A conversation about Star Wars turned into multiverse theory, the shape of the universe, and infinite dimensions this morning.
There’s a wonderful book called Flatland by Edwin Abbott Abbott. It’s essentially a discourse on the theory that there can be an infinite number of spatial dimensions under the guise of a delightful fictional story. A square lives in Flatland, where his entire world is in two dimensions.
One day he meets a sphere, but of course can’t quite understand what he’s looking at: to him, he simply sees a line getting gradually bigger, and then gradually smaller.
To help him understand the limitations of his two-dimensional universe, the sphere lifts the square high above his kingdom, where he can now look down upon all that he has, unto this point, seen only as lines.
He eventually travels to a one-dimensional kingdom as well, before suggesting to the sphere that there could, in fact, be any number of higher dimensions, simply unobservable to our eye. The sphere rejects this notion as absurdity, and the square returns to his land, only to be accused of blasphemy for speaking of his adventures, and spends the rest of his life in jail. Fun stuff.
I tried reading Flatland to Little Satis once, but the language was too high for him. It’s a shame, because the concept within is presented in a wonderfully clear and understandable way.