A group of physicists have delivered what has been defined by the journal Nature as the “clearest evidence yet” that our universe nothing but just a hologram. The new study could help settle one of modern physics’ most persistent problems: the apparent contradictions between the different models of the universe as described by quantum physics and Einstein’s theory of gravity. The two new scientific papers are the conclusion of years’ work led by Yoshifumi Hyakutake of Ibaraki University in Japan, and deal with theoretical calculations of the energies of black holes in different universes.
The indication of the universe existing as a ‘hologram’ doesn’t refer to a Matrix-like illusion, but the concept that the three dimensions we observe are actually just “painted” onto the cosmological horizon, the border of the known universe. If this sounds contradictory or paradoxical, try to imagine a holographic picture that changes as you move it. Though the picture is two dimensional, detecting it from different locations generates the illusion that it is 3D.This model of the universe helps explain some variations between general relativity (Einstein’s theory) and quantum physics. While Einstein’s work reinforces much of modern physics, at certain limits (for example in the middle of a black hole) the principles he drawn break down and the laws of quantum physics take over.
The traditional method of integration these two models has come from the 1997 work of theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena, whose ideas constructed upon string theory. This is one of the most well appreciated ‘theories of everything’ (Stephen Hawking is a fan) and it suggests that one-dimensional vibrating objects known as ‘strings’ are the basic particles of the universe. Maldacena has greeted the new study by Hyakutake and his team, telling the journal Nature that the results are “an interesting way to test many ideas in quantum gravity and string theory.”
Leonard Susskind, a theoretical physicist considered as one of the fathers of string theory, added that the study by the Japanese team “numerically confirmed, perhaps for the first time, something we were fairly sure had to be true, but was still a conjecture.”
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