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Article Title: Spiritual hyperplane


Article Summary

Main Idea: How the idea of four dimensions made its way from occult to science

The article talks about Zollner, a German physicist, studied the powers of Slade, an occultist. He designed to a test to see whether his so called powers were real and found that they were! He was convinced that there is a fourth dimension that most people cannot access but a few people with the right kind of training could reach into it and perform miraculous feats. A similar hypothesis was put forward in ‘The Unseen Universe’, a book by Balfour Stewart and Peter Guthrie Tait. Inspired by earlier readings of Kant and Gauss, Zollner decided to study the fourth dimension and was shunned by many and applauded by a few because of it. However, Slade was later put on trial for fraud and was cleverly caught by Lankester, a student of Thomas Huxley. The next major development in this field was the book Flatland, which spoke of a 2D square troubled with the knowledge of a 3D world he catches a glimpse of. Charles Hinton wrote of how to visualize tesseracts. Einstein’s papers on relativity brought the idea of higher dimensions into the realm of science. He resisted the idea of a space-time dimension for a few years but ultimately accepted it and came up with a more elegant theory. To the non-mathematician, four dimensions still seemed like an occult idea and fiction toyed with it in H.P. Lovecraft’s books or Twilight Zone, the TV show.


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Words to learn from this Article:

Rigorous: Rigidly accurate; allowing no deviation from a standard

Spiritualist: Of or relating to or connected with spiritualism

Treatise: A formal exposition

Summoning: Calling up supposed supernatural forces by spells and incantations

Perceive: To become aware of through the senses

Audacious: Invulnerable to fear or intimidation

Hitherto: Used in negative statement to describe a situation that has existed up to this point or up to the present time

Connotation: An idea that is implied or suggested

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