very thought provoking.

January 14, 2010 at 10:24 am

I’m afraid this has nothing to do with string theory! It’s just an artistic project musing on what higher dimensions might look like. He’s approximately on track up to the fourth dimension, time (although time only acts like a space dimension when you use imaginary numbers) and then it’s all basically made up. As he says:

“The “theory of reality” that I advance on this website and in the book “Imagining the Tenth Dimension” is not the one that is commonly accepted by today’s physicists. Anyone wanting to know more about the currently established thinking behind string theory and the tenth or eleventh dimension should refer to such excellent books as “Parallel Worlds” by Michio Kaku, “The Fabric of the Cosmos” by Brian Greene, or “Warped Passages” by Lisa Randall.”

January 14, 2010 at 10:45 am
JayKay says:

Nevermind the video – how many teethbleaching ads can you fit on one screen?!

January 14, 2010 at 10:55 am
Chloe says:

The animations good, but what does it have to do with the string theory?

January 14, 2010 at 12:59 pm
ReliegiousMarie says:

Great animation and artistic impression and concept really…

itร‚ยดs great to be able to create concepts outside- and next to existing ones…it can work as a katalyst for inspiration if you have an open mind…closed-minded people however, will supposedly only look for ร‚ยดfaultsร‚ยด and state the bloody obvious …

January 14, 2010 at 1:18 pm
MaddyJean says:

That was profound. I have never really been able to comprehend all those dimensions but now i do its very thought provoking. Thanks!

January 14, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Very interesting, but one phrase written under the video says, “If you can wrap your head around all of those dimensions…” which is what I had a little trouble doing, I’m afraid.

Thanks for posting though, Derren. Just wish I had more to say on the subject. ๐Ÿ™

LC x

January 14, 2010 at 4:07 pm
Iain MacLennan says:

The tenth dimension appears a bit cobwebby these days. Someone should have a word with the maid…

January 14, 2010 at 4:23 pm
Ooopsydaisy says:

Hmmm. Very interesting if a little unstringy. And if that ant isn’t careful him gonna get squished. ๐Ÿ˜€

January 14, 2010 at 6:22 pm
mmfiore says:

As an alternative to Quantum Theory there is a new theory that describes and explains the mysteries of physical reality. While not disrespecting the value of Quantum Mechanics as a tool to explain the role of quanta in our universe. This theory states that there is also a classical explanation for the paradoxes such as EPR and the Wave-Particle Duality. The Theory is called the Theory of Super Relativity and is located at: Super Relativity
This theory is a philosophical attempt to reconnect the physical universe to realism and deterministic concepts. It explains the mysterious.

January 14, 2010 at 10:59 pm
LukeVanDerLinden says:

Wow, that’s cool.
But that to me means the “tenth dimension” is ‘nothingness’ which holds the imagination-creation to reality. I also believe we as beings will be able to go through these dimensions with natural evolution.

Thanks for the video.

January 15, 2010 at 2:52 am
seltivo says:

Doesn’t string theory require 10 dimensions of space and one of time? This introduces a bunch of time dimensions (of questionable credibility), but no new spacial ones. Also worth noting that the “flatlander” would see 1 dimensional cross-sections, not two.

I remember reading somewhere that this guy made the book and video based on his own personal understanding and not the generally accepted theories… As far as I know, this has about as much credibility as the pseudoscience that Derren is so strongly opposed to.

January 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm
OtherMike says:

I think he’s missing an obvious point here. Dimensions are that along which we choose to measure something, where the thing we choose to measure is orthogonal to anything in other dimensions we’ve so far chosen to measure things along. Time is a valuable way of imagining four dimensional shapes, but to say “the” 4th dimension is time is meaningless. You might measure mass fourth, and time fifth. Or charge.

The author goes on to describe a bunch of things he sees as orthogonal. But that doesn’t make them “the” dimensions and I see no reason to assume that the 11 dimensions defined in the Calibi-Yau surface of string theory (Yay! I was the first to say Calibi-Yau), have any necessary relationship to his many worlds model which he happens to describe using 10 dimensions. It tells us nothing about the world, merely a model.

January 17, 2010 at 9:14 am
janine says:

i dont get it!!

January 20, 2010 at 10:38 am
Jonny says:

Spent couple years getting up to date with and following with excitement string theory m theory brane theory and the other gauge possibilities waiting for a testable aspect of it to emerge over ten years late the best description of string theory i heard was that it is an intellectual necessity but not likely to be applicable to the real world. Loop quantum gravity looks more promising but will likely end up as another waste of theoretical physicists time more like some cleaver adaption of the standard model will prove (while still incomplete) useable for experimental purposes