Kelly Stride

Date of Award


Document Type



Computing, Mathematics and Physics


Picture several men chained in a cave, so that they have never seen the light of day. In fact, the only things that they have ever known are the shadows picture on the cave wall in front of him. Behind these men is a fire, stationed so that these men can still only see the shadow of the fire on the wall in front of him. They can hear each other and can hear the sounds bouncing off the walls all around them, but they know nothing other than the sight of the shadows on the wall in front of them. This scenario is called Plato’s allegory. It is logical to conclude from here that these men, these prisoners, simply think that they are their own shadows. While reality appears to be one thing to these men, there is in fact a whole other dimension to which they have not seen. Reality as they know it does not allow for these men to know anything other than shadows (The Fourth Dimension: A Guided Tour of the Higher Universes 8-9). This begs the question, is there a reality out there to which we are not capable of seeing? Can there be a dimension higher than the three dimensions we think we know? There are several different theories of higher dimensions, including time as the fourth dimension, a spatial fourth dimension, and parallel universes comprising the fourth dimension.