How far is...Far Out?

September 1995

By Ted Skewes
© Copyright 1996.

If UFOs are alien craft where do they come from? Abduction experiencers and researchers ask the same question but also ponder how it is that the abductors can "float" their subjects out through ceilings or closed windows. One of the explanations offered, and perhaps the one with the biggest credibility problem, is that they come from another dimension. Why is this so unbelievable?...because we simply don’t know what our own physicists and mathematicians have been up to for the last 100 years!

In 1854 a mathematician, Georg Bernhard Rieman introduced the concept of higher dimensions and went on to suggest that all physical laws become simpler when expressed in higher dimensions. So, what is meant by "higher dimensions"? We are quite familiar with the standard three, length, breadth and depth. They allow us to describe any object and the position of any object in three dimensional space. These are the "spatial" dimensions. Mathematically you can have as many spatial dimensions as you like but you cannot visualise any more than three. Our imagination seems to be limited to these dimensions. If our universe has any more than three spatial dimensions we can see only three of them.

Einstein in 1915 used Rieman’s work in his theory of General Relativity which incorporated time as the fourth dimension. Time is a "non-spatial" dimension, it doesn’t describe ‘where’ in space but ‘when’. All four dimensions used together describe the ‘position’ of an object in four dimensional space-time.

The name used for space with more than four dimensions is hyperspace.

In 1919 Theodr Kaluza proposed that light was a vibration in five dimensions, showing how the previous theories of light fitted together with Einstein’s theory of gravity when a fourth spatial dimension was added to the calculations. In the years between Rieman and Kaluza, hyperspace had been discussed in relation to spiritualism, ghosts and psychic phenomena and had a profound effect on art and literature. Now it was being taken seriously by science, at least for a while.

The next major step for science was Quantum theory, which described mathematically the interactions and properties of matter and energy within and between atoms. This theory was strictly four dimensional and led to the dominant theory of atomic physics called the Standard Model. For years now our scientists have been smashing atoms into smaller and smaller pieces, discovering more and more particles within atoms. It seems the closer you look, the more particles you find, but they all seem to fit within the description of the Standard Model.

In the 1960s it was discovered that the Standard Model could also be explained by vibrations of higher dimensions and this led to the formulation of Superstring Theory, the most incredible theory of them all, in the 1970s. According to string theory the sub-atomic particles are distinct vibrations of a string that is 100 billion billion times smaller than a proton. The theories describing the forces in our universe, the energy and the matter, are all combined within string theory simply because of its geometry. Strings can only vibrate in 10 or 26 dimensions.

When we look within the atom, or observe the way the moon orbits the earth, are we just seeing the four dimensional facade of hyperspace, the tip of the hyper-iceberg?

Comments are welcome, contact

Suggested reading: HyperSpace.
A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension.
Michio Kaku
Oxford University Press 1994.

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Copyright © 1996
Victorian U.F.O. Research Society Inc.
P.O. Box 1043
Moorabbin Victoria, Australia 3189
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