Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Why Travel to Hyperspace Would Instantly Kill You

So, I've wondered a lot about a way to construct a "system of magic" (as often appear in modern fantasy works) from a collection of physical laws.  And until I got carried up in classes last semester, that was one of my main focuses of attention.

I was thinking that, in an alternative universe, there's no reason why they should have the same number of spatial dimensions as us.  So why not four, or five, or ten?

Because if you traveled to four-dimensional space, then you would find your skin insufficient to contain all of the air, blood, half-digested food, and maybe even internal organs that now find an extra degree of freedom within which to diffuse.

Five and higher dimensions makes it worse; the many things inside of you that keep you alive would disperse and splatter even faster.

So far I have discovered that to have any sort of meaningful adventure in a parallel universe, it must have the same number of spatial dimensions as we do (namely 3), it must have at least one time-like dimension, the electromagnetic interaction must exist and must recognize and interact with your electrons and protons.  Gravity would be nice, and I don't know enough about weak and strong interactions to know if they would be necessary.

There are most likely other limitations and dangers in such fantastic travel that have not yet come to mind.

In short, the inter-universe questing of children from our universe can never be to any world truly alien from our own.  Which is very sad.


  1. Lol I know right! I actually am an engineering student and aspiring writer, and attempted to incorporate "hard" science elements into my fantasy world. But many, many fantastical features were downright impossible(any rare earth metal with atomic number > 120 instantly degrades, so no new metals with super awesome properties, sorry) and for the life of me cant figure out how to explain how another dimension like Narnia could exist.

    I tried explaining that thermal energy wasnt the only conjugate factor of entropy to explain the thermodynamics of my alternate dimension and failed epicly in that as well :(

    Maybe fiction was meant to be rooted in the grounds of fiction after all?

    1. Dude! I am so glad I'm not the only one! Wow, most people just act like I'm crazy!

      Right now, I'm trying to find a way to expand electromagnetic charge so that + and - are just a subset of the possible charges, allowing Maxwell's Equations to still work (so the characters can see) but also new phenomena to develop.

      I worked out once the thickness necessary for Narnia to have normal Earth gravity and still be flat. Of course, it'd still crumple in to a ball eventually.

      Have you ever tried multiple time dimensions?

      Please, if you ever finish your book, I would love to read it. Let me know, and I'll be the first to buy it from Amazon. It's been really great to compare notes!

    2. How would multiple time dimensions even work? You could go in two different timelines or something?

    3. I would strongly recommend Flatland if you want to read a neat little story exploring the idea of extra dimensions.

      The idea isn't about parallel universes, but about geometric dimensions. A fourth direction of possible movement, that isn't up/down, left/right, or forward/backward.

  2. I seem to recall an unfinished fragment of a C. S. Lewis story I came across in a book of his collected miscellany that posited 2-D time of a sort corresponding to something like interdimensional travel. (The part that sticks in my head is the protagonist thinking that the idea of a "sideways" time dimension was ridiculous, but then wondering if perhaps it was analogous to how backward the alternate-dimensioners seemed to him with relationship to our normal material physics.)


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