WORLDLY WHYS

Someone posted this link on Twitter this morning and I’m kinda happy they did because while the main story didn’t float my boat to any great degree (and I do not intend investing $US99 and a gob of spit to find out how Neanderthal I am!), the ‘post-script’ question and answer did interest me. Over time I have watched a bunch of ‘Discovery Channel’ documentaries on various aspects of ‘Space, the Universe and Everything Else’ and have had a question in my mind for a looong time. “Why are (almost) all visual illustrations and explanations of space stuff two dimensional?”

Surely ‘space’ is the most 3 dimensional thing there is (even though they are trying to explain more dimensional solutions more and more!) and how celestial bodies interact with other celestial bodies has to be 3 dimensional- gravity seems to work in all directions towards a point; the universe is apparently expanding with increasing speed in all directions; black holes suck things into themselves from all directions, it doesn’t matter in which direction we star-gaze but we see stars in all directions, and so on, and on and on!!

So why is it that with all the computing power our scientists have available to them they can’t explain space stuff in a more dimensional way than the top of a table, or a hole in the top of a table, or… They also use the term ‘parallel universes’ and parallel paints a 2 dimensional picture for me.

My next job should perhaps be an email to science@listener.co.nz and ask them the question.

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