MadSci Network: Physics

Re: 'Quantum Reality and Subspace' are these real or made for Star Trek?

Date: Fri Sep 15 20:33:33 2000
Posted By: Layne Johnson, Undergraduate
Area of science: Physics
ID: 968198732.Ph

Hello Robbie!

It's nice to get a question from my home town. I grew up in Murray, and graduated from Taylorsville High back in the mid 80's. Go Warriors!

I'm not a Trekkie myself - I prefer the Star Wars universe. But I've seen a few episodes and one or two of the movies. Let's go over the two phrases used in Star Trek, and find out what they really mean.

Quantum Reality - Everything in the universe is made of quantum particles. These particles refuse to cooperate with the laws of physics that Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein gave us. They behave in ways that we can observe and describe, but can't really explain using traditional physics. It could be said that they have their own reality. You can learn about a quantum particle's reality by visiting

Subspace - A phrase that means "below space." I'm not sure how it is used in the Star Trek universe, but I'm guessing subspace is a place outside the four dimensions we live in. Are there other dimensions besides lengh, height, depth, and time? Some of the brightest minds in physics think there must be. They've worked out a theory that explains a lot of mysteries in physics. It's called string theory. However, string theory only makes mathmatical sense if the universe we live in has 10 dimensions! They contend that since their theory works so well to explain things such as the strange wobble in Mercury's orbit around the sun, the theory must be correct and there are six dimensions that are curled up inside themselves. You can read about it at

Take care, Robbie.

Layne Johnson

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