Posts tagged ‘4d perception’

June 4, 2012

4-Dimensional Perspective

“I can see it all! Agh! Make it stop! Make it stop!!” — Nazi Scientist on a very tight Shegule.

Four dimensional sight is usually considered out of the range of perception, as it is usually assumed that the world around us is primarily composed in three main dimensions. While I do not dispute this, I have come to believe that this belief might not be as accurate as some would like to believe. A plane of motion can be visualized as an arrow moving in some standard direction. A perfect example of this is the cartesian coordinate plane, where there are two planes of motion. The planes of motion, however, are not true standard planes of motion, but instead derive their properties through their relationship with the origin point of the cartesian coordinate system. In other words, any plane of motion must be considered with relation to a fixed point, and here lies the interesting property about dimensional perception.

It is hard to visualize, but not impossible, so bear withe me. If a camera with a single pixel viewfinder was attached to a single point, and restricted in its scope so that it was unable to swivel, it’s perception of the world function quite similiar to that of a one dimensional world. The pixel would percieve light when a light source entered it, and would percieve darkness when something moved in front of the camera, thus blocking the light source. To the perspective of the camera, point like objects would wink in and out of existence, and the camera would have no knowledge of any other plane of motion.

Now, if it is imagined that a single camera were attached to a single focal point, but was also allowed to pivot, then its perception of reality would undergo a stark shift. A singular pivoting camera is precisely the type of perception that we have come to expect from standard movies: that of a two dimensional plane. As a result, it is easy to see how standard cameras can percieve the world in two dimensions.

Even more familiar to the human mind is the three dimensional perception created through bi-focal vision. It essentially works like this: Two lenses situated in a parrallel position from each other, both of which are able to pivot to a certain degree. The typical motions of left and right scanning are available to both lenses, but an additional motion is percieved by focusing on points that are between the focal distance of the eyes. In such a case, the degree to which each lense pivots inward informs the brain of the degree of depth the object focused on possesses. And thus, a third plane of motion becomes available to the perceptor, depth as well as the traditional up-down and left-right motions.

So how would four dimensional perception be achieved. Well, before the basic setup is described, it is worth mentioning that the required position of the lenses, while certainly physically possible, is probably biologically impossible, by which I mean that any organism with the required positions of focal points with respect to their eyes would probably have a very poor, if not useless, utilization of sight, for reasons that will become apparent. But the basic setup goes something like this: Thre lenses arranged in the same structure as the vertices of an equilateral triangle, and then allowed to pivot freely, would enable any object to travel in four different planes of motion relative to the lenses.

To explain, there would be three different planes of motion, each one defined by an object moving along a straightforward axis away from one lense and directly between the two other lenses. Then would exist a fourth axis of motion, defined by an object moving away from all three of the lenses in parallel. This might be hard to visualize, so I will present a pictorial diagram to explain:

Diagram of Four dimensional Perspective

This diagram illustrates the planes of motion relative to a four dimensional perspective.

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