We live our lives in three dimensions. But we also walk those three dimensions along a fourth dimension: time.
Our world makes sense thanks to mathematics. Math lets us count our livestock, it lets us navigate our journeys. Mathematics has also proved an uncanny, stunningly accurate guide to what Brian Greene calls “the dark corners of reality.”
But what happens when math takes us far, far beyond what we — as humans — are equipped to perceive with our senses? What does it mean when mathematics tells us, in no uncertain terms, that the world exists not in three, not in four — but in no fewer than 11 dimensions?
In this encore episode of Orbital Path (previously heard in October 2017), Brian Greene, a celebrated explainer of how our universe operates and the director of the Center for Theoretical Physics at Columbia University, sits down to talk with Dr. Michelle Thaller.
Together they dig into the question of how we — as three-dimensional creatures — can come to terms with all those extra dimensions all around us.
Orbital Path is produced by David Schulman. Our editor is Andrea Mustain. Production oversight by John Barth and Genevieve Sponsler.
Support for Orbital Path is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, enhancing public understanding of science, technology, and economic performance.
Image by: World Science Festival / Greg Kessler