Wednesday, March 23, 2011

K-Nex, Tesseract, The Four Dimensional HyperCube

I have after much trial and tribulation, discovered that it is impossible to construct a 3d representation of a tesseract (4 dimensional hyper cube) out of knex,
I have been trying for over an hour however there is no way to build two cubes that have the correct size ratio, so now I am stuck with a cube inside a cube that is not a tesseract...

I called my friend for help with this and his response was "what is a tesseract" as many people may have first questioned so I figured, time to enlighten the blog.

The most common way of explaining it is flatland as told by the legendary Carl Sagan, Youtube link after the break.

It is a good example to explain alternate dimensions.

A tesseract is a 4 Dimensional version of a cube, So Imagine you have a straight line, to make a square you extend the line by right angles from itself, furthermore to make a cube you extend a square at right angles too itself, to make a 4d hypercube you extend a cube at right angles from itself, however since we ourselves are 3D we cannot see the new direction that a 4d cube would take, however we can see a projection of it in 3d much like we can see a projection of a cube in 2d.

Click the link for the animated version.

Originally when you see this image you may be very confused as too what is going on, well this is what a 4D image looks like when it rotates in 3D, of course even more confusing is because it is rotating in 2D but it is similar.
Here is it rotating from another perspective.

The interesting thing is that if you could see in 4 dimensions but be in a 3D world, you would have a sort of X-Ray vision, you could see inside everything at a level we cannot understand..

Unfortunatly, I cannot make a tesseract out of K-Nex too show off to my science buddies.. but I have a set of Knex cubes that I can hold in the right shape.

Hit the video to see Carl Sagans explanation!


  1. Sweet post.
    Have you ever heard of the band Tesseract? Sweet stuff

  2. Wow, that 4d cube blew my mind!!!

  3. Blows my mind. I could sit here watching it for hours.

  4. Never heard of the band but im listening too them now..

    Carl Sagan always blows my mind, this will not be the last time he is referenced in this blog.

    N-Dimensional Euclidean Geometry is always fascinating.. if you are into that sort of thing..

    The tesseract is my favorite shape, but there are infinite dimensional hypercubes when talking in sense of N-Dimensional Euclidean Geometry (God thats a mouthful)


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