Concepts About Geometry in The Time Machine


A modern recreation of The Time Machine. From http://img5.allocine.fr/acmedia/medias/nmedia/00/02/42/21/time1.jpg
Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was a British author, specially dedicated to the science fiction genre. He was a scientific visionary and social prophet. One of the most widely read writers of his generation, he explored the new territory of science fiction and crusaded for a new social order in more than forty-four novels and social and historical books.
His childhood fascination with science found expression in The Time Machine (1895), the first of several enormously popular novels of scientific mythmaking, including The Invisible Man (1897) and The War of the Worlds (1898).


The Time Machine in the 1960´s movie. From Wikipedia.org


This is the Time Traveller’s explanation about his “innovative” concepts on geometry (Bantam Books, p.3, 1991). Let us think about the idea applied to urban changes in time:
“Really, this is what is meant by the Fourth Dimension, though some people who talk about the Fourth Dimension do not know they mean it. It is only another way of looking at Time. There is no difference between Time and any of the three dimensions of Space except that our consciousness moves along it. But some foolish people have got hold of the wrong side of the idea. You have all heard what they have to say about this Fourth Dimension?”
“ I have not,” said the Provincial Mayor.
“ It is simply this. That Space, as our mathematicians have it, is spoken of as having three dimensions, which one may call Length, Breadth, and Thickness, and is always definable by reference to three planes, each at right angles to the others. But some philosophical people have been asking why three dimensions particularly –why not another direction at right angles to the other three?- and have even tried to construct a Four dimension geometry. …You know how on a flat surface, which has only two dimensions, we can represent a figure of a three dimensional solid, and similarly they think that by models of three dimensions they could represent one of four –if they could master the perspective of the thing. See?………
“Well, I do not mind telling you I have been at work upon this geometry of Four Dimensions for some time. Some of my results are curious. For instance, here is a portrait of a man at eight years old, another at fifteen, another at seventeen, another at twenty three, and so on. All these are evidently sections, as it were, three Dimensional representations of his Four Dimensioned being, which is a fixed an unalterable thing.”
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