Whatever, We’re Probably Living In A Hologram Anyway, Says Neil deGrasse Tyson


Look around you. Your shoes, that tree, the Starbucks cold brew you’re clutching—it’s all very much right here in the real world. But what if the “real world” we live and move around in is just a computer simulation? Neil deGrasse Tyson, everyone’s favorite astrophysicist, thinks there’s a very high chance that everything we know is just a hologram. He’s just one of a growing number of people who believe it.

 

Philosopher Nick Bostrom proposed the simulation hypothesis in 2003, and the belief has only snowballed since then. Most notably, Elon Musk and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson have jumped on the nothing-we-know-is-real bandwagon. Tyson hosted the 2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate at the American Museum of Natural History, which addressed this question head-on: Is the universe a simulation? At the event, Tyson was joined by panelists Lisa Randall, a theoretical physicist at Harvard; Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at MIT; David Chalmers, a professor of philosophy at NYU; Zohreh Davoudi, a theoretical physicist at MIT; and James Gates, a theoretical physicist at the University of Maryland.

The opinions on the simulation hypothesis varied (Chalmers had a real mind-boggler: “We’re not going to get conclusive proof that we’re not in a simulation, because any proof would be simulated.”). Tyson himself said, “I think the likelihood may be very high. […] it is easy for me to imagine that everything in our lives is just a creation of some other entity for their entertainment.” But whether or not everyone is in agreement about the matter, the concept is legitimate enough for the top minds in theoretical physics to meet on and parse out.

It’s Time To Meet Your Simulator

 Okay, let’s play along. Say nothing is actually real and we’re all just a bunch of cosmic holograms living out our lives in someone’s elaborate computer simulation. Who is that someone? Martin Savage, a physicist at the University of Washington, has some thoughts. Savage, along with two colleagues, published a paper that explores this issue in November 2012. In a conversation with Talk Nerdy To Me, Savage explains that the simulators may be our own descendants from the far future. Whoa. In the same way archaeologists dig up bones and other artifacts to piece together our past, perhaps future generations will have the ability to recreate simulations of how their ancestors (us) once lived. Yes, maybe your great-great-great-great-great-grandkid is studying you right this second. Hi, kiddo!

2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation?

Watch the video discussion. URL:

Source:curiosity.com

Physicists Discover ‘Clearest Evidence Yet’ That The Universe Is A Hologram


A team of physicists have provided what has been described by the journal Nature as the “clearest evidence yet” that our universe is a hologram.

The new research could help reconcile one of modern physics’ most enduring problems : the apparent inconsistencies between the different models of the universe as explained by quantum physics and Einstein’s theory of gravity.

physicists-discover-clearest-evidence-yet-that-universe-is-a-hologram

The two new scientific papers are the culmination of years’ work led by Yoshifumi Hyakutake of Ibaraki University in Japan, and deal with hypothetical calculations of the energies of black holes in different universes.

The idea of the universe existing as a ‘hologram’ doesn’t refer to a Matrix-like illusion, but the theory that the three dimensions we perceive are actually just“painted” onto the cosmological horizon – the boundary of the known universe.

If this sounds paradoxical, try to imagine a holographic picture that changes as you move it. Although the picture is two dimensional, observing it from different locations creates the illusion that it is 3D.

This model of the universe helps explain some inconsistencies between general relativity (Einstein’s theory) and quantum physics. Although Einstein’s work underpins much of modern physics, at certain extremes (such as in the middle of a black hole) the principles he outlined break down and the laws of quantum physics take over.

The traditional method of reconciling these two models has come from the 1997 work of theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena, whose ideas built upon string theory.

This is one of the most well respected ‘theories of everything’ (Stephen Hawking is a fan) and it posits that one-dimensional vibrating objects known as ‘strings’ are the elementary particles of the universe.

Maldacena has welcomed the new research by Hyakutake and his team, telling the journal Nature that the findings are “an interesting way to test many ideas in quantum gravity and string theory.”

Leonard Susskind, a theoretical physicist regarded as one of the fathers of string theory, added that the work 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.”

Scientists Find First Observed Evidence That Our Universe May Be a Hologram


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An international study claims to have found first observed evidence that our universe is a hologram.

What is the holographic universe idea? It’s not exactly that we are living in some kind of Star Trekky computer simulation. Rather the idea, first proposed in the 1990s by Leonard Susskind and Gerard ‘t Hooft, says that all the information in our 3-dimensional reality may actually be included in the 2-dimensional surface of its boundaries. It’s like watching a 3D show on a 2D television.

“Imagine that everything you see, feel and hear in three dimensions (and your perception of time) in fact emanates from a flat two-dimensional field. The idea is similar to that of ordinary holograms where a three-dimensional image is encoded in a two-dimensional surface, such as in the hologram on a credit card. However, this time, the entire universe is encoded,“ explained the study’s co-author Professor Kostas Skenderis of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

That’s still pretty mind-bending.

The new study involved a team of theoretical physicists and astrophysicists from the U.K., Canada and Italy who studied the cosmic microwave background and discovered enough irregularities there that pointed to the holographic theory as a legitimate rival to the theory of cosmic inflation, the way these anomalies are usually explained.

The new analysis by the scientists was made possible by the advancement of telescope and sensing tech that can look for information in the “white noise” or microwaves that remain from the early universe right after the Big Bang.

By studying and mapping data from the Planck space telescope, the team found that the observational data they found was largely predictable by the math of holographic theory.

“Holography is a huge leap forward in the way we think about the structure and creation of the universe. Einstein’s theory of general relativity explains almost everything large scale in the universe very well, but starts to unravel when examining its origins and mechanisms at quantum level. Scientists have been working for decades to combine Einstein’s theory of gravity and quantum theory. Some believe the concept of a holographic universe has the potential to reconcile the two. I hope our research takes us another step towards this,” added Professor Skenderis.

holographic universe

A sketch of the timeline of the holographic Universe where time runs from left to right. The holographic phase (far left) is where the image is blurry because space and time haven’t been defined yet. After this phase comes to a close, the Universe goes into a geometric phase, which can be described by Einstein’s equations. Credit: Paul McFadden

The implications of this study could lead the scientists to improved understanding of how time and space were created.

“When we go into this concept of holography, it’s a new way of thinking about things. Even the scientists who worked on this for the past 20 years don’t have the right tools or the right language to describe what’s going on,” said Skenderis. “It’s a new paradigm for a physical reality.”

The study’s lead author, Niayesh Afshordi of the Perimeter Institute and the University of Waterlo, expressed a similarly positive sentiment about their finding:

“I would argue this is the simplest theory of the early universe. And so far, this is as simple as it gets. And it could help explain everything we see,” Afshordi said.

Is the universe a hologram? 


The ‘holographic principle,’ the idea that a universe with gravity can be described by a quantum field theory in fewer dimensions, has been used for years as a mathematical tool in strange curved spaces. New results suggest that the holographic principle also holds in flat spaces. Our own universe could in fact be two dimensional and only appear three dimensional — just like a hologram.

Is our universe a hologram?
At first glance, there is not the slightest doubt: to us, the universe looks three dimensional. But one of the most fruitful theories of theoretical physics in the last two decades is challenging this assumption. The “holographic principle” asserts that a mathematical description of the universe actually requires one fewer dimension than it seems. What we perceive as three dimensional may just be the image of two dimensional processes on a huge cosmic horizon.

Up until now, this principle has only been studied in exotic spaces with negative curvature. This is interesting from a theoretical point of view, but such spaces are quite different from the space in our own universe. Results obtained by scientists at TU Wien (Vienna) now suggest that the holographic principle even holds in a flat spacetime.

The Holographic Principle

Everybody knows holograms from credit cards or banknotes. They are two dimensional, but to us they appear three dimensional. Our universe could behave quite similarly: “In 1997, the physicist Juan Maldacena proposed the idea that there is a correspondence between gravitational theories in curved anti-de-sitter spaces on the one hand and quantum field theories in spaces with one fewer dimension on the other,” says Daniel Grumiller (TU Wien).

Gravitational phenomena are described in a theory with three spatial dimensions, the behaviour of quantum particles is calculated in a theory with just two spatial dimensions — and the results of both calculations can be mapped onto each other. Such a correspondence is quite surprising. It is like finding out that equations from an astronomy textbook can also be used to repair a CD-player. But this method has proven to be very successful. More than ten thousand scientific papers about Maldacena’s “AdS-CFT-correspondence” have been published to date.

Correspondence Even in Flat Spaces

For theoretical physics, this is extremely important, but it does not seem to have much to do with our own universe. Apparently, we do not live in such an anti-de-sitter-space. These spaces have quite peculiar properties. They are negatively curved, any object thrown away on a straight line will eventually return. “Our universe, in contrast, is quite flat — and on astronomic distances, it has positive curvature,” says Daniel Grumiller.

However, Grumiller has suspected for quite some time that a correspondence principle could also hold true for our real universe. To test this hypothesis, gravitational theories have to be constructed, which do not require exotic anti-de-sitter spaces, but live in a flat space. For three years, he and his team at TU Wien (Vienna) have been working on that, in cooperation with the University of Edinburgh, Harvard, IISER Pune, the MIT and the University of Kyoto. Now Grumiller and colleagues from India and Japan have published an article in the journal Physical Review Letters, confirming the validity of the correspondence principle in a flat universe.

Calculated Twice, Same Result

“If quantum gravity in a flat space allows for a holographic description by a standard quantum theory, then there must be physical quantities, which can be calculated in both theories — and the results must agree,” says Grumiller. Especially one key feature of quantum mechanics -quantum entanglement — has to appear in the gravitational theory.

When quantum particles are entangled, they cannot be described individually. They form a single quantum object, even if they are located far apart. There is a measure for the amount of entanglement in a quantum system, called “entropy of entanglement.” Together with Arjun Bagchi, Rudranil Basu and Max Riegler, Daniel Grumiller managed to show that this entropy of entanglement takes the same value in flat quantum gravity and in a low dimension quantum field theory.

“This calculation affirms our assumption that the holographic principle can also be realized in flat spaces. It is evidence for the validity of this correspondence in our universe,” says Max Riegler (TU Wien). “The fact that we can even talk about quantum information and entropy of entanglement in a theory of gravity is astounding in itself, and would hardly have been imaginable only a few years back. That we are now able to use this as a tool to test the validity of the holographic principle, and that this test works out, is quite remarkable,” says Daniel Grumiller.

This however, does not yet prove that we are indeed living in a hologram — but apparently there is growing evidence for the validity of the correspondence principle in our own universe.

Physicists discover ‘clearest evidence yet’ that the Universe is a hologram


A team of physicists have provided what has been described by the journal Nature as the “clearest evidence yet” that our universe is a hologram.

The new research could help reconcile one of modern physics’ most enduring problems : the apparent inconsistencies between the different models of the universe as explained by quantum physics and Einstein’s theory of gravity.

The two new scientific papers are the culmination of years’ work led by Yoshifumi Hyakutake of Ibaraki University in Japan, and deal with hypothetical calculations of the energies of black holes in different universes.

The idea of the universe existing as a ‘hologram’ doesn’t refer to a Matrix-like illusion, but the theory that the three dimensions we perceive are actually just“painted” onto the cosmological horizon – the boundary of the known universe.

If this sounds paradoxical, try to imagine a holographic picture that changes as you move it. Although the picture is two dimensional, observing it from different locations creates the illusion that it is 3D.

This model of the universe helps explain some inconsistencies between general relativity (Einstein’s theory) and quantum physics. Although Einstein’s work underpins much of modern physics, at certain extremes (such as in the middle of a black hole) the principles he outlined break down and the laws of quantum physics take over.

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The traditional method of reconciling these two models has come from the 1997 work of theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena, whose ideas built upon string theory.

This is one of the most well respected ‘theories of everything’(Stephen Hawking is a fan) and it posits that one-dimensional vibrating objects known as ‘strings’ are the elementary particles of the universe.

Maldacena has welcomed the new research by Hyakutake and his team, telling the journal Nature that the findings are “an interesting way to test many ideas in quantum gravity and string theory.”

Leonard Susskind, a theoretical physicist regarded as one of the fathers of string theory, added that the work 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.”

Is the universe a hologram?


Describing the universe requires fewer dimensions than we might think. New calculations show that this may not just be a mathematical trick, but a fundamental feature of space itself.

At first glance, there is not the slightest doubt: to us, the universe looks three dimensional. But one of the most fruitful theories of in the last two decades is challenging this assumption. The “” asserts that a mathematical description of the universe actually requires one fewer dimension than it seems. What we perceive as three dimensional may just be the image of two dimensional processes on a huge cosmic horizon.

Up until now, this principle has only been studied in exotic spaces with negative curvature. This is interesting from a theoretical point of view, but such spaces are quite different from the space in our own universe. Results obtained by scientists at TU Wien (Vienna) now suggest that the holographic principle even holds in a flat spacetime.

The Holographic Principle

Everybody knows holograms from credit cards or banknotes. They are two dimensional, but to us they appear three dimensional. Our universe could behave quite similarly: “In 1997, the physicist Juan Maldacena proposed the idea that there is a correspondence between gravitational theories in curved anti-de-sitter spaces on the one hand and quantum field theories in spaces with one fewer dimension on the other”, says Daniel Grumiller (TU Wien).

Gravitational phenomena are described in a theory with three spatial dimensions, the behaviour of quantum particles is calculated in a theory with just two spatial dimensions – and the results of both calculations can be mapped onto each other. Such a correspondence is quite surprising. It is like finding out that equations from an astronomy textbook can also be used to repair a CD-player. But this method has proven to be very successful. More than ten thousand scientific papers about Maldacena’s “AdS-CFT-correspondence” have been published to date.

Correspondence Even in Flat Spaces

For theoretical physics, this is extremely important, but it does not seem to have much to do with our own universe. Apparently, we do not live in such an anti-de-sitter-space. These spaces have quite peculiar properties. They are negatively curved, any object thrown away on a straight line will eventually return. “Our universe, in contrast, is quite flat – and on astronomic distances, it has positive curvature”, says Daniel Grumiller.

However, Grumiller has suspected for quite some time that a correspondence principle could also hold true for our real universe. To test this hypothesis, gravitational theories have to be constructed, which do not require exotic anti-de-sitter spaces, but live in a flat space. For three years, he and his team at TU Wien (Vienna) have been working on that, in cooperation with the University of Edinburgh, Harvard, IISER Pune, the MIT and the University of Kyoto. Now Grumiller and colleagues from India and Japan have published an article in the journal Physical Review Letters, confirming the validity of the correspondence principle in a flat universe.

Calculated Twice, Same Result

“If quantum gravity in a flat space allows for a holographic description by a standard quantum theory, then there must by physical quantities, which can be calculated in both theories – and the results must agree”, says Grumiller. Especially one key feature of quantum mechanics -quantum entanglement – has to appear in the gravitational theory.

When are entangled, they cannot be described individually. They form a single quantum object, even if they are located far apart. There is a measure for the amount of entanglement in a quantum system, called “entropy of entanglement”. Together with Arjun Bagchi, Rudranil Basu and Max Riegler, Daniel Grumiller managed to show that this entropy of entanglement takes the same value in flat quantum gravity and in a low dimension quantum field theory.

“This calculation affirms our assumption that the holographic principle can also be realized in flat spaces. It is evidence for the validity of this correspondence in our universe”, says Max Riegler (TU Wien). “The fact that we can even talk about quantum information and entropy of entanglement in a theory of gravity is astounding in itself, and would hardly have been imaginable only a few years back. That we are now able to use this as a tool to test the validity of the holographic principle, and that this test works out, is quite remarkable”, says Daniel Grumiller.

This however, does not yet prove that we are indeed living in a hologram – but apparently there is growing evidence for the validity of the correspondence principle in our own .

Experiment tests whether universe is a hologram.


The search for the fundamental units of space and time has officially begun. Physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago, Illinois, announced this week that the Holometer, a device designed to test whether we live in a giant hologram, has started taking data.

The experiment is testing the idea that the universe is actually made up of tiny “bits”, in a similar way to how a newspaper photo is actually made up of dots. These fundamental units of space and time would be unbelievably tiny: a hundred billion billion times smaller than a proton. And like the well-knownquantum behaviour of matter and energy, these bits of space-time would behave more like waves than particles.

“The theory is that space is made of waves instead of points, that everything is a little jittery, and never sits still,” says Craig Hogan at the University of Chicago, who dreamed up the experiment.

The Holometer is designed to measure this “jitter”. The surprisingly simple device is operated from a shed in a field near Chicago, and consists of two powerful laser beams that are directed through tubes 40 metres long. The lasers precisely measure the positions of mirrors along their paths at two points in time.

If space-time is smooth and shows no quantum behaviour, then the mirrors should remain perfectly still. But if both lasers measure an identical, small difference in the mirrors’ position over time, that could mean the mirrors are being jiggled about by fluctuations in the fabric of space itself.

So what of the idea that the universe is a hologram? This stems from the notion that information cannot be destroyed, so for example the 2D event horizon of a black hole “records” everything that falls into it. If this is the case, then the boundary of the universe could also form a 2D representation of everything contained within the universe, like a hologram storing a 3D image in 2D .

Hogan cautions that the idea that the universe is a hologram is somewhat misleading because it suggests that our experience is some kind of illusion, a projection like a television screen. If the Holometer finds a fundamental unit of space, it won’t mean that our 3D world doesn’t exist. Rather it will change the way we understand its basic makeup. And so far, the machine appears to be working.

In a presentation given in Chicago on Monday at the International Conference on Particle Physics and Cosmology, Hogan said that the initial results show the Holometer is capable of measuring quantum fluctuations in space-time, if they are there.

“This was kind of an amazing moment,” says Hogan. “It’s just noise right now – we don’t know whether it’s space-time noise – but the machine is operating at that specification.”

Hogan expects that the Holometer will have gathered enough data to put together an answer to the quantum question within a year. If the space-time jitter is there, Hogan says it could underpin entirely new explanations for why the expansion of our universe is accelerating, something traditionally attributed to the little understood phenomenon of dark energy.

Ann Nelson, a physicist at the University of Washington in Seattle, says the Holometer is a novel experiment for probing space on the smallest scales. But even if the experiment finds something, the wider implications for physics are still not well understood.

“It would mean that all our standard assumptions about space-time and effective local theories are wrong, at least when gravity is important,” she says.

Hologram technology coming to a smartphone near you soon.


To see the future of technology, all you have to do is pay close attention to sci-fi movies. Tablets, video conferencing, air gestures — these are all technologies that were predicted by films. So where are our holograms?

While recent hologram technology has helped bring deceased artists back to life, they require complex mirror and light systems, and cost a fortune to create. Our fantasies of holograms in our pockets — that is projected from smartphones, tablets and watches — has been but a dream.

A California company based in Carlsbad called Ostendo Technologies Inc., however, could hold the key to bringing that sci-fi fantasy into reality.

According to the The Wall Street Journal, Ostendo has developed a tiny Tic Tac-sized projector that can project visible 3D holograms without requiring dorky 3D glasses.

The Ostendo Quantum Photonic Imager “fuses an image processor with a wafer containing micro light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, alongside software that helps the unit properly render images.”

And if you take The Wall Street Journal’s word, it’s not as fuzzy as the ones in Star Wars: A New Hope:

“Ostendo showed a working prototype: a set of six chips laid together that beamed a 3-D image of green dice spinning in the air. The image and motion appeared consistent, irrespective of the position of the viewer.”

Compared to the iPhone’s 326 pixels per inch Retina display, Ostendo’s hologram technology can piece together 3D images with up to 5,000 pixels per inch. That’s tack sharp.

Ostendo plans to ship a 2D version of its high-res projector next year, with the hologram-projecting one set to launch in 2016. With $90 million from venture capitals and a huge chunk of an additional $38 million funding from DARPA, it looks like Ostendo will have the resources to make hologram technology a real thing. Now, someone just needs to invent a real-life R2-D2 that knows how to co-pilot an X-wing and trash talk golden humanoid protocol droids.

Physics breakthrough: Is the universe a giant hologram ?


Scientists have found the “clearest evidence yet” that the universe we inhabit is a giant hologram

The universe we inhabit is a giant hologram paving the way towards reconciling one of physics’ most pressing issues: the relationship between Einstein’s theory of relativity and quantum physics.
In other words, we could be living inside a giant 3D projection of what is actually a two-dimensional space, similar to an IMAX movie theater screen or a painting. Or one could simply imagine the experience of looking at a three-dimensional object from various angles and seeing it change shape according to the point of observation.
The new experimental simulations proposed by Japanese scientist, Yoshifumi Hyakutake, and his team at the Ibaraki University of Japan tackle the varying energies of black holes discovered in parallel universes. But it also goes a long way towards marrying Einstein’s theory of general relativity and the theory of quantum mechanics as the two main theories describing our universe.
The findings were published in the journal, Nature, on December 10.
In physics, the ‘holographic principle’ is a property described in string theory. It represents a volume of space whose entire information can be imagined as encoded on a boundary of that selected space. The holographic principle started by first observing black hole thermodynamics. There, it was noticed that the informational content of all the objects that got sucked in by the hole can be seen in a scaled sense on the hole’s event horizon.
Einstein, in his collective theorizing, posited that space and time are related and should be considered and calculated in relation to each other, and that the measurements of objects will be relative to the velocity of the person observing them. It is very empirical and observable.
Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, deals with particle behavior on an infinitely small scale and therefore cannot belong in Einstein’s empirically testable worldview for the simple reason that it is too abstract and theoretical.
Though both suffer from certain inconsistencies: Einstein’s theory, for instance, breaks down when one imagines the middle of a black hole – an object in which time and space both collapse – the theories have been competing each other and generally hardly viewed as parallel. Scientists have been looking for a linking theory.
Hyakutake’s model explains some inconsistencies between the two big models, furthering the research first carried out in 1997. Then, theoretical physicist, Juan Maldacena, catapulted ‘string theory’ into the spotlight providing a reliable realization of the holographic principle.
That theory – which is widely said to explain the nature of everything – believes that the universe is made of tiny, immeasurable ‘strings’, or one-dimensional objects that vibrate and fluctuate, and in so doing account for the activity of all matter and time.
The theory goes that the strings exist in nine dimensions of space and one of time. But because their scale is so difficult to measure – and yet they are believed to control everything – they are said to ‘project’ their activity onto a much simpler, flat space with no gravity whatsoever.
This produced a world without gravity laws. However, it did not yet prove the universe is a hologram.
Furthering the string theory, Hyakutake wrote two papers.
hologram-1
In one, he measures the internal energy of a black hole – specifically, the place where the hole meets the universe, otherwise known as the ‘event horizon’. He measures the activity of its visible properties (made up of visible particles) based on string theory and the effects of virtual particles, which at times appear and then disappear – many scientists even consider them a purely mathematical tool.
In the second paper, Hyakutake and his team calculated the same activity at lower dimensions (without gravity involved) and the results matched the measurements of the first paper.

 

space-evidence-universe-hologram
The two new papers take Maldacena’s findings further by proposing an extra dimension. That tenth lower dimension has no gravity and its particles neatly line up in a set of strings oscillating in harmony, attached to one another – and not in chaos, which is what we had until now.
And now, the scientists finally seem to have laid hands on mathematical proof that the universe can be measured according to both approaches – one that involves gravity and one that does not. If they are as identical as they seem, Maldacena himself predicts that we could one day use just quantum theory alone to explain the nature of everything in the universe.

hologram-1
Maldacena has already voiced his excitement at Hyakutake’s calculations, saying that they appear to be correct. He told Nature that “the whole sequence of papers is very nice because it tests the dual [nature of the universes] in regimes where there are no analytic tests.”
“They have numerically confirmed, perhaps for the first time, something we were fairly sure had to be true, but was still a conjecture — namely that the thermodynamics of certain black holes can be reproduced from a lower-dimensional universe,” said Leonard Susskind, a theoretical physicist at Stanford University, California, who was one of the first proponents of the theory of the universe as a hologram.

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