One, Two, Three ... Infinity: Facts & Speculations of Science

By George Gamow | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
The World of Four Dimensions

1. TIME IS A FOURTH DIMENSION

THE concept of the fourth dimension is usually surrounded by mystery and suspicion. How dare we, creatures of length, height, and width, speak of four-dimensional space? Is it possible by using all our three-dimensional intelligence to imagine a super-

FIGURE 24 A wrong and a correct way to "squeeze" a three-dimensional body into a two-dimensional surface.

space of four dimensions? And what would a four-dimensional cube or sphere look like? When we say "imagine" a giant dragon with a long scaled tail and flame streaming from his nostrils, or a super-airliner with a swimming pool and a couple of tennis courts on its wings, you are actually drawing a mental picture of the way it would look were it to appear suddenly in front of you.

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One, Two, Three ... Infinity: Facts & Speculations of Science
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Other Books by George Gamow ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Part I - Playing with Numbers 1
  • Chapter I - Big Numbers 3
  • Chapter II - Natural and Artificial Numbers 24
  • Part II - Space, Time: & Einstein 39
  • Chapter III - Unusual Properties of Space 41
  • Chapter IV - The World of Four Dimensions 64
  • Chapter V - Relativity of Space and Time 84
  • Part III - Microcosmos 113
  • Chapter VI - Descending Staircase 115
  • Chapter VII - Modern Alchemy 149
  • Chapter VIII - The Law of Disorder 192
  • Chapter IX - The Riddle of Life 231
  • Part IV - Macrocosmos 267
  • Chapter X - Expanding Horizons 269
  • Chapter XI - The Days of Creation 298
  • Index 336
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