Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I was thinking about tesseracts, and the idea that something that is small on the outside can be very big on the inside. My memory may be faulty on this, but I recall an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise where they found a small starship and brought it inside the Enterprise for study. When they climbed inside, the ship was bigger on the inside than on the outside.
Sadly, a visit to the Star Trek database found no such episode, but I did spot a clever reference to Coxeter's book on polytopes. Which I only knew about from a reference about hypercubes on this math site.
But the point remains that some things are bigger on the inside than the outside. For instance, a book. Physically, a book may be a small thing you can hold in one hand, but inside there may be entire worlds and cultures and dozens of interesting characters and a massive sweep of history.
Or a computer. Its hard drive may hold every album/cd/song you've ever bought. And all your pictures. And whatever you've written or composed. USB/thumb drives/memory sticks take this to the extreme.
This does not, however, make these things any less valuable. Like Yoda said, "Size matters not."
(please note the image is from wikipedia.)