Angelina Nguyen

Australia

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The Socratic Method and the Fourth Dimension

October 17, 2017

Teaching my younger sister about The Fourth Dimensional Theory using a traditional method of only asking questions;

-          Is everything made up of something? (…Yes.)
-          Okay, focusing specifically in the area of mathematics and science, would you say that everything has dimensions? (I think so.) Could you give me an example? (I mean, everything must have dimensions. This pencil has dimensions.)
-          What does not have any dimensions? (Nothing? A dot.)
-          If we connect multiple, as you say dots together, what do we form? (A line?) How many dimensions does a line have? (None? Because it has many dots and dots are nothing.) Can we measure nothing? (Um…no?) But can we measure this line here? (…We can.) Can you see that this has length? (Yes.) Would you say that it has one dimension? (…Yes.)
-          Now if we connect a bunch of lines together what can form? (Longer lines? Wait. OH 2 DIMENSIONAL SHAPES.) Using a square as our example, can you tell me how many lines you can draw in this square? (4? No, you can draw more inside it. A lot more. Infinite amounts of lines?) Can you say that an infinite 1D phenomenon makes up the 2D world? (Yes.) If the 1D world has length and 2D world also has length, what would you have added to this square to make it two dimensional? (Is it width?) *I nod*
-          Can you imagine an infinite amount of 2D shapes compacted together? (3D SHAPES.) What degree is added this time to make it 3D? (It has…HEIGHT!) Do we live in a 3D world? (Yes…) This is where it gets a bit tricky. If we live in a 3D world, would you think we could be able to travel to live in a 2D world? Would we retain all our three degrees of length, width and height? Would this cube, in this instance, be seen as an abnormal set of squares? Or would it cease to exist because the third degree of height does not exist in a 2D world? (I don’t know…) Is there an absolute answer for this? (There isn’t.)
-          Now we need to ask, what would an infinite amount of 3D phenomenon constitute towards? (A 4D world?) Does a fourth dimension exist? (It could but again, I don’t know.) Hypothetically speaking, if the other dimensions possess length, width and height respectively, what would a fourth dimensional phenomena’s degree be? (I don’t know.) If we have this “extra degree of freedom” that we can’t comprehend because we live in a 3D world, can we guess what a fourth dimension might let us do? (I suppose so, that’s why we have science but what can we do in a fourth dimension that we can’t do here?) What happens in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”? (Buckbeak almost dies...) Okay, but what happens so that he doesn’t die? (Hermione time travels with Harry to save him). If infinite 3D phenomenon or worlds are compacted together, do you believe time travelling is possible in a 4D world? (That would be cool, because then you can travel between parallel worlds.) Therefore, if an infinite amount of 3D worlds like ours forms a fourth dimension, can you say that the fourth degree is time and we can manipulate it? (Yes!!)  Can we live in a fourth dimension though? (…No. You gave me the question if a cube could be in a 2D world and it can’t. Then we can’t be in a fourth dimension because we’re 3D.) Would we gain the ability to time travel if possible, or do we cease to exist? (I think we would explode because we’re not good enough for that dimension. There’s no way we could be granted to travel through time.)
-          Do you think interdimensional travel will happen someday? (Bill Cipher did it, maybe we can.) Have you learnt enough about the fourth dimensional theory to conclude that we may not ever know if it really exists? (Yeah, thank you for messing me up and making me confused tomorrow for my math lesson when we do area and volume.)

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2 Comments
  • Blotted

    Awesome. You will never read this comment.


    over 2 years ago
  • JadeAndSerpentine

    1. Your sister is pretty smart.
    2. I learned something here. Really nice explaining! You did it better than my dad.


    almost 3 years ago