Twisted Link


After reading the Martin Gardner book through the first time, I started playing the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. One of the dungeons has the “twisted hallway.” There’s a switch that rotates one of the rooms 90 degrees, so that one of the walls of the room becomes the floor, and the floor becomes a wall. The hallway leading to that room twists when you throw the switch.

What struck me about this architecture is that from Link’s point of view, whatever part of the floor of the hallway he is in is “down” to him. It’d be like an ant walking on a Mobius strip with a gravitational vector normal to where it is on the strip.

That got me thinking about the entire concept of warped space. Here were are, with people on opposing sides of the planet, and in all cases, there is a clear “down” for all of them. Yet, the planet is rotating in space, while following a curved path around the sun. And, the sun is cruising through space as part of a galaxy cluster. Space is being pinched and unpinched as we go through it and we don’t even notice. In fact, all mass has its own gravity, so we are exerting a warping of space as we walk around, or drive our cars along the street, and we don’t notice.

Granted, some people are more massive than others, and some are more warped.

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