For your perusal, here’s a handy pictorial reference to the vast, terrifying vistas of space-time
According to superstring theory, there are at least ten dimensions in the universe (M-theory actually suggests that there are 11 dimensions to spacetime; bosonic string theories suggest 26 dimensions).
That’s a bit of a mind-boggler: Most people understand the basic three dimensions, and many know that the fourth dimension is probably time. But what, exactly, are the dimensions beyond those?
Inspired by a recent article at Phys.org that broke down the main ten; here’s a handy visual guide to orienting yourself to superstring theory and your place in the infinite, neverending mindf*ck we call “reality.”
The First Dimension: Length
The first dimension is length, or x-axis—a straight line, with no other characteristics.
The Second Dimension: Height
Height, or y-axis, can be added to the length to produce a two-dimensional object, such as a triangle or square.
The Third Dimension: Depth
Depth, or z-axis, can be added to the previous two dimensions to produce objects that have volume, like a cube, pyramid, or sphere. This is the end of the dimensions that are directly physically perceptible by human beings. All dimensions beyond the third are theoretical.
The Fourth Dimension: Time
The fourth dimension is the position in time occupied by a three-dimensional object. (Image via.)
The Fifth Dimension: Possible Worlds
The fifth dimension is a world slightly different than ours, from which we could measure similarities and differences to our own world. (Image via.)
The Sixth Dimension: A Plane of All Possible Worlds With the Same Start Conditions
The sixth dimension is a plane containing all possible universes with the same start conditions as ours; i.e., the Big Bang.
The Seventh Dimension: A Plane of All Possible Worlds With Different Start Conditions
The seventh dimension expands upon the sixth by plotting all possible worlds that begin with different start conditions.
The Eighth Dimension: A Plane of All Possible Worlds, Each With Different Start Conditions, Each Branching Out Infinitely
Are you dizzy yet? (OK, OK, look, there’s a point beyond which the mind of humanity is unable to cognize without resorting to rave flyer graphics.) (Image via.)
The Ninth Dimension: All Possible Worlds, Starting With All Possible Start Conditions and Laws of Physics
In each of these dimensions, which represent all possible start conditions, the laws of physics are all completely different. (Image via.)
The Tenth Dimension: Infinite Possibilities
At this level of complexity, everything that is possible and imaginable exists. Even a world in which you have no student loans.