Discovering the Planiverse
The universe we live in has three physical dimensions, a fact that we rarely appreciate because these are the dimensions of our very existence. As the Chinese sage once said, “We don’t know who discovered water, we just know it wasn’t the fish.” As for a two-dimensional universe, does one exist? Could one exist? I am persuaded to answer the second question with a “yes”, based on the experience of actually designing one-or trying to. The result was a book called The Planiverse (1984) that emerged from a curious process involving a kind of teamwork between the imagination and mathematics. What imagination proposed, mathematics would dispose, so to speak. I can therefore claim to have discovered a two-dimensional universe as much as I have imagined one.