The Speculist: The World May Be a Hologram

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The World May Be a Hologram

Reader Mike D directs us to this very interesting New Scientist article:

Our world may be a giant hologram

The idea that we live in a hologram probably sounds absurd, but it is a natural extension of our best understanding of black holes, and something with a pretty firm theoretical footing. It has also been surprisingly helpful for physicists wrestling with theories of how the universe works at its most fundamental level.

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.

The research cited in the article, measurements taken as part of the GEO600 experiment outside of Hanover, Germany, fall well short of proving that we live in a hologram. What we have so far is some background noise very similar to the background noise predicted by Craig Hogan, director of the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics, in his description of the ultimate "graininess" of the universe.

So out at the edge of the universe, you will find the "real" universe: a two-dimensional structure with resolution down to the Planck length. Here in the (fake? shadow? projected?) less-real universe, life is a lot blurrier than that, as our "pixels" are much, much bigger -- 19 orders of magnitude bigger, if I'm reading it correctly. So we live in this big, blurry, 3D rendering of the real, much smaller and more fine-grained universe.

I'm not sure how significant this is. It all sounds kind of strange, but then the universe has to work somehow or other, doesn't it?

A topic for discussion: would such a structure of the universe -- if proved -- tend to support the suggestion that we are living in a computer simulation, or would it be of no relevance?

hologramuniverse.jpg

Comments

re: [..] we are living in a computer simulation, or would it be of no relevance?

I think it provides support that we are living in an implementation-agnostic UTM AND ultimately no relevance because further investigation into the more/less "real" nature will always increase the number of questions rather than provide a single answer. That may be a good thing though since even in this case they discover support for the universal holography theory while searching for gravity waves.

How many like-minds does it take to change not only the world, but the operating parameters of the universe?

How many like-minds does it take to change not only the world, but the operating parameters of the universe?

Great questions! A single mind can change the world; the second question is harder. Maybe there is no number of minds working together capable of that. Or, again, maybe it takes one.

Think of "hologram" as a metaphor for something the human mind cannot understand. The research cited may eventually point the way to more meaningful research describing how matter and spatial vacuum interact on all levels.

Is our three dimensional existence a mere projection from something richer and more meaningful occurring in higher dimensions?

And how does the graininess of time figure into all of this? Universes popping into existence then dying of entropy? Matter erupting out of vacuum and disappearing as suddenly?

Is our three dimensional existence a mere projection from something richer and more meaningful occurring in higher dimensions?

Great question. But the model put forth is that our universe is a projection of something occurring in lower (or at least fewer) dimensions.

See:
'The Simulation Argument' by Nick Bostrom.

Holonomc Brain Theory

Holographic Universe.

Penrose-Hameroff's Quantum Theory of Consciousness

E8 Lie Group Garrett Lisi

'A Conscious Universe' by Jacob Needleman

>>'The Simulation Argument' by Nick Bostrom.

Linked above.

We've also discussed this subject here.

A somewhat different take here.

Thanks for the links, Phil!!

There's a website called catholicfundamentalism.com that has been saying for a few years that God can program in 3 dimensions. He can program particles, compile them into systems and beings. He programmed the whole thing to give us free will, and it's one of those things it's hard to deny.

Not 19 times bigger, but 10000000000000000000 times bigger. That's a 1 with 19 zeros.

To explain, the move from 10^1 to, say, 10^5 takes you from 10 to 100000. That's not 4 times bigger, it's 10000 times bigger. The same principle applies with negative exponents.

Beck --

Well explained. But isn't that progression called "orders of magnitude?" That was the term I used -- perhaps incorrectly.

Phil: Yes, your use of "orders of magnitude" was correct; it refers to an exponential as opposed to a multiple.

So we are just reflections of a smurf village? Interesting.

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