I read books on physics in my spare time, and lately I've been thinking about Z-Space and some of the physics behind it. I'll try to keep the technical terms out of here since I don't want people to have to google every other word to understand what I'm saying. I originally had this posted on the Animorphs Fan Forum
with some help from people there, but I figured members here might like to have something to play with as well.I: The Realms of Existence A.) OR:
We know of at least 3-4 realms of existence in Animorphs. The first is the ordinary universe where pretty much everything happens. This is our world, the world where up is up, down is down, left is left, right is right, black is black, right is right, (unless you're capnnerefir when he's been on the green and think that green is blue if you believe
it is), and so on and so forth. This is the first realm of existence. I'm tempted to use the word "dimension", but that isn't exactly right, so I'll stick with the term "realm". B.) SR:
The next realm is Zero-Space. We know that Z-space is a realm of existence removed from normal space where it is possible to move faster than the speed of light. How this is possible will be explained presently. We can assume that Z-space is directly perpendicular to our own (not parallel, but perpendicular, since they intersect), or that it exists around, perhaps within our own realm. In any event, it is extremely close to the first realm; close enough that with the proper technology, it is possible to shift from the first realm to the second. C.) TR:
The third realm is one that we see very, very rarely. This is a place where the Animorphs go every now and then to talk to the Ellimist or Crayak. They describe it as a place where one can see the core and the surface of things just as easily, where you can see all sides of something at once. It is very obvious from this description that this realm is neither Our Realm (OR) or the Second Realm (Z-Space or SR). It must, then, be some sort of Third Realm (TR: you can get this by now). D.) FR:
TR may or may not be the realm of existence that the Ellimist and Crayak inhabit. They must inhabit some realm of existence, or else they...well...they wouldn't exist. Since they do
exist, they must have some location, even if it is not in our realm of existence. They may or may not exist in TR; if not then they exist in some sort of FR (Fourth Reality). Based on the fact that they projected a physical form in TR, and that it was still a reality that the Animorphs could make sense of, with limited mortal comprehension, I think it is safe to assume that TR is not the realm the Ellimist, Crayak, and other beings of that nature inhabit.II: SR Travel
Okay, so we've established that, due to the fact that it is possible to exceed the speed of light in Z-Space, we can assume it is a realm of existence separate from our own. We can also assume, then, that anything we "know" about the physics of OR and how things in OR work cannot really be applied to SR. We can't base our understanding of it off of anything we "know" about FR. So we have to make new assumptions based on the limited experience we have with SR. For the sake of discussion, I think it is fair to assume that these assumptions are correct unless there is actual evidence against them. Now, I had an original theory on the subject, and a revised theory that corrected a big hole in the first one. First is the original, and the the revised. So, what we know about SR: A.) Absence of Gravity in SR:
Nothing naturally exists in SR. Andalite ships go through it all the time. So do Yeerks. So do Andalites. And in all the recorded experience with SR, there is not a single mention of anything being there except for what we put in there. While this tells us nothing about the nature of SR, It does mean that gravity, at least as we understand it, does not exist, since there is nothing for which objects to be attracted. And I know that it's possible there are things in SR that we just haven't come across yet, but we can only act on the assumptions of what we have experienced and in all the experience we are given, there is nothing there. B.) Expansion of SR:
Now, our universe is expanding. We have no reason to assume that SR is not doing the same. We know that our universe is held together primarily by gravity, at least in the physical sense. Since there is no gravity (by our definitions) in SR (due to the lack of anything to which objects in the universe to be attracted), we can assume that SR is expanding far faster than FR is. C.) Travel in SR:
Okay, so based no the above assumptions, we can guess that Z-space is expanding far faster than our universe is. At that point, it's pretty easy to see why you can travel over light-years in Z-space very quickly: you aren't actually moving at all. You are simply transporting your ship into Z-space and allowing its own expansion to carry you along. Presumably, the Andalites were able to figure out how fast Z-space was expanding and, using those calculations, predict how long one would need to remain in Z-space to reach one's destination. As an example, get a balloon (preferably white). Tape a dime to it or other small coin. Then, inflate the balloon. That should be a semi-accurate simulation.
Here is where the revised theory begins: D.) The Center of SR:
If the above theory is entirely correct, one would only be able to travel outwards from the center of SR, meaning that it would be impossible to travel 'backwards' to one's original destination. There are three possible explanations. i.) Override of SR Expansion:
If the previous assumption about travel through Z-Space being due to the fact that Z-space is expanding, then in order to travel 'backwards' to one's original destination, you would have to have some sort of device that is capable of propelling you through Z-space. Ax mentions that he can see a ship's Z-space engines in book 18, making this the most likely option. ii.) SR Contractions:
If SR is expanding, as previous theories state, it is reasonable to conclude that it can contract as well. Therefore, by contracting Z-space, one could bring one's destination closer to oneself without moving through SR: at least, not very much. To demonstrate, release the air from the balloon. This, possibly in conjunction with Z-space engines mentioned above, would allow one to travel forward and backward through Z-space at will. We know that travel through Z-space is imprecise and requires some guessing and checking (as stated in book 54), and this is probably due to the presence of other ships shifting it around all the time just as you are doing. ii.) Shape of SR:
It is possible that the previous assumption about the fact that SR is expanding is incorrect. A revised theory is that SR has expanded to its maximum size and has instead formed a sphere. Objects entering Z-space cause a 'ripple' effect and can ride those ripples in any direction to arrive at a destination. Wile this theory makes some sense, it has no supporting evidence.
This wold explain how it is possible to travel faster than the speed of light through Z-space: you aren't moving at all! You remain still while space expands at a rate we cannot imagine.III: Z-Space and Morphing
We know that Z-Space is involved in morphing (Ax says so in book 10). What we do not know is to what extent. We know that when one morphs something small, one's excess mass is stored there. We can use some more guesses about Z-space to try and figure out the answers to some other questions. A.) Getting Big:
When you morph something small, your excess mass goes into Z-space. But when you morph something larger than yourself, where does the extra mass come from? It is a reasonable assumption that it comes from Z-Space as well. But where in Z-space, since we've established that there is no mass there? i.) Massless Particles:
This is a possibility. There could be particles in Z-space so small that they do not have any mass on their own, or at least mass so small that it is negligible. However, when gathered together in large amounts, these particles can combine to weigh much, much more. So, by gathering these, one can gain the extra mass one needs to go from a human to a gorilla. Maybe these particles were inherent to Z-space, or maybe they were a byproduct of travel through it. ii.) SR is Transporter:
That one needs some explanation. Perhaps the necessary mass does not come from Z-space itself, but from OR. The proper mass is transported from somewhere (probably unnoticeable bits from many thousands of locations), brought through Z-space, and then used to add the mass needed for the morph.
The effort of opening up gateways to SR and drawing in these particles is probably what causes one to be tired from morphing. The only reliable power source for this would be the energy of the body of the morpher. Ergo, morphing makes you tired. B.) The Time Limit:
Why does morphing have a time limit? I'm torn between two theories on the subject. One is my own theory and one was proposed to me by my friend capnnerefir. i.) Silk's Theory:
If our previous assumption that morphing requires putting mass into, taking it out of, or moving it through Z-space is correct, and if our theory that movement through Z-space is actually movement of
Z-space is right, then the time limit makes perfect sense. After two hours, our mass has moved so far away from us (and sideways and up and down and all sorts of other directions) that it is no longer possible for us to retrieve it. It is simply too far away, or just lost in the ever-shifting chaos of Z-space. Likewise, after two hours, it may be that it is impossible for us to put the mass we borrowed to morph larger creatures back where it came from. ii.) capnnerefir's Theory:
"In order to morph small things, you need to open a gate to Z-space. I'm going to go by Silk's theory and say you need to do something similar to morph large things. To do that, you'd have to open up a gateway/portal/whatever it is that ships use to enter Z-space. We've seen that, as it gets closer and closer to that time limit, it gets harder and harder to demorph. My theory is that, while you're morphed, this portal is open and as long as it is open, you can demorph. But after two hours, that gate is closed and you're stuck the way you are."
And that concludes my thoughts on Z-space. It's all really just wild speculation, but since SR is fictional, I don't have much else to go on. Enjoy.