The three-dimensional observable world

The past and the present

The observable world has only three dimensions because it consists of pictures on the retina. No picture on a two dimensional surface has more than three dimensions.

The pictures show recent, and less recent, events in the present. They may therefore be described as the past. The present consists of people doing things, and material objects. Pictures are created in the present and then immediately ejected into the past in order to free space to create new pictures. As pictures in the past become less recent they sink deeper into the past. There is a continuing flow of pictures through the past, from very recent pictures to very old ones of stars, galaxies etc.

Observations of the past from the present

Fig 1 is a photograph of me standing between two mirrors in a small room. Behind me is a column of my pictures in the past, all of them receding rapidly into the past.

Counting four heads from right to left in fig 1, they are me and my images 1, 2, 3. Counting mirrors from bottom up, they are mirror N (north mirror), a reflection of mirror S (south mirror) in mirror N, a reflection of mirror N in mirror S reflected in mirror N.


If the images were just only reflected to and fro between mirrors N and S, all the images would be superimposed on me. The interesting thing is that they are displaced from me towards the past by exactly as far as they travel to and fro between the mirrors,

Fig 2 shows the first cycle in which the advance from A to B occurs via mirrors S, N and S in N. The next cycle goes via mirrors S in N, N in S in N and S in N in S in N.


Fig 2. The cycle of alternating and progressive displacements in fig 1.

In Fig 2, the alternating displacements have been labelled ‘tick’ and ‘tock’ to recognise their resemblance to a clock and the progressive displacements ‘zoom’ to recognise the rate, (186000 miles per second) at which they convey images to the remote past. Since both kinds of displacement are along the same line there is no reason why the same unit, mile or second, may not be used for both. The number of units of zoom per unit of tick-tock is 1. This may be called the speed of sight.

Fig 2 shows one cycle of the combined alternating and progressive displacements. This cycle is repeated many times with a pair of my images occurring on the tick-tock parts of each cycle.

The 1-d columnar relationship between present and past

z2Fig 3: How a stream of images from the present develops in the past.

In fig 1, I am in the present unwittingly generating the images of me which stream away so rapidly into the past. Every few nanoseconds, or every tick-tock, a new cycle of images is added to the front of the column of cycles in fig 1, pushing the existing cycles deeper into the past and so explaining the rapid flow of images through the past.

Fig 3 shows how six images (3 cycles) are added, one by one, The images have no momentum so they can be shot out of the present at high speed without creating any recoil. The present and its occupants would be unaware of creating images if it were not for what they see. What we see though is generally misinterpreted because people think they are seeing the present. That is the source of confusion.

Traditional science is based on the proposition that the past was like the present, but earlier.

The belief that the past is an earlier present.

z4Fig 4: This idea smuggles the fourth dimension into science.

The non-existent fourth dimension

The ideas of time and distance are very old and their success in science is not surprising because they provide an explainer with a vast vocabulary and range of ideas from which to construct explanations. Their weakness is that they do not correspond to observations. The real world has only three dimensions and traditional science only succeeds by describing a world that does not exist. The real three-dimensional world is very different from the fictitious world of distance and time.

Bye for now

Thank you for joining me.

Stan Clough

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