Current string theory describes the universe as being made from indivisibly small vibrating strings which exist across many dimensions, which in normal conversation may raise the most open minded person’s eyebrow.
A Japanese team led by physicist Yoshifumi Hyakutake of Ibaraki University may have provided the most compelling evidence for a much simpler solution, which involves the universe being a mere hologram. To some this may seem stranger than the most absurd fiction, almost as if it has been taken directly from the plot of the ‘Twilight Zone’.
The universe’s holographic existence may be fairly mature in terms of theoretical physics, with Professor Juan Maldacena first proposing a method for the holographic principle in 1997, raising its notoriety. Initially Professor Maldacena’s postulations acted like the yet to be discovered link for physicists. Like the Rosetta Stone, the holographic principle made sense of many theoretical concepts establishing solid foundations for the string theory fixing previously perceived inconstancies within Einstein’s theory of gravity. Even before its own proof this concept may have justified some of the most influential theories about the universe.
The Holographic Principle states the description of a volume of space is encoded on a boundary to the region. In layman terms this means objects in space like cars, planets and the stars are projected upon the edge of space also known as an event horizon, like a projection at the cinema.
One interesting aspect of this theory is, if true the holographic principle may make the universe two-dimensional, like a cartoon, oppose to the perceived three-dimensions we are all used to. Many people may reach a wall at this point; how might the world be two-dimensional if it so clearly appears in three-dimensions? To answer this, it may be a matter of perspective, like a holographic picture, viewing it from different angles provides different images creating the illusion of a three-dimensional image. This means viewing an object in real life from different angles provides differing two-dimensional images that in turn create the illusion of a three-dimensional object or space.
Yoshifumi Hyakutake team’s research focused specifically upon black holes; singularities which display interesting similarities towards the holographic principle. Both may facilitate a two-dimensional image which might possess all the information needed to translate into a three-dimensional image.
Any object which enters a black hole may technically exist within a two-dimensional plane which makes a black hole the best place to start when collecting information. By comparing data belonging to the theoretical holographic universe with data recorded upon the edges of black holes, also known as event horizons, the team found a striking numerical overlap, an overlap which at the least shows the mathematics behind this concept to be sound. Furthermore, this research has uncovered promising information about a rare virtual particle, particles said to be capable of randomly popping in and out of existence.
This may make Yoshifumi Hyakutake team’s discovery one of the most significant in recent times; though the data provided is so far bits and pieces, it may most likely go on to trigger and inspire other talented thinkers to construct the pieces into a more complete understanding of the universe. From a more philosophical standpoint this discovery may raise one important and traditional question, a question many may have believed to have been addressed centuries ago.
If the holographic principle is true and everything in the universe is two dimensional, is the world flat or round?