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Juan Maldacena, Albert Einstein, Leonard Susskind, Gerard 't Hooft, Stephen Hawking, Craig Hogan, Jacob Bekenstein, Karsten Danzmann,
black hole, cosmology, entropy, general relativity, holographic principle, hologram, quantum gravity, quantum mechanics, string theory, Hawking radiation, negative de Sitter space,
String theory is attractive to some scientists. Although string theory has not, and cannot be proved, and although it cannot account for many observations of the physical universe (nor consciousness), one evolution of string theory provides a potential resolution of the conflict between gravity and quantum mechanics. It does this by proposing that all the information in the universe is located on the 2D quantum surface bounding the universe, which results in our holographic 3D universe in which the third dimension and gravity are part of the hologram.
Vlatko Vedral notes that in the invention of optical holography, Dennis Gabor showed that two dimensions were sufficient to store all the information about three dimensions. Three dimensions are able to be represented due to lights wave nature of forming interference patterns. Light carries an internal clock, and in the interference patterns, the timing of the clock acts as the third dimension .
Notes from: The Black Hole War by Leonard Susskind
There is something crazy about string theory that I first came across in 1969, but it is so crazy that string theorists dont even want to think about it. We all expect that electrons, photons, and other elementary particles are at least as big as the Plank length, and possibly bigger. The problem is that the mathematics of string theory implies an absurdly violent case of quantum jitters [zero point fluctuations], with fluctuations so ferocious that the pieces of an electron would spread out to the ends of the universe. To most physicists, including string theorists, that seems so crazy that it is unthinkable.. p. 293.
String theory places every bit of information, whether in black holes or black newsprint, at the outer edges of the universe p.294.
Here, then, is the conclusion that t Hooft and I had reached: the three dimensional world of ordinary experience-the universe filled with galaxies, stars, planets, houses, boulders and people- is a hologram, an image of reality coded to a distant two dimensional surface. This new law of physics, known as the Holographic Principle, asserts that everything inside a region of space can be described by bits of information restricted to the boundary. P. 298.
That information is distributed throughout the volume of space seems so intuitive that its hard to believe it could be wrong. But the world is not voxelated [the three dimensional equivalent of a 2-D pixel], it is pixilated, and all information is stored on the boundary of space. But what boundary and what space? p. 299.
It is evident that the question of where a particular bit of information is located does not have a unique answer.
As we try to be more and more exact, especially when we account for both gravity and Quantum Mechanics, we are driven to a mathematical representation involving pixels dancing across a distant two dimensional screen and a secret code for translating the scrambled patterns into coherent three-dimensional images. P. 300.
As weird as the Holographic Principle is it has become part of the mainstream of theoretical physics. It is no longer just a speculation about quantum gravity; it has become an everyday working tool, answering questions not only about quantum gravity but also about such prosaic things as the nuclei of atoms.
The major difference between conventional holograms and the world as hologram is that the world hologram is quantum mechanical.
The weapon that brought the [Black Hole] war to a close was largely the rigorous mathematics of String Theory. [The same theory whose rigorous mathematics predicts zero point fluctuations so ferocious that the pieces of an electron would spread out to the ends of the universe].
The Holographic Principle
The world, in a sense, may be a hologram. The idea comes from black hole physics. In the 1970s researchers knew that when an object becomes part of a black hole, two things happen. One, all the detailed information about that object is lost. And two, the surface area of the black hole's event horizon (the point of no return for in falling matter and energy) grows. The first fact seemed to violate the second law of thermodynamics, because one of the lost details was the object's entropy, or the information describing its microscopic parts. But the second fact offered a way out: if entropy must always grow, and a black hole's surface area must too, perhaps for the black hole they are one and the same, and information is somehow stored on the (event) horizon.
Fast forward to 1993. Two particle physicists working separately conclude that the universe itself must store information in a similar way. Quantum mechanics starts with the assumption that information is stored in every volume of space. But any patch of space can become a black hole, nature's densest file cabinet, which stores information in bits of area. Perhaps, then, all that's needed to describe a patch of space, black hole or no, is that area's worth of information. The idea is called the holographic principle, after the way that a hologram encodes 3D information on a 2D surface.
Recently, Raphael Bousso, while at Stanford University, helped formulate a more precise and more broadly applicable statement of the principle that involves light rays. "The world doesn't appear to us like a hologram, but in terms of the information needed to describe it, it is one," Bousso says. "The amazing thing is that the holographic principle works for all areas in all space times. We have this amazing pattern there, which is far more general than the black hole picture we started from. And we have no idea why this works. What this is telling us is, there is a description of the world we should be looking for which will be more economical than the one that we have right now, and will presumably have to do with quantum gravity."
HYPERLINK "http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=sidebar-the-holographic-p" http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=sidebar-the-holographic-p
Maldacena's Holographic Universe - Negative de Sitter space
The holographic principle grew out one of the biggest scientific problems of the twentieth century: the fact that the two fundamental theories of physics, general relativity and quantum mechanics, don't get along with each other.
The conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics poses no problem for most practical purposes, as physicists usually look at either the large-scale world, where quantum effects do not come into play, or at the small-scale world, where particles are light and gravity has little effect.
But there is one situation in which the clash of the two theories is tangible: black holes are formed when a large amount of mass is concentrated in a tiny region of space. The resulting gravitational pull is so strong that nothing can escape from a black hole, not even light. So, both gravity and quantum effects are present. To describe what's going on in a black hole, you really do need a unified theory of quantum gravity.
Juan Maldacena's universe is not like the one we actually live in. It's a model, a toy universe, which comes complete with its own physics. It's a hologram because all the physical goings-on inside it can be described by a physical theory that's only defined on the boundary. What's more, it's a universe in which the gravity/quantum conundrum has been resolved completely: the boundary theory is purely quantum, it contains no gravity, but a being living in the interior will still experience gravity. Gravity in this universe is part of the holographic illusion.
So far, nobody has found a precise formulation of the 2D version of physics that describes our 3D world. However, in 1995 Susskind re-defined string theory with the holographic principle as a central pillar. And in 1997, at the tender age of 29, Juan Maldacena came up with the first ever concrete description of a holographic universe.
Black holes are also what first gave rise to the holographic principle.
HYPERLINK "http://www.scoop.it/t/complex-nwx/p/1973962798/universal-illusion-juan-maldacena-s-holographic-universe-negative-de-sitter-space"http://www.scoop.it/t/complex-nwx/p/1973962798/universal-illusion-juan-maldacena-s-holographic-universe-negative-de-sitter-space
Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram
In 1997, theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena proposed that gravity arises from infinitesimally thin, vibrating strings, which could be reinterpreted in terms of well-established physics. The mathematically intricate world of strings, which exist in nine dimensions of space plus one of time, would be merely a hologram: the real action would play out in a simpler, flatter cosmos where there is no gravity.
Maldacena's idea thrilled physicists because it offered a way to put the popular but still unproven theory of strings on solid footing and because it solved apparent inconsistencies between quantum physics and Einstein's theory of gravity. Although the validity of Maldacena's ideas has pretty much been taken for granted ever since, a rigorous proof has been elusive.
Two experiments by Japanese researchers appear to have numerically confirmed that the thermodynamics of certain black holes can be reproduced from a lower-dimensional universe says Leonard Susskind, who was among the first theoreticians to explore the idea of holographic universes. These results provide compelling evidence that Maldacenas conjecture is correct.
Maldacena notes that neither of the model universes explored by the Japanese team resembles our own. The cosmos with a black hole has ten dimensions; the lower-dimensional, gravity-free one has but a single dimension.
Nevertheless, says Maldacena, the numerical proof that these two seemingly disparate worlds are actually identical gives hope that the gravitational properties of our Universe can one day be explained by a simpler cosmos purely in terms of quantum theory.
HYPERLINK "http://www.nature.com/news/simulations-back-up-theory-that-universe-is-a-hologram-1.14328" http://www.nature.com/news/simulations-back-up-theory-that-universe-is-a-hologram-1.14328
Our World May be a Giant Hologram
The GEO600 team has been looking for gravitational waves - ripples in space-time thrown off by super-dense astronomical objects such as neutron stars and black holes. Although the giant GEO600 has not detected any gravitational waves so far, it may have stumbled upon an important discovery.
For many months, an inexplicable noise had been plaguing their giant detector. Researcher Craig Hogan, a physicist at the Fermilab particle physics lab in Batavia, Illinois, approached them with a possible explanation. In fact, he had even predicted the noise before he knew they were detecting it. According to Hogan, GEO600 may have stumbled upon the fundamental limit of space-time - the point where space-time stops behaving like the smooth continuum Einstein described and instead dissolves into "grains", just as a newspaper photograph dissolves into dots as you zoom in. "It looks like GEO600 is being buffeted by the microscopic quantum convulsions of space-time," says Hogan.
The implication is that "If the GEO600 result is what I suspect it is, then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram."
The idea that we live in a hologram is a natural extension of our best understanding of black holes, and something with a pretty firm theoretical footing.
The holograms you find on credit cards and banknotes are etched on two-dimensional plastic films. When light bounces off them, it recreates the appearance of a 3D image. In the 1990s physicists Leonard Susskind and Nobel prizewinner Gerard 't Hooft suggested that the same principle might apply to the universe as a whole. Our everyday experience might itself be a holographic projection of physical processes that take place on a distant 2D surface.
Susskind and 't Hooft's idea was motivated by work on black holes by Jacob Bekenstein of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel and Stephen Hawking at the University of Cambridge. In the mid-1970s, Hawking showed that black holes are in fact not entirely "black" but instead slowly emit radiation, which causes them to evaporate and eventually disappear, causing the apparent loss of information, which contradicts the widely affirmed principle that information cannot be destroyed.
Bekenstein's work provided an important clue in resolving the paradox. He discovered that a black hole's entropy - which is synonymous with its information content - is proportional to the surface area of its event horizon.
Susskind and 't Hooft extended the insight to the universe as a whole on the basis that the cosmos has a horizon too - the boundary from beyond which light has not had time to reach us in the 13.7-billion-year lifespan of the universe.
What's more, work by several string theorists, most notably Juan Maldacena at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, has confirmed that the idea is on the right track. He showed that the physics inside a hypothetical universe with five dimensions and shaped like a Pringle is the same as the physics taking place on the four-dimensional boundary.
Theoretical physicists have long believed that quantum effects will cause space-time to convulse wildly on the tiniest scales. At this magnification, the Planck length, at 10-35 meters, the fabric of space-time becomes grainy. The Planck length is far beyond the reach of any conceivable experiment, so nobody dared dream that the graininess of space-time might be discernable. Hogan realized that the holographic principle changes this situation.
The holographic principle says that the amount of information on the outside surface of the universe must match the number of bits contained inside the volume of the universe. If the outside surface is filled with Planck sized bits of information, then the volume inside the universe must be made up of grains bigger than the Planck length. "Or, to put it another way, a holographic universe is blurry," says Hogan.
No one - including Hogan - is yet claiming that GEO600 has found evidence that we live in a holographic universe. It is far too soon to say. "There could still be a mundane source of the noise," Hogan admits.
Gravitational-wave detectors are extremely sensitive, so those who operate them have to work harder than most to rule out noise. They have to take into account passing clouds, distant traffic, seismological rumbles and many, many other sources that could mask a real signal. "The daily business of improving the sensitivity of these experiments always throws up some excess noise," says Karsten Danzmann GEO600's principal investigator. "We work to identify its cause, get rid of it and tackle the next source of excess noise."
If Hogan is right, and the noise is holographic, it would spoil GEO600's ability to detect gravitational waves. Danzmann is cautious about Hogan's proposal and believes more theoretical work needs to be done. "It's intriguing," he says. "But it's not really a theory yet, more just an idea."
HYPERLINK "http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126911.300-our-world-may-be-a-giant-hologram.html?full=true"http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126911.300-our-world-may-be-a-giant-hologram.html?full=true
Vlatko Vedral Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information Oxford University Press 2010
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