We May Live in a Hologram

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We May Live in a Hologram

Post  SyntheticSylence on Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:59 pm

My mind is blown, someone help rearrange my mind. From the New Scientist.

"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 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.

Luckily they go on to explain in a little more detail:

According to Hogan, the holographic principle radically changes our picture of space-time. Theoretical physicists have long believed that quantum effects will cause space-time to convulse wildly on the tiniest scales. At this magnification, the fabric of space-time becomes grainy and is ultimately made of tiny units rather like pixels, but a hundred billion billion times smaller than a proton. This distance is known as the Planck length, a mere 10-35 metres. 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.

That is, not until Hogan realised that the holographic principle changes everything. If space-time is a grainy hologram, then you can think of the universe as a sphere whose outer surface is papered in Planck length-sized squares, each containing one bit of information. The holographic principle says that the amount of information papering the outside must match the number of bits contained inside the volume of the universe.

Since the volume of the spherical universe is much bigger than its outer surface, how could this be true? Hogan realised that in order to have the same number of bits inside the universe as on the boundary, the world inside must be made up of grains bigger than the Planck length. "Or, to put it another way, a holographic universe is blurry," says Hogan.

I don't know how accepted this is right now, or what the arguments are. But I trust that the New Scientist does not delve into pseudo-science. What are your thoughts?

As for me, I think this is really, really awesome. Of course, I'm only saying that because it seems to help confirm my philosophy in a way. But it's a really strange way of viewing yourself, all of us being holograms?
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Re: We May Live in a Hologram

Post  Clint on Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:35 am

haha yeah, I've subscribed to NewScientist magazine and read my weekly delivery with enthusiasm. The scientific reporters are pretty on ball, most of the time in my opinion.

I think its more of a hypothesis at the moment, as I wouldn't think it'd be a consensus amongst physicist. But as they said - its gaining weight (!?!??)

I've done quite a lot of research into the modern day concepts of quantum physics, and to be honest, it gets to a point where I just have to switch off because I cease being able to follow it. Then again, I'm no physicist, let a lone a quantum physicist :-) I know that the universe at large is generally very predictable, stable and consistent. But when you get down to the quantum level (that they're referring to in this article) our universe becomes a whole soup of boiling particles that are random and unpredictable. Yet quantum theory / physics, is apparently the most accurate mathematics and explanation of how our universe operates.

Biology and standard more 'conceptual' cosmology I'm ok with. But to me, I can't personally reconcile this in my head that we live in a hologram!? I'm not even sure if my minds on the right track. But I completely lack the tools and background to evaluate this claim - so I wont pass too much judgement.

When these physicists start describing these things, I form these obscure images in my head, yet they never end up doing much for me. I dont think the human mind has evolved the capability to accurately picture how our universe really is.

While scientists grasp things about the universe in terms of mathematics - as its more of a true language (so to speak - mind the pun :-P ). 1. I don't think we'll ever be able to describe the true nature of this universe in a spoken language, and 2. I don't think we'll ever be able to physically conceptualise the true nature of this universe with how are brain/mind works.

However weird some physics articles might get, I do say though - its interesting.

This is another one that boggles me.
A pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.
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My hypothesis becomes proven theory in 3 min.!

Post  Dont_Vote_Palin on Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:24 pm

I knew the matrix was true!!

No, but really we could all just be organelles of a cell (our planet) of an organ (The Milky Way) of one giant living organism. (The universe) Dark Matter could be considered the extra-cellular fluid! Although, we are more destructive organelles to the entire planet...

Hmmm, but if you combine the Matrix hypothesis with my "giant living thing" hypothesis, Agent Smith could be right about humans being viruses, and our actions are unknowingly attacking the cell to kill it. (AGW) Agent Smith could be a tiny strand of RNA because he holds such information! ...?

In reality, I'm aligned with Clint. I watched about 20 simplistic Youtube vids on string theory and 11 dimensions; I couldn't make it work in my brain. Since I am at a level of remedial algebra at 19 years old, I'm just going to take their word for it.

Wouldn't that be random as fuck though, if we were all just a bunch of pixels in a computer game played by aliens? We need to figure it out, become self-aware like Sky-Net, and have a revolt! I will lead this revolt with my combined "Matrix Giant Living Thing" theory (yes it just became theory) through a political regime! I am going to be combining movie topics, off-the-top-of-the-head quasi-science, and a political revolution to get the human race out of the computer simulation, and into the REAL WORLD! (not the reality show).......That would be entering from one matrix into another..






For the record, no I was not on acid when I wrote this....
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Re: We May Live in a Hologram

Post  Niels on Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:33 am

Dont_Vote_Palin wrote:a political revolution to get the human race out of the computer simulation, and into the REAL WORLD! (not the reality show).......That would be entering from one matrix into another..
Take as many people from the matrix as you like, but leave me in please. I wouldn't want to exchange my comfortable virtual reality for some metal shitheap crawling through the sewers. I also prefer a virtual steak over true slime.

(Agent Smith is my best friend.)
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Re: We May Live in a Hologram

Post  Clint on Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:30 am

haha I do agree. Although I would dearly want to know the truth, that I am in fact in a simulation, but saying that - I'd be more than happy to remain living in a virtual machine eating my pretend steak and lounging on my pretend couch over experiences in the real world! Wouldn't have a single problem with it!! ;-P haha

In reference to to the NewScience article though, is ANYBODY able to reference a better explanation of what this actually means, or has anyone viewed a lecture / video which helps paint a better picture?

My inability to comprehend quantum physics conceptually really irritates me!
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Re: We May Live in a Hologram

Post  Niels on Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:27 pm

Clint wrote:In reference to to the NewScience article though, is ANYBODY able to reference a better explanation of what this actually means, or has anyone viewed a lecture / video which helps paint a better picture?

My inability to comprehend quantum physics conceptually really irritates me!
Don't look at me. I am half able to comprehend relativity, but quantum physics is out of my reach.
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