Sunday, 30 July 2017
"All Possible Dimensions"
bodies extend through four dimensions (an instantaneous cube is impossible);
time is the fourth dimension;
only our dimensionless, immaterial minds move along that dimension;
but his Time Machine can accelerate along that dimension (here he contradicts himself).
I have argued against the Time Traveller's account here.
An instructor at the Time Patrol Academy informs recruits that:
travel into the past "'...requires infinitely discontinuous functions for its mathematical description...[and]...involves infinite-valued relationships in a continuum of 4N dimensions, where N is the total number of particles in the universe.'"
-Poul Anderson, "Time Patrol" IN Anderson, Time Patrol (Riverdale, NY, 2006), pp. 1-53 AT p. 9.
Anderson updates the sf rationale for time travel! And there is a big difference between four and 4N dimensions!
Despite his limitation to only four dimensions, the Time Traveller worries that, if his vehicle occupies the same space as another object, then the resultant explosion will:
"...blow myself and my apparatus out of all possible dimensions - into the Unknown."
-HG Wells, The Time Machine (London, 1973), Chapter 4, p. 26.
Surely an explosion would merely destroy the Machine? But I am interested in his references to "all possible dimensions" and to an "Unknown" beyond them. These imply other story possibilities. When the Doctor's vehicle occupied the same space as another time machine, both exploded but then reappeared on a blank TV screen where the time travellers met Chronos, the god of time. The Doctor, like several of Poul Anderson's characters, is a successor of Wells' Time Traveller.