# What Are Tesseracts In A Wrinkle In Time & How Can I Use One To Travel Out Of This Dimension?

In A Wrinkle in Time, out March 13, Meg Murry (Storm Reid) doesn't need a DeLorian to travel through space and time. Meg has access to a mode of transportation that's far quicker and less reliant on fuel, which is convenient, because she has to travel way across the universe to save her father, Dr. Alex Murray (Chris Pine). Meg's trio of space fairy godmothers — Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), and Mrs. Which (Oprah) — introduce Meg to the concept of "tesseracts" when preparing her for her journey to the planet Camazotz.
So, what is a tesseract in A Wrinkle in Time, and how does it make interstellar space travel such a cinch? Before delving into tesseracts, we have to understand how Madeline L'Engle sets up dimensions in A Wrinkle in Time. In the book, Meg's brother Charles Wallace explains that the first dimension is a line. The second dimension is a square. The third dimension is a cube. The fourth dimension is time. And that brings us to the fifth dimension — tesseract.
As Mrs. Whatsit explains in the movie's trailer, “The fifth dimension’s a tesseract. You add that to the other four dimensions and you can travel through space without having to go the long way around. In other words, to put into Euclid, or old-fashioned plane geometry, a straight line is not the shortest distance between two points.” A tesseract is an interstellar shortcut, more or less.
All this talk of plane geometry is hard to visualize, so L’Engle’s 1962 novel comes complete with a diagram. Mrs. Whatsit uses the image of an ant traveling along the edge of her skirt to demonstrate how the distance Point A and Point B can be lessened by a tesseract — or a “wrinkle in time.”
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L'Engle
What remains unclear is how, exactly, a person tessers (or the act of traveling via tesseract). Tessering comes naturally to Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which, since they are supernatural celestial beings. Likely, they lend their powers to shepherd Meg, her brother, and her friend Calvin across the universe. But humans can tesser, to — Dr. Murry, a physicist, knew about tesseracting and was working on a way for humans to tesser. His research led to him getting trapped on Camazotz.
For all the imaginativeness of A Wrinkle in Time, L’Engle didn’t invent the idea of a tesseract. The word “tesseract” was invented by the mathematician Charles Howard Hinton in 1888, when he was trying to create a visual explanation for the existence of the fourth dimension — time. Essentially, a tesseract is a four dimensional cube.