Thursday, 1 February 2007

Lost in (tenth) Space

Losing one's keys is an officially designated Bad Thing. To combat this I have a point in three dimensional space where my keys live. I like to call it my key hook. When I don't use the key hook, my keys are lost. They are, in fact, lost in three dimensional space; they could be anywhere in the apartment. This is, as we learned earlier, a Bad Thing. When this happens I like to take solace in the idea that it could be infinitely worse. If I had lost my keys in 4 dimensions not only could they be anywhere in the apartment, they could be anywhen. In practical terms that means my keys could lying comfortably under the cushion and then, just as I'm about to lift it up, they could move to somewhere I've already searched, like in my jacket pocket. This doesn't really happen, although there have been times where I've been convinced that it had.
According to string theory all particles in our three dimensions are cross-sections of particles vibrating in the tenth dimension. If that's a bit hard to swallow, hope is at hand. Rob Bryanton, a kindly Canadian, has written a book and, better yet, made a video explaining the whole deal in simple language. If you have eleven minutes to spare, and don't mind having your mind expanded, you can watch it here. In the video one thing is made abundantly clear: The tenth dimension is somewhere where you really wouldn't want to lose your keys.

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