Sometimes the imagination gets ahead of reality in
Untying the Knots in a Piece of String
When modern physicist begin their tale,
Of mysteries so small, they’re beyond the pale,
Seeking out a forth dimension,
As tho it never existed before; in imagination.
There are dimensions, more that one,
To be counted on fingers and the thumb.
First comes the easy ones if you please,
Described as x and y and z.
Next the senses, not to be outdone,
Touch, sight, sound with smell and taste rolled into one.
That adds up to seven by my count,
And there are more to add to the amount.
Consult us now the Rev. Dodgson,
For a treatise on illumination.
Silvered glass came into play
As he amused his wards on a sunny day.
The Children admired themselves in a reflecting source.
It was a mirror image that amused them; of course.
When illuminated from all around,
Their images did rebound.
But from a single, point source of light
There’s no reflection. Only their shadow is in sight.
They’ve lost their third dimension.
Sense you now the rising tension?
Approaching very near the mirror’s face,
Their shadows disappeared without a trace.
Did their shadows emerge on the other side?
Leading, images as they grow tall, fat and wide.
Into another world, of the looking glass,
Is it possible they did pass?
A mystery land of new dimension(s)
With new sounds, smells and feels to mention.
Consider first a sound that’s emitted,
Passing through, absorbed or just reflected?
The smell of rose and garlic pure.
Passed through, reflected or trapped, I’m not so sure.
Consider next temperatures; both hot and cold.
Touch the surface if you’re bold.
That’s a dimension which brings to mind,
Maxwell’s Demon in like kind.
Perhaps in the mirror he does dwell,
Passing those who meet his challenge, very well.
He lives in that Lilliputian world and all,
That’s envisioned by String Theory Physicists.
Use your Hadron Collider as a measuring stick.
Adjust mirrors and magnifying glasses, that’s the trick.
But remember the science of the elite and renown,
Must pass before the likes of Sam Butler and Thomas Browne.
In Butler’s writing(2) , he does relate,
How a little one doomed the fate,
Of Scientist large and small,
Who reasoned not so well at all.
They took to heart and put to paper,
What they did imagine to be most proper.
T’was a beast of great dimension,
That moved about, without suspension.
Marvels of observations they had made,
Things unimagined by de Sade.
Describing what they did behold,
To be published in Transactions we are told.
But, Footboys (now known as grad students or post-doc) ,
Around the scientific instrument did flock,
And found that with proper magnification,
Things looked small or great, depending upon position.
Then came Sir Thomas Browne(3) .
Took to task those of renown.
Pointed out for all to see,
The fallacies of that, which was “assumed” to be.
Geese that from trees were born,
Animals most forlorn,
Creatures large and small, and we might add,
Noses growing on a shoulder pad.
All these and more, Sir Thomas put to rout,
When true knowledge came about.
Which brings us back to this very day,
The glam theory in physics may have its sway(?)
But when you toy with a piece of string
Spending great sums for the results you bring.
Measuring gravity’s force on particles small
It’s possible that Dodgson was right after all.
So dear Mathematicians and Scientist, Let us reflect,
(No pun intended) but as you suspect,
Dimensions of more than three,
Do exist, if only in the minds of such as wee.