What is the reason that we cannot perceive more than 3 dimensions with our senses?


closed as unclear what you're asking by John Rennie, DarenW, jinawee, tpg2114, joshphysics Dec 11 '13 at 19:38

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  • $\begingroup$ Possibly because there are only three (macroscopic) spatial dimensions, so there are no other dimensions to sense. In any case this is an inappropriate question for this forum as any answers will inevitably be speculative. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Dec 11 '13 at 18:23
  • $\begingroup$ Lets assume we are pacmans on a paper. We see only two dimensions (like X and y). Z is unreachable. If you could tear the paper and glue it to another paper, we pacmans could travel to that another paper (another dimension, Z=Z+1 => new paper => new universe) $\endgroup$ – huseyin tugrul buyukisik Dec 11 '13 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ But time can be another dimension. It can flow fast or slow. That means, we pacmans can move on a paper that is elastic so some parts of paper will be harder to travel while some parts are quicker. (stretched parts will be slow to travel on, compressed parts will be fast to travel on) Also if you stretch the paper on X dimension, only X-travel will be slow eror faster than before. $\endgroup$ – huseyin tugrul buyukisik Dec 11 '13 at 18:27
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    $\begingroup$ Speak for yourself. I can see 5 dimensions when I want to. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Dec 11 '13 at 18:45

We can perceive more than three dimensions; in physics the world in which we live is modeled as space-time, a four-dimensional place. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I have the ability to perceive the passage of time.

One might also reasonably argue that we can perceive more than three dimensions in other physical contexts as well; it comes down to semantics.

For example, the phase space of a rigid body in classical mechanics is six-dimensional, and we can certainly watch rigid bodies move around, so perhaps one would call that "perceiving" more than three dimensions.

As another example, states of quantum systems are often modeled as being elements of infinite-dimensional spaces (Hilbert spaces), and we observe quantum systems all the time, so perhaps one would call that "perceiving" more than three dimensions.

In short, it all depends on what you mean by "perceive".

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    $\begingroup$ Your real name is "Hilbert," ain't it? :-) $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Dec 11 '13 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft wait, why? $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Dec 11 '13 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Jan - look up "Hilbert Space" $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Dec 11 '13 at 18:47

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