Sliders Glossary of Terms


Antigravity is a theoretical force that is the reverse of gravity. Instead of causing things to draw towards the center of the Earth, antigravity would cause things to move away from it. Applying this force to an object would cause it to hover or even fly away into space. It would have many practical applications if discovered, but physicists consider it an impossibility. A magnetic field is capable of suspending a metal object in the air, and this might have been what Quinn was working on when he discovered the Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky Bridge.


A star's energy comes from a series of nuclear explosions on its surface. These explosions are caused by the star's gravity, which compresses the hydrogen in its core. Eventually, a sun's nuclear fuel will be used up, and without the explosions to support it, the gravity will crush the star. If the star is big enough, it will compress into an incredibly small point. But since it has the same mass as a full-sized star in a smaller package, its gravity is enormous. Not even light could escape its grip, which makes it black, hence the name "black hole." In scientific circles, the black hole is now known as a "singularity."


A science that aims at a comprehensive theory of the creation, evolution, and present structure of the entire universe.


The space we inhabit, having height, width, and depth, is three-dimensional; a plane or surface is two-dimensional; a line or curve is one-dimensional; and a point is zero-dimensional


The Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky Bridge (more commonly known as the Einstein-Rosen Bridge- ERP) is a tunnel connecting two universes. It was developed by physicists Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen. They came up with the idea that if an object had strong enough **gravity, it could warp space, creating a tear that would link parallel universes. The only known object in the universe with that kind of force is a black hole. Anyone who could enter the black hole would find an opening or "wormhole" that would take them to another universe. That's the Einstein-Rosen Bridge.

The problem with the Bridge is that the same force that warps space would crush anyone who tried to enter the black hole. Until recently, it was believed that no one could do it. But in 1963, mathematician Roy Kerr came up with a way that someone could approach the black hole, avoiding the force, to enter the wormhole. On "Sliders," Quinn Mallory succeeded in the final step, creating a Bridge that allows people and objects to safely enter a wormhole to cross into another universe.


Opening a wormhole in the fabric of space is one thing. Keeping it open is another. When physicists Michael Morris and Kip Thorne developed a model of a working wormhole, they calculated that the tension needed to hold it open would be incredible. For a wormhole with an opening four miles across, you'd need force equal to 10 to the 33 power per square inch. And to keep the inside of the tunnel from collapsing, you'd need a million times a trillion pounds per square inch. From what we know, nothing in the universe can hold up to that kind of pressure.

Notice the keywords "what we know." It's possible that something this strong does exist, but we just haven't found it yet. So we can talk about it, hoping that one day we'll find it. We call this imaginary substance 'exotic matter.' We've never seen exotic matter and have no evidence that it exists. But physicist Stephen Hawking posed the theory that exotic matter exists around the 'event horizon' of a decaying black hole. It could also exist inside atoms themselves, which could be released with atom smashers. But so far, it remains only a theory.


Gravity is the force that draws everyone and everything towards the center of very large objects like planets and suns. The larger the planet or sun, the stronger the pull of gravity.


A three-dimensional curve that lies on a cylinder or cone, so that its angle to a plane perpendicular to the axis is constant.
During the episode "Summer of Love", it is mention that parallel worlds follow this three-dimensional curvature.


Hyperspace is the term used to describe dimensions that exist beyond the three (and possibly four) dimensions that we know of. A simplified description is that it's like another side of our universe where our physical rules don't apply.


M-theory represents the most advanced physics in existence at this time. This is our most current view of the universe. All string theories can be viewed as limiting cases of an all-encompassing M-theory. M-theory might seem more complicated than other string theories; but since it combines all other theories of strings and D-branes into a single theory, this is actually a much sought-after simplification.

M-theory is described at low energies by an effective theory called 11-dimensional supergravity. This theory has membranes and 5-branes as solitons but no strings. How can we get the strings that we've come to know and love from this theory? We can compactify the 11-dimensional M-theory on a small circle to get a 10-dimensional theory. If we take a membrane with the topology of a torus and wrap one of its dimensions on this circle this will become a closed string! In the limit where the circle becomes very small we recover the Type IIA superstring.


A parallel universe is another universe that is a duplicate of our own. It contains stars and solar systems and galaxies. Some have planets that are an exact copy of our own. On them, people exist that are just like us, literally in some cases. There are an infinite number of parallel worlds. Everyone has copies of themselves on at least some of them.

Every time a decision is made, parallel universes are created. For instance, you're driving along, and decide to turn a corner. In one universe, you go left. In the other, you go right. These small and major changes can alter the universe in many ways. Because of this fact and the number of parallel universes, almost any world you can imagine might exist in a parallel universe. A world where America is a communist nation. A world where women are in control instead of men. A world where the dinosaurs never died. These are the worlds of "Sliders."


The PDL (pronounced - Paddle) was introduced during Season 5 which was use by Dr. Diana Davis. The PDL is a hand-held mini laboratory which was able to stored earth coordinates along with tracking wormholes and many other scientific functions.


Seen during the S3 episodes "The Exodus Parts I/II", a pulsar is celestial object that emits brief, sharp pulses of radio waves. The pulses recur at precise intervals; the time between pulses ranges from 1.5 msec to 4 sec. Pulsars are believed to be rotating NEUTRON STARS that emit radio waves in a narrow beam. Because of the rotation of the star, the beam will sweep across the line of sight, causing the observed pulses.


In the beginning, the sliding machine opened a Bridge that allowed people to cross into another dimension. The machine could be programmed for a certain length of time. When the time ran out, the wormhole would reform, pull the passengers into it, and return them to their world. The timer was preset to return them to their original universe.

That's the way it used to work. But in the pilot episode, Quinn opened a Bridge before the given time ran out. Somehow, this burned out the preset controls of the timer. The guidance system was destroyed, leaving them no direct way home. The Sliders have to jump from universe to universe at random, hoping the next one will be their Earth Prime.


Einstein and Rosen had concluded that the wormhole they had developed was meaningless, since no one could survive the trip into a black hole. At a certain point, called the 'event horizon,' any spaceship getting close enough to the black hole would be caught by the grip of its gravity. The gravity would so strong that the ship couldn't escape it. As the ship was drawn closer to the black hole, the gravity would increase to the point where the ship would be crushed like an egg. Needless to say, this would mean instant and unpleasant death for anyone inside. It seemed as if black hole travel was the stuff of science-fiction.

But in 1963, Roy Kerr shocked the scientific world with a solution to this problem. He posed the theory that black holes spin on an axis. It made sense, since most stars rotate and would keep this rotation even when collapsed. This changed everything, because you would get a second event horizon which you could enter safely. Like the eye of a hurricane, this event horizon would be free of the gravitational forces that crushed the above travellers. If a ship could enter this horizon, it could travel into the singularity and into another universe.


Introduced during S4 episode "World Killer". This device produced a "wave" which was powerful enough to slide the
entire earth's population to a different dimension.


"Sliding" is the name given to the act of crossing from one parallel universe to another by Quinn Mallory.


The sliding machine (no other name has yet been given) was created by Quinn Mallory in an attempt to generate antigravity. But the machine is capable of generating an Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky Bridge, a gateway connecting one dimension from another. People and objects can pass through this gateway from one parallel dimension to the next. The sliding machine creates an electrical field, concentrated on two points; the location of the Slider and the corresponding point in a parallel universe. This field is so strong that it literally rips a hole in the fabric of space, connecting the two universes by a tunnel, called a "wormhole." The sliding machine then lines the wormhole with exotic matter, a form of matter that can support the incredible pressure it's under. In this way, the wormhole is shaped into a tunnel that people or objects can pass through. Once the journey is complete, the sliding machine removes the exotic matter, shuts off the electrical field, and the Bridge collapses.
Travel into the new dimension does not change their relative position in time or space. If they slide at three o'clock Monday morning near a tree in Golden Gate Park, they will appear in their new dimension at the same relative place and time on the new world.


A central concept in the theory of RELATIVITY that replaces the earlier concepts of space and time as separate absolute entities. In space-time, events in the universe are described in terms of a four-dimensional continuum in which each observer locates an event by three spacelike coordinates and a timelike coordinate.


A theoretical description of ELEMENTARY PARTICLES that treats them as one-dimensional curves, or strings. Traditional models of interactions between elementary particles are based on quantum field theory, which treats the particles as dimensionless points. Although quantum theories have been formulated for three of the four fundamental FORCES-the STRONG INTERACTION, WEAK INTERACTION, and ELECTROMAGNETISM-theoretical physicists have not developed a workable theory of GRAVITATION that is consistent with the principles of quantum mechanics. Treating elementary particles as strings, however, permits the derivation of a quantum theory that encompasses all four forces. Superstring theory, a combination of string theory and SUPERSYMMETRY, treats particles as very short (10-33 cm along its single dimension, which is 1020 smaller than the diameter of a proton) closed strings, or string loops. All of the masses, charges, and other properties of elementary particles result from the vibration of these superstrings at different frequencies. The complex mathematical basis of superstrings involves 10 dimensions: 9 spatial dimensions, 6 of which are hidden from view, and time. Because superstring theory provides a unified description of all elementary particles and fundamental forces, it is sometimes called the theory of everything.


The sliding machine is remotely-controlled by a handheld device called a "timer." The timer can activate the machine, set the power level, and even choose where the wormhole will form. It also has an LCD display that counts down how long it will be before the next window of opportunity will form.

An Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky Bridge is opened by pushing a button on the timer's face that sets the machine to open a wormhole to a new dimension. The user of the timer can choose where the gateway appears by aiming it at a location. However, he cannot choose where the gateway forms in their new dimension. So far we have seen a total of 4 timers
that was currently used on the show. The Original Timer, the Egyptian Timer, Rickmans Timer, and Logan St. Clair's


Travel between dimensions is only possible at a single window of opportunity on each Earth visited when the Sliders can open a Bridge to another world. The reason for this has never been clearly stated on the show. One theory is that the sliding machine was weakened by the accident, and can only open a gateway to an adjacent universe. It's like they have to wait for another universe to get close enough to theirs to cross over to it. The window is different on each Earth - mere minutes on some, several months on others. The timer has been rebuilt as a countdown device, telling them how long they have until the next window. If the Sliders fail to activate and use the gate at the appointed time, they'll be stuck in their new universe for another 29.7 years before another wormhole opens up.


The term "wormhole" is used to describe tunnels that connect distant points in space and time. However, the term is a misnomer. It really has nothing to do with worms. It's derived from the analogy of the universe as an apple.

Imagine worms living on the surface of an apple. The only way they can reach the other side of the apple is by crawling along the surface. This takes a long time, and the worms assume that's the only way to move around on their apple. But one day, one of the worms eats a tunnel through the center of the apple (as worms will do). If it starts on one side of the apple and eats its way through to the other side, it would make a tunnel through the apple. Any worm that wanted to reach the other side of the apple could now enter the tunnel at one end and crawl through to the other side. Things are much easier for the worms.

Now back to the abstract. Imagine that space and everything we see and know about it is the surface of a very large apple. We're like those worms who can only move on the surface of the apple. We assume that's the only way to get from place to place on it. But **hyperspace is like the inside of our apple. If we made a tunnel through hyperspace connecting two points in our universe, we're effectively doing what the hungry worm did. We're making a tunnel that allows us to leave our known universe and go someplace else. The analogy is where we get the term "wormhole."

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Glossary References:

SLIDERS TECHNICAL MANUAL (FAQ) by Nigel G. Mitchell ( Used without permission.

"Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension" written by Michio Kaku. Published by Anchor Books.

"Sliders: The Novel" written by Brad Linaweaver. Published by Boulevard Books.

"Sliders: The Classic Episodes" written by Brad Linaweaver. Published by Boulevard Books.

"Sliders," the TV show. Broadcast by Fox Television/Scifi Channel.