He flew four shuttle missions.
Are there unseen worlds just beyond our reach, beyond the normal laws of physics? Although higher dimensions have historically been the exclusive realm of charlatans, mystics, and science fiction writers, many serious theoretical physicists now believe that higher dimensions not only exist, but may also explain some of the deepest secrets of nature.
Although we stress that there is at present no experimental evidence for higher dimensions, in principle they may solve the ultimate problem in physics: My own fascination with higher dimensions began early in childhood.
One of my happiest childhood memories was crouching next to the pond at the famed Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, mesmerized by the brilliantly colored carp swimming slowly beneath the water lilies. In these quiet moments, I would ask myself a silly question that a only child might ask: My world was beyond their comprehension.
I was intrigued that I could sit only a few inches from the carp, yet we were separated by an immense chasm. An unseen world beyond the pond made no scientific sense. I wondered, how would this appear to the carp?
The strangest of all was the massive creature responsible for this outrage, who did not resemble a fish in the slightest. Shockingly, it had no fins whatsoever, but nevertheless could move without them.
Obviously, the familiar laws of physics no longer applied in this nether world! The Theory of Everything Sometimes I believe that we are like the carp living contently on the bottom of that pond; we live our lives blissfully ignorant of other worlds that might co-exist with us, laughing at any suggestion of parallel universes.
All this has changed rather dramatically in the past few years. The theory of higher dimensional space may now become the central piece in unlocking the origin of the universe. To describe our physical world, with its almost infinite variety of forms, requires entire libraries overflowing with mountains of technical journals and stacks of obscure, learned books.
The ultimate goal of physics, some believe, is to have a single equation or expression from which this colossal volume of information can be derived from first principles. In fact, the superstring theory, which postulates that matter consists of tiny strings vibrating in hyperspace, predicts the precise number of dimensions of space and time: To understand these higher dimensions, we remember that it takes three numbers to locate every object in the universe, from the tip of your nose to the ends of the world.
For example, if you want to meet some friends in Manhattan, you tell them to meet you at the building at the corner of 42nd street and 5th avenue, on the 37th floor. It takes two numbers to locate your position on a map, and one number to specify the distance above the map.
It thus takes three numbers to specify the location of your lunch. If we meet our friends at noon, then it takes four numbers to specify the space and time of the meeting. However, try as we may, it is impossible for our brains to visualize the fourth spatial dimension. Computers, of course, have no problem working in N dimensional space, but spatial dimensions beyond three simply cannot be conceptualized by our feeble brains.
The reason for this unfortunate accident has to do with biology, rather than physics. Human evolution put a premium on being able to visualize objects moving in three dimensions.
There was a selection pressure placed on humans who could dodge lunging saber tooth tigers or hurl a spear at a charging mammoth. Since tigers do not attack us in the fourth spatial dimension, there simply was no advantage in developing a brain with the ability to visualize objects moving in four dimensions.
Meeting a Higher Dimensional Being To understand some of the mind-bending features of higher dimensions, imagine a two-dimensional world, called Flat land after Edwin A.
If one of the Flatlanders becomes lost, we can quickly scan all of Flatland, peering directly inside houses, buildings, and even concealed places. If one of the Flatlanders becomes sick, we can reach directly into their insides and per form surgery, without ever cutting their skin.
If one of the Flatlanders is incarcerated in jail which is a circle enclosing the Flatlander we can simply peel the person off from Flatland into the third dimension and place the Flatlander back somewhere else.
If we become more ambitious and stick our fingers and arms through Flatland, the Flatlanders would only see circles of flesh that hover around them, constantly changing shape and merging into other circles. And lastly, if we fling a Flatlander into our three dimensional world, the Flatlander can only see two dimensional cross sections of our world, i.
If we became lost, a higher dimensional being could scan our entire universe all at once, peering directly into the most tightly sealed hiding places. If we became sick, a higher dimensional being could reach into our insides and perform surgery without ever cutting our skin.
And lastly, if we are flung into hyperspace, we would see a collection of spheres, blobs, and polyhedra which suddenly appear, constantly change shape and color, and then mysteriously disappear.Beth Ford First openly gay woman to become CEO of a Fortune company.
In , Jemison was the first African American woman that was an astronaut training program. After more than a year of training into the astronaut with the title of science mission specialist. It was a job which is responsible for experiment on the space shuttle. The USAF selected Maj. Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., on June 30, , as the first African-American astronaut by any national space program.
The USAF selected Maj. Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., on June 30, , as the first African-American astronaut by any national space program. About AFP. AFP is a global news agency delivering fast, accurate, in-depth coverage of the events shaping our world from conflicts to politics, economics, sports, entertainment and the latest.
The table below presents an abbreviated geologic time scale, with times and events germane to this essay. Please refer to a complete geologic time scale when this one seems inadequate.
On June 30, , the U.S. Air Force selcted Maj. Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. for the Manned Orbiting Laboratory, Authorized in August , a program which envisioned a series of mini-space stations in .