848: 3D

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The LINACs in the glasses frames can barely manage one MeV. You should've gone to the screening at CERN.
Title text: The LINACs in the glasses frames can barely manage one MeV. You should've gone to the screening at CERN.


String theory hypothesizes that there are many more than 3 dimensions, it's just that we can't see the rest because they're "rolled up." A common metaphor is an ant on a tightrope — it has two degrees of freedom, one along the rope and one around it, but from far away we can only see one.

Knowing this, Black Hat, showing his typical behaviour, released his 2D movie about string theory in "3D", and claimed that the third dimension was there — just too small to see.

The title text refers to a linear particle accelerator, or "LINAC", which is used to create high-energy particles. Incidentally, the glasses give their particles one mega-electronvolt (symbol MeV) of energy, which is not particularly high for a particle accelerator. The title text suggests that such moviegoers should try the accelerators at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, since they are widely known for producing the highest energies in the TeV, and thus have the best chance of unraveling the small dimensions of string theory.

On the xk3d prank site created along with 880: Headache, the 3D on this comic is not visible.


[Cueball, another Cueball and Megan are lined up to see a movie.]
Premiering Tonight:
String Theory:
An Exposé
Presented In 3D!
[Cueball, Cueball 2 and Megan are in a dark theater, fiddling with their 3D glasses.]
[Cueball, Cueball 2 and Megan angrily approach Black Hat, who's sitting at a desk.]
Megan: Your movie was a ripoff.
Cueball: It wasn't 3D at all!
Black Hat: Was too.
Black Hat: It's just that the third dimension is tightly rolled up and too small to observe at normal energies.

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As of August 3, 2013, the title text has not been explained. Could someone explain it, please? 23:50, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

6241509647120.4 MeV = 1 joule = one ampere through a resistance of one ohm for one second.

Presumably they were unable to deal with the energy output of the film.

I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 19:24, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Someone should add somewhere that this comic appears 2D on http://xk3d.xkcd.com/848/. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

And also that the second panel of this strip is in (a pretty good, shaded 2D approximation of) 3D. Hence, "presented in 3D", could refer to the perplexed audience at the presentation. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

And the "ant on a tightrope" analogy was used in the TV series Stranger Things, to explain the other dimensions of the "Upside Down". Brenda (talk) 19:19, 7 July 2018 (UTC)