Man shows how the fourth dimension works with mind-bending tesseract video

Poppy Bilderbeck

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Man shows how the fourth dimension works with mind-bending tesseract video

Featured Image Credit: Leios Labs / YouTube / Marvel

People are flocking to social media in bamboozlement over a YouTuber's explanation on how you rotate in four dimensions.

Try not to go cross-eyed or descend into a deep, dark pit of confusion:

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There's a reason I gave up physics at the age of 16 - I'm baffled enough about CeeLo Green being the same person as Gnarls Barkley that I simply don't have the mental capacity for much more, let alone anything scientific.

However, if you are interested in the greater and far more intellectually superior questions of life - like how you rotate in four dimensions - then a YouTuber has come to your rescue.

While many of us are spending our days fretting about remembering to pick up bread from the supermarket or trying desperately to understand why we failed to bring an umbrella out with us when we knew the forecast was rain, the creator behind YouTube channel Leios Labs has been deep in thought about understanding the 4D cube or 'Tesseract' as it's called.

Taking to the platform, the content creator decided to delve into how a four-dimensional cube rotates along 'both the X,Y and Z W planes simultaneously'.

My IQ is still simply not high enough to understand what's going on, but see if you can give it a go.

A tesseract is the four-dimensional analogue of the cube. Credit: Science Photo Library/ Alamy Stock Photo
A tesseract is the four-dimensional analogue of the cube. Credit: Science Photo Library/ Alamy Stock Photo

In order to understand how you rotate in four dimensions, Leios Labs' video simulates the Tesseract, however, the creator explains the visualisation is not four-dimensional but 'is a representation of four dimensions in three dimensions and is then rendered on a two dimensional screen'.

"What does this mean?" the creator asks - a question I myself am very much asking too.

They continue: "Well, let's take a cube. It's a perfectly fine 3D object, I mean it's no four-dimensional cube or anything, but it'll do for now. We can represent this cube as a series of planes, or cross-sections, cut along the X,Y or Z axes.

"Obviously, the 2D planes are not actually 3D cubes, rather they are representations of 3D objects in a 2D space.

"If we take two planes, one and Z equals negative 0.5 and another and Z equals positive 0.5 and connect these two planes with lines that represent all other possible planes along that axis, we once again see a cube. This is kind of the visualisation we'll be doing for our 4D Tesseract."

The diagram starts with a cube but quickly grows a whole lot more complicated. Credit: Leios Labs/ YouTube
The diagram starts with a cube but quickly grows a whole lot more complicated. Credit: Leios Labs/ YouTube

After a whole load of equations and scaling, Leios Labs gives a representation which is 'as close as we're going to get' to a 4D cube.

The creator then goes on to begin rotating the cube along various planes, including a 'double rotation' which 'finally replicates the animation on Wikipedia'.

However, there's also stereographic projections to consider, of course.

But, the long and short of it is to create this tesseract, you must 'divide every element of the matrix by LW' which means 'location of light' and the 'position of the part we are projecting'.

The word 'Matrix' is mentioned so many times I begin to feel like maybe I am, in fact, in the movie.

But thankfully, other viewers of the video have been left feeling equally as baffled.

Many viewers were extremely grateful for Leios Labs' explanation, but others remained baffled. Credit: Leios Labs/ YouTube
Many viewers were extremely grateful for Leios Labs' explanation, but others remained baffled. Credit: Leios Labs/ YouTube

One user wrote: "you show me a 4D object in 3D world on my 2D screen and I try to understand this with my 1D brain."

"Trying to explain the 4th dimension is like explaining colours to a person blind since birth. There's no way to actually visualise is correctly," another said.

A third commented: "'The obvious answer is to take a 3x4 matrix and multiply by that.' Ah yes, just what I was thinking."

And a final resolved: "I played myself thinking I was smart enough to watch this video."

Topics: News, YouTube, Science, Social Media, Viral

Poppy Bilderbeck
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