It is a simple analogy, but we can all fairly understand the concept of the earth, big ball of rock, liquid, and gas twirling around the Sun. But there are 'phases' to the planet, and some creatures can move between these phases, and these phases strongly interact with each other, but are very much distinct. There is the phase we are sitting in now, the gaseous surface. If we go underwater, everything changes, but we are still on Earth, just underwater. If we go deeper, we can go underground. The environment has changed, but our location, in the larger sense, has not. This is the same with the Phase theory. There are many alternate phases, most of which we cannot comprehend. Can you ask a bird about the bottom of the ocean, by the way, yes I know penguins exist. Can you ask a tropical fish about arctic mountains? What would a sloth know of the Morohovic discontinuity? Indeed, very little. And that is where we are, we have opened out eyes, and we are beginning to understand. The transcendentalists talk of post humanity, and conversion to a new level of intelligence. That's fine, but my question, is when we cross that boundary, are we boldly stepping into an entirely new universe, or are we creatures learning to climb out of the primordial ooze?
Also known as the analog universe, or the Interzone. This is the fairly well understood 4 dimensional space that humanity and the vast majority of the universe occupies. Everything follows the basic laws of physics until instruments start reading down to the quantum scale, or start looking at the absolute macroscale.
Prophase is the domain of dark and strange matter. This is also known as protophase and is assumed to be the domain that the majority of Dimensional engines and taps bore into to draw power from. The expansion of the visible universe, and the interaction of dark matter and dark energy, lead some scientists to the conclusion that the universe is like a cell, and that the clumping of matter into galaxies is mimicking the the alignment of chromosomes in a cell.
What is actually in the Protozone? The Protozone is the dimensional shadow of the Interzone, and more importantly, it is the dimension from which parapsychics draw their cosmic power. While fantastic, it is, on a evolutionary scale, no different from fish who learn how to suck in air from above the water and survive while other fish suffocate in stagnant water. The fantasy analog of the protozone is Limbo.
The Metazone is aphasic space, a dimension that lacks physical dimensions, there is no mass, length, width, or depth. There is only energy, time, entropy, and so forth. The beings that inhabit the Metazone appear massive to humanity because they are technically and completely non-corporeal and non-physical, so attempts to measure them are wildly inaccurate. The paradox of the Metazone can be summed up in the theological question of How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? All of them? None of them? Somewhere in between? The answer is functionally as meaningless as the question.
The Anaphase is sometimes associated with quantum space, or subspace.
The Antizone is surprisingly well known, albeit through bizarre means. It has been known about for literal centuries, but is more commonly named the astral plane, the dreamtime, the dreamlands, and so forth. It is considered the domain of sentience, dreams, souls, and some believe, the afterlife. The CogNet brushes the antizone, and it is how the network actually functions, and also why most people have no idea how it actually works.
The telozone is the mythical hyperspace that many people feel is the gateway to FTL travel.
The telozone is for lack of a better term, the abyss. The telozone is a place of strange radiations, and it is the domain of the Outer Gods. The strength of the dimensional barriers weaken as one moves away from the planets and stars, and beyond the heliopause the telozone is dominant.
Additional Ideas (1)
The study of natural phases and other dimensions is classified as Dimensional Science. Within this field, the people who study it refer to themselves as Exologists, or add the exo- prefix to whatever their field of expertise happens to be. Many of these are easily laughed off as being as serious as cryptozoolists, conspiracy theorists, or ancient astronaut researchers. The truth of the matter is that once someone has reached the point in their studies that they can consider themselves an exobotanist, they are very likely a leading or cutting edge figure in the non-exo application of their field of study. There are certainly loons to be found, but they generally lack the internal connections and funding to be anything other than comic figures, or counter-culture celebrities.
The study of other dimensions leads to the exploration of other dimensions. Those men and women who attempt to physically travel to the hypothetical realms are named Exonauts. The mortality rate of Exonauts is astronomically high, and the few that have returned alive almost never return sane. To those who pursue the field, they draw comparisons to the first peoples who tried to build boats, lots of them failed, lots of them died, and they were probably also mocked and ridiculed, at least until they figured out the business of crossing oceans.
Exonauts and Exologists