a universe coexistent with our own, but which cannot be perceived or accessed by ordinary means and which often possesses different physical laws; cf. alternate world n., parallel universe n., plane n.
To put the thing in technical language, the curious inversion of Plattner’s right and left sides is proof that he has moved out of our space into what is called the Fourth Dimension, and that he has returned again to our world.
I heard the nature of the Fourth Dimension—heard that it was an inhabited plane—invisible to our eyes, but omnipresent; heard that I had seen it when Bell Harry had reeled before my eyes.
And now he imagines himself in some sort of scientific romance and out of our world altogether. In another dimension.
The second chapter tells how he managed to see into an alien dimension.
There was also another race on Earth which was not human but equivalent in every way to man, though utterly different from mankind in its aims, makeup and development. I could not quite make them out as they were absolutely beyond my experience. But I was told that there were many more such races in the universe, though in other dimensions.
And there were those who whispered of even stranger blood (if one could properly call it blood) and a monstrous linkage with the swart, Protean spawn that had come down with Tsathoggua from elder worlds and exterior dimensions where physiology and geometry had both assumed an altogether inverse trend of development.
One might, for example, pass into a timeless dimension and emerge at some remote period of the earth’s history as young as before.
He concluded, ‘Where am I then? In another dimension?’ His interlocutor winced. ‘You're a smart lad but don’t use “dimension” in that pseudo-scientific sense! Call it another continuum.’ ‘All right, another continuum. On a planet that occupies the same space as ours, only in this other plane—’ ‘Not “plane”—that’s occultism. Continuum.’ ‘All right, continuum, that goes around its sun at the same speed as ours.’ ‘You're mostly right, except there’s no exact correspondence between Antichthon and Earth. Antichthon is actually somewhat smaller than the Earth and takes a longer radius. I can’t explain it to you now but it’s like those formulae for the location of an electron—they only tell you where it’s most likely to be. So the connections between Earth and Antichthon are valid even though they don’t coincide literally. Actually Antichthon is in the same continuum as Earth but at the other end, where the universe curves back on itself.’
‘Why does he flicker like that?’ ‘Because he travels in several dimensions, of which this is only one. He visits the others constantly, thus at no time is he fully here.’
‘Magrathea is a gateway back to our own dimension,’ put in Benjy.
Philosophers of a later, more rationalistic era elaborated this into a theory of parallel universes. My own researches—you will understand that my condition has made me especially interested in the theory of dimensions, the subtler aspects of geometry—my own researches have demonstrated the possibility of transference between these different spaces.
The integrity of the body is preserved through a dimension we can’t sense.
‘Though we journey through different dimensions, like you I am a traveller across this dry and waterless place,’ said the greenperson.
The bottle which held the prisoner sat in Bay 20, at the focus of the device by which Karring closed the escape route through dimensions.
A girl is kidnapped on her wedding day by a telepathic criminal who has travelled from a parallel dimension to find her, because she is identical to his lost love in his own world.
H. G. Wells
Last modified 2021-03-16 09:08:34
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.