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Has any actual work been done on the idea of traveling to higher dimensions, as a shortcut through space? Plenty of sci-fi books use this concept, but I want to know if there is any research being conducted on this concept. (I'm not talking about all of the warp drive research.)

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  • $\begingroup$ I assume by "warp drive" you mean Alcubierre's idea of a warped bubble of space, and variants of that? $\endgroup$ May 18, 2016 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it is commonly mistaken with a hyperdrive $\endgroup$ May 18, 2016 at 23:01
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    $\begingroup$ It turns out that by moving through a 4th timelike dimension it is possible to travel arbitrary distances in 3-dimensional space! (Controlling the magnitude and sign of the 4th velocity term turns out to be problematic though.) $\endgroup$ May 18, 2016 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ NASA spends money (fortunately, a small amount of money) on "beyond the mainstream" notions (aka crackpot). This falls in that category. $\endgroup$ May 19, 2016 at 0:19
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    $\begingroup$ I've been thinking a lot about this subject lately. M-Theory postulates a number of additional dimensions in spacetime, including an extra time dimension. The additional spatial dimensions are usually considered to be so tightly curled up that they are not directly observable. $\endgroup$ May 19, 2016 at 14:16

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Imagine two parallel lines. You are a line segment on the lower line, and your perception is completely limited to your line. All objects you are aware of are oriented along the line. You theorize there might be a higher spatial dimension and that there might be another line above you in this second dimension. You would like to construct a bridge to the other line, but you have a problem. In order to bridge the two lines, you have to already have a two dimensional object: an angle. Without an angle, you cannot create a bridge between the two lines. No one has ever observed an angle, and no method to create an angle is known.

This is the problem we are facing with the proposition of hyperspace. No one has ever observed another spatial dimension. We don't know how to access hyperspace, if it exists.

See: Brane cosmology - Wikipedia

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    $\begingroup$ "No one has ever observed another spatial dimension..." I did once, but that was with some "assistance" during my heady undergraduate "travels". $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Dec 2, 2021 at 23:55

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