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Does the fourth dimension have a practical use in our lives? Has anyone ever used the fourth dimension to solve a problem?

The fourth dimension is part of our lives whether we like it or not. The fourth dimension is the passage of time. When you make a graph of position vs. time, you have used the fourth dimension. Because our senses can only interact with one point on the fourth dimension (the time we call "now"), we usually don't notice it.

Using the fourth dimension as it works in Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity is a little more involved. This is because passage of time can be affected by speed, if speed gets close to the speed of light (three hundred million meters per second, or three million footbal fields per second). For most of day-to-day life, the fourth dimension is just the clock ticking. Using it as a dimension has been used quite a bit with particles traveling near the speed of light as they travel from other stars. It is also important inside particle accelerators (like at Argonne National Laboratory).

Kenneth Mellendorf

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