Every once in a while, a scientist comes along who leaves an impression on the field so strong that all of the subsequent work on uses their results as a starting point, as a foundation. Einstein did that with relativity; Dirac did that with relativistic quantum mechanics; even Newton did that with mechanics.

Image credit: Claude Lovelace with Parakeet (courtesy of Rutgers), via http://www.physics.rutgers.edu/people/images/Lovelace_H.jpg.

Image credit: Claude Lovelace with Parakeet (courtesy of Rutgers), via http://www.physics.rutgers.edu/people/images/Lovelace_H.jpg.

But what about when the person who does that is someone you’ve never heard of? Thanks to our new writer Paul Halpern, that story is about to come to light.

Go learn the story of Claud Lovelace, the person who brought theoretical physics beyond four dimensions and firmly into higher-dimensional space!


  1. #1 Eric M. Berg
    August 5, 2014

    The article says ” (In addition to scholarly papers about tachyons, Benford also wrote a short story called the “Tachyonic Anti-telephone” about causality violations through backwards-in-time communication.)”

    Benford wrote an entire book (Timescape) based on this premise. It won the Nebula award for best novel in 1980.

  2. #2 BruceK
    Manchester, England
    August 5, 2014

    Gregory Benford wrote a novel about communication across time as well, called (IIRC) ‘Timescape’.

  3. #3 Paul Halpern
    August 5, 2014

    Yes, of course, Benford wrote Timescape too with the premise of backward communication in time. Thanks, Eric & Bruce for pointing that out. I mentioned the earlier story because it was published closer in time to the period discussed in the article.

  4. #4 Jerrold Kodish
    Maryland, US
    August 5, 2014

    I have a short Amazon book “The Mental Creation of Time”. It’s a relationist (i.e., all physical events are more fundamental than time) argument that ultimately time is an emergent dimension of mind. Cures the block-univ. delusion. Please go and see the summary.

  5. #5 Sinisa Lazarek
    August 6, 2014

    Have a question about no. dimensions. Having not dug too deep in string theory, last I heard, it was “agreed” on 10 or 10+1 dimensions. I really can’t remember which two solutions were in question. It was some 2-3 years ago.

    Having said that, and article pointing at unity at 26 dimensions, what is the current view today? 10-11 or 26. Do 10-11th solution suffer from lack of unity, or was some advancement made to reduce 26 to 10-11?

  6. #6 eric
    August 6, 2014

    @5 – from Ethan’s article, it appears that modern string theory is trying to resolve a different problem than Lovelace was trying to resolve. So it was 26 needed for Lovelace’s problem (which has since been solved by the discovery of quarks, rendering a 26-dimensional space unnecessary), and 10-11 needed for modern string theory.

  7. #7 Sinisa Lazarek
    August 6, 2014

    It’s actually Mr Paul’s article :) But I understand what you’re saying, that makes sense. Thanx :)

  8. #8 Dr Alok Bhattacharyya
    London, UK
    August 7, 2014

    I really liked the article. It nicely covered the spiritual desire to have a unified theory and the necessity to go beyond what is just readily seen. The unified theory may not bring any ready comercial use, but it needs to be looked for.