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Marc Séguin: on 9/12/14 at 1:17am UTC, wrote Emily, I am glad to see that your great video about the fourth dimension...

William De Rocco: on 9/11/14 at 14:44pm UTC, wrote A great video, Emily! It's got a really similar style to ours-- "What is...

Cristinel Stoica: on 9/11/14 at 9:51am UTC, wrote Hi Emily, Nice video, well done and simply explained. Excellent! I am...

Kevin Knuth: on 9/11/14 at 4:03am UTC, wrote Hi Emily I really enjoyed your video. The hand-drawn imagery along with...

Antony Lisi: on 9/11/14 at 1:32am UTC, wrote Charming video! Voted it up. Here's my Higgs Geometry video if you can...

Teresa Mendes: on 9/9/14 at 16:50pm UTC, wrote It seams like our votes are what matters in this contest. So I'm asking...

Kristen Hamilton: on 9/7/14 at 1:32am UTC, wrote Hi Emily, I like this video; you picked an interesting topic. The pace...

Joe Fisher: on 9/2/14 at 14:58pm UTC, wrote Dear Ms. Spencer, Your video was quite enjoyable to watch and I do hope...


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July 16, 2020

CATEGORY: Show Me the Physics! Video Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: What is the Fourth Dimension? by Emily Jane Spencer [refresh]
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Emily Spencer wrote on Aug. 26, 2014 @ 16:01 GMT
Video Image

Video URL

Video Description

This video provides a simple and fun introduction to the fourth spatial dimension.

Video Creator Bio

I am a high school senior interested in theoretical astrophysics and cosmology. I am spending my senior year teaching a cosmology class I designed myself at my high school.

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Nidahl Haddad wrote on Aug. 30, 2014 @ 01:47 GMT
Hi Emily!

What a fun video. I thought the narration was very lucid. I particularly like the part about the 2D characters encountering a 3D strawberry. Was a great use of the visual medium to employ both "2D" animation and "3D" live-action to elaborate this concept.

I'm interested in the hypercube but cant quite wrap my head around it (I guess that is the point since I can only perceive 3D space). I struggle to imagine what a 3D cross-section of a 4D object would look like. Say we were to witness a 4D cube passing through our 3D space, would we simply see a 3D cube?

Then there is this... tesseract animation

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Emily Spencer replied on Aug. 30, 2014 @ 19:00 GMT
Hypercubes are hard to visualize but there are a couple different ways you can try and diagram them in 3d, that animation being one of them. Here is a link to a website I think does a pretty good job of explaining hypercubes. To answer your question a 3d cube is a type of cross-section of a hypercube but it can look a bit different too because the corners and edges mean you can come at it from many different angles.

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Nidahl Haddad replied on Aug. 31, 2014 @ 17:32 GMT
Ah. Thank you for the link. That helps a bit

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Member Marc Séguin wrote on Aug. 30, 2014 @ 03:43 GMT

Thank you for a very fresh video! I liked the MinutePhysics-like hand-drawn look, and it is cool to see a high school student taking the time to convey the fun of physics to the world!

May I make a few suggestions if you ever do an updated version or a follow-up? YouTube viewers are usually impatient and will click away if your video doesn't instantly grab their attention, so a 20-second title intro, like you have, might be a bit too long. On a more sciencey note, when your draw your 2-D Jane and Tom, you should put their mouths and eyes on the side of their head, not in the middle... since they are 2-D creatures, they cannot see or eat the way you drew them! :):)

I hope your video does well in this competition!


P.S. If you have a chance to view, comment and vote on my trilogy of videos entitled "This Is Physics" --- where I try to convey the "fun of physics" by focusing on some of the greatest moments of its history --- it would be quite appreciated!

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Gino Knodel wrote on Sep. 1, 2014 @ 21:22 GMT
This was a fantastic introduction to higher dimensions. I especially enjoyed your explanation of handedness.

You probably know this, but the kind of curvature you mention in your video is actually "extrinsic curvature", which is roughly the way you can curl up your lower-dimensional world in a higher-dimensional space. Most of the time, when we talk about "curvature" in cosmology, we mean intrinsic curvature. That's the kind of curvature that massive objects create in their surrounding area, and we can measure by simply observing how objects attract each other. So in your example, even Jane and Tom would be able to detect if their world had intrinsic curvature. That said, there really isn't anything wrong with your explanation, and you're doing a great job of connecting a theoretical idea with potential experimental observations.


PS: We would appreciate it if you could find the time to view and rate our own short video, Quantum Harmonies of Gravity , in which we explore the subject of quantum gravity and string theory.

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Joe Fisher wrote on Sep. 2, 2014 @ 14:58 GMT
Dear Ms. Spencer,

Your video was quite enjoyable to watch and I do hope that it does well in the competition. I do have a minor quibble about the content of your video. Please do not take my complaint personally.

The theme of this contest is “Show Me the Physics. You did what every other contributor to this contest did, except me. They have all submitted videos concerning abstract physics.

As I have astutely shown in my realistic video, JOE FISHER’S THEOREM OF INERT LIGHT THE MUSICAL, all surfaces travel at the same constant speed. This means that while you were drawing your stick figures, the surface of the paper you were drawing on, your own surface and the surfaces of every object in the room including the walls, the ceiling and the floor, were all traveling at the same constant speed. They could only do this if there was only one real dimension. If there were three dimensions, the length of a surface would have to travel at a speed that was different than the width of a surface and the depth of a surface.

Joe Fisher

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Kristen Hamilton wrote on Sep. 7, 2014 @ 01:32 GMT
Hi Emily,

I like this video; you picked an interesting topic. The pace could be a little faster, but you did a good job explaining a potentially difficult idea. Aside from what Marc said about the orientation of the faces, I found no inaccuracies. Good video!

By the way, if you could watch and rate my video, "The Cool Physics of Refrigeration," that would be great!



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Teresa Mendes wrote on Sep. 9, 2014 @ 16:50 GMT
It seams like our votes are what matters in this contest.

So I'm asking for your vote. [I don't need to win, just a lot of votes rated 0.5, is enough]

My video says "Physics Needs a Paradigm Shift" but everybody knows that.

The purpose of the video is to recognize that NOW we know what has to be changed. That is what is new.

A paradigm shift means a scientific revolution.

I can't do it alone.

I need you !

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Member Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Sep. 11, 2014 @ 01:32 GMT
Charming video! Voted it up.

Here's my Higgs Geometry video if you can have a look.

It's tricky to present the mathematics of symmetry breaking and particle physics to a popular audience, so I do appreciate feedback on it.

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Member Kevin H Knuth wrote on Sep. 11, 2014 @ 04:03 GMT
Hi Emily

I really enjoyed your video.

The hand-drawn imagery along with the lively music was delightful. Your script was to-the-point and you clearly conveyed the important differences between two and three, and by analogy, the third and fourth dimensions.

I hope that your video does well.



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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Sep. 11, 2014 @ 09:51 GMT
Hi Emily,

Nice video, well done and simply explained. Excellent! I am happy to give you the 10th community vote needed to qualify. If you have time, I would appreciate if you will watch and rate my videos The puzzle of quantum reality and Can a black hole keep a secret?.

Best regards,


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William De Rocco wrote on Sep. 11, 2014 @ 14:44 GMT
A great video, Emily! It's got a really similar style to ours-- "What is Supersymmetry?" (which, by the way, it would be lovely if you could vote for). That being said, a brilliant use of the paper itself to help a viewer conceptualize another spatial dimension. Good luck with your cosmology class!


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Member Marc Séguin wrote on Sep. 12, 2014 @ 01:17 GMT

I am glad to see that your great video about the fourth dimension got at least 10 community votes and has a good chance to be among the top 40 videos that will advance to the finals. Thanks for commenting on part 1 of my trilogy of videos "This Is Physics". Did you have time to leave ratings? I am asking this because the first two parts of my trilogy have already gotten at least 10 community votes, but part 3, "Physics Into Darkness", is still one vote short... Just in case you haven't gotten to rating it, it would be quite appreciated! Here's the direct link:

Physics Into Darkness

Thank you, and good luck in the contest!


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