Our universe was designed on a Spiralgraph??!! WTF???
More importantly, the dude who came up with idea is more of a surf bum than Spicoli!
Trying to explain complicated math to the lay person is awfully hard. Here they show us a 2 dimensional picture and tell us that it is "a complex, eight-dimensional mathematical pattern" and that it "encapsulates the symmetries of a geometric object that is 57-dimensional and is itself is 248-dimensional."
Er... um... okay. I guess I'll take your word for it. (Even if I'm not exactly sure what all those words mean.)
Nah, my universe is more like this:
The Wikipedia entry on the E8 system has a photograph of a 3D plastic model. I just liked the mandala representation because, well, obviously.
But, I would imagine even a lowly three-dimensional representation can't come close to doing justice to the complexity of E8.
Still, it's beautiful, regardless of the number of dimensions in which it's represented.
Nick@5: yeah, I like the pretty pictures too. I was just commenting on the fact that we all have no idea what we're talking about here. It's not like the photo of the 3D plastic model helps us to understand any better. (a 2D picture of a 3D model of something which is both 8 and 248 dimensional and which "encapsulates the symmetries of a geometric object that is 57-dimensional". Um... huh?)
For those of us confused by multi-dimensional ideas I would recomend watching "Cosmos" by Carl Sagan. There is one episode where he describes dimensions beyond just the three we can see.
That was a great episode! I think it was about a two dimensional creature getting swept up in a three dimensional world.
I can almost hear "Popcorn" now.
@9, it is kinda cheesy but makes the point. I liked when he cut the apple in half and dipped it in ink to show what a 2 dimensional world would see of a 3 dimensional object.
There is no such thing as a universe.
Ok, who took my pens?
If his theory is correct, then the proper way to visualize E8 is to look out the window.
3D vs. 2D model of E8 illustrated perfectly.
That picture of the universe looks like the cover of Hissing Fauna: Are You the Destroyer?
@15 that photo works very well. Thanks.
The weirdest part is that at the beginning of the story they say that the theory requires only 3 spatial and one time dimension, and then goes on to discuss the elaborately-dimensioned E8 without any attempt to reconcile the two.
Recommended reading: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
That's fine if yer just gonna crib stuff from Mefi. But PLEASE don't link to the guy-with-tree-hands thing. I hope I live long enough to forget ever seeing that. Don't say you weren't warned.
E8 in motion:
Oh. now that was cool.
Ooooo. Thank you.
Now THAT makes math interesting. Cool link.
@15 & @19:
Thanks, those were great.
THE UNIVERSE ROCKS.
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