“No, they’re completely different.”
Back to go forward, says DarkTrench, so backwards we went. Back to Einstein and the relativity. We talked about the double split experiment and quantum physics. Then we went back further and talked about Newton and calculus. And finally we got around to the point…
“What is the square root of negative x?”
Um… good question.
Actually… very good question.
Actually… what is the square root of negative x??
Well, says my dad, it’s i. (Or j, actually, depending on if you’re a mathematician or an electrical engineer. Because if you an EE than i stands current, hence the need for j. Did you know that before now?) It’s an imaginary number. It doesn’t exist. You can do math with it, but it isn’t really there. You just imagined it.
It’s like having two mechanical pieces that need to be fit together inside a tiny box. There’s not enough room to do it, so you take them out of the box, fit them together and put them back in. Only there’s nothing outside the box.
Well, this is good. This makes sense. This is a working, practical solution to an obnoxious problem. People use this every day. They build things and go their way not realizing what a dangerous tool they have put into the hands of theoretical scientists…
Imaginary Dimensions. It’s a bit like hyperspace, a mythical wonderful world where the laws of physics don’t apply. M-Theory (or string theory as it’s also known) is the theory of inventing dimensions to solve insoluble problems outside of the known universe. Such as traveling faster than light. And the ten dimensions it uses to explain these things don’t actually exist, anymore than the words that flow from a writer’s pen.
Amazing how simple it all is once you get space and time out of your head.