Cosmic Queries: Time and Higher Dimensions

Image Credit: Stockernumber2/istock.
  • Free Audio
  • Ad-Free Audio

About This Episode

Wormholes, hypercubes, Flatland, and more – Join Neil deGrasse Tyson as he explores time and higher dimensions with comic co-host Harrison Greenbaum and mathematician John Allen Paulos. To start off, Neil explains the concept of a fourth spatial coordinate. Then, our trio compares our knowledge of a possible 4th dimension to the Flatlander’s knowledge of the 3rd dimension in Edwin Abbott’s book Flatland. Ponder the idea that we’re prisoners of our three-dimensions, echoing the shortcomings of Abbott’s two-dimensional beings. You’ll also investigate the film Interstellar and its use of wormholes and the 5th dimension. Physicist James Kakalios, returning guest and author of The Physics of Superheroes, joins the fun to answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries. Discover all the possible dimensions that could exist outside the time domain, and whether the edge of our universe could be the end of one dimension and the start of another. You’ll hear about hypercubes and tesseracts, and James explains Marvel’s misuse of the word tesseract in the film The Avengers. You’ll also learn what having more than one time dimension would mean for time travel and if the Higgs field was responsible for the creation of time. All that, plus, explore how dimensionality was born from the Big Bang, zero-dimensions and the singularity, artificial dimensions, and much more!

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Cosmic Queries: Time and Higher Dimensions.

In This Episode

  • Host

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Co-Host

    Harrison Greenbaum

    Harrison Greenbaum
  • Guest

    John Allen Paulos

    John Allen Paulos
    Mathematician, Author of A Numerate Life
  • Guest

    James Kakalios

    James Kakalios
    Physicist, Author of The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day and The Physics of Superheroes: More Heroes! More Villains! More Science! Spectacular Second Edition

Get the most out of StarTalk!

Ad-Free Audio Downloads
Ad-Free Video Episodes
Stickers & Mugs
Live Streams with Neil
Priority Cosmic Queries
Early-Access Videos
Learn the Meaning of Life
...and much more

Episode Topics