Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Shop the Truthdig Gift Guide 2014
December 20, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!


Loss of Rainforests Is Double Whammy Threat to Climate






Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Ear to the Ground

Are We Living in a ‘Giant Cosmic Hologram’?

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Feb 12, 2010
Hubble image
Wikimedia Commons/NASA

The NGC 2082 galaxy, according to NASA, in an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

It’s not often that we pose questions like this to you, honored readers, and to be frank, we can’t answer this one. However, some really smart physicists and their state-of-the-art machines are exploring the issue, and from the look of it this baffling notion might just be true.  —KA

New Scientist:

For many months, the GEO600 team-members had been scratching their heads over inexplicable noise that is plaguing their giant detector. Then, out of the blue, a researcher approached them with an explanation. In fact, he had even predicted the noise before he knew they were detecting it. According to Craig Hogan, a physicist at the Fermilab particle physics lab in Batavia, Illinois, GEO600 has stumbled upon the fundamental limit of space-time - the point where space-time stops behaving like the smooth continuum Einstein described and instead dissolves into “grains”, just as a newspaper photograph dissolves into dots as you zoom in. “It looks like GEO600 is being buffeted by the microscopic quantum convulsions of space-time,” says Hogan.

If this doesn’t blow your socks off, then Hogan, who has just been appointed director of Fermilab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics, has an even bigger shock in store: “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.

Read more

More Below the Ad

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Fundamentalizer, February 13, 2010 at 7:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If only it were true. My research indicates something quite radically different. Rather than a hologram, we are living in the reflection of a puddle left behind by a drunken deity stumbling home from the divine tavern. And worse, it is evaporating! Soon there shall be nothing left of us but the fading scent picked by Cerberus as he winds his way along on his morning walk.

Report this

By john crandell, February 13, 2010 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

A hologram?

Yes, it’s more commonly known as eyesight.

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, February 13, 2010 at 3:16 am Link to this comment

Re: Mike3

“And your father’s work was not for nothing – one of those gum chewing stupid girls whose eyes glazed over will remember something he said long after; after rehab and two broken marriages.”

Geez… all the compliments about “gum chewing girls” and “eyes glazed over”(I assume this is a reference to women…?), “rehab” and “two broken marriages”.  lol

Well, so much for what you know.

Funny thing is though, that I personally had a VERY CLOSE friend with ALMOST your samename.  You could “probably” call us intimate friends.  Like the “woman at the well” said, (paraphrased) “The man I am living with now is not my husband”.  Of course, you know the rest…. Jesus blessed her for TELLING THE TRUTH.

Even though I’m an atheist… I gotta say, how can you help but not love Jesus.

Report this

By Mike3, February 13, 2010 at 1:37 am Link to this comment

gerard:  I agree with you completely and sympathize with your father. But we must never stop discussing these things. It’s a plus for TruthDig that they published this article. And your father’s work was not for nothing – one of those gum chewing stupid girls whose eyes glazed over will remember something he said long after; after rehab and two broken marriages. The beauty and wisdom of this teaching (linked with quantum theory) and that is slowly taking root, is that nothing is lost or happens in isolation. And even gum chewing girls bored with life, are seekers too.

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, February 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment

Quote: “Are We Living in a ‘Giant Cosmic Hologram’?”

Its hard not to think so…. isn’t it?  Everytime you think things are one way, suddenly the opposite is true.  Then the opposite of that and then again the opposite of that.  The wonderful thing is that IF YOU KEEP AN OPEN MIND, why…. everything simply falls into place, almost as if it was meant to be there.  It’s incredible really…. phenominal in the least.

Very seriously, I couldn’t have done it better “myself” (okay… that’s bloviating, but still… ), good job.

Report this

By gerard, February 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

Mike3:  But does “the big lesson” ever reach the people who need it most?

I remember my father trying to teach the Sarah Palins of his generation about the solar system and how the Grand Canyon was formed.  While they chewed their gum,  their eyes glazed over and they broke his heart, week after week for thirty years.

Report this

By Mike3, February 12, 2010 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Surely the big lesson of modern science Quantum Physics or Quantum Theory that has replaced Newton’s Mechanistic Model of the universe; is that certainty is definitely not in vogue, and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle rules. This has impacted politics slightly; people, who are certain about political “truth”: who scream and burn books or sound like Bill O’Reilly, are not trusted quite so much. In Europe for sure, I can’t speak for America. We had our own much more dangerous version of Bill O’Reilly.

These scientific discoveries stimulate the spiritual aspect and the old philosophical questions, vis-à-vis the ultimate nature of reality, and again Quantum Theory does not diminish this mystery but deepens it. But it deepens it in a different direction to the Judaic-Christian world view that the whole thing as we have been told has some kind of divine purpose i.e. to support the human ego. By accepting the fact that the universe simply is, as the great Eastern sages have always maintained, would eliminate a lot of suffering.

Report this

By gerard, February 12, 2010 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

The “beamsplitter” was not the only one that “had an extra sidewise jitter.” 

What gets me most, though, is how these guys can sit there staring into outer space through these tremendous machines while Mother Earth is being degraded day after day right before our naked eyes.

Shortsighted of me, I suppose.  But if present destruction of the earth continues, quantum physics will also take a long leap back into darkness.

Report this

By Aaron Ortiz, February 12, 2010 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

So the Earth IS flat! I knew it! Now all we need to discover is the stack of turtles
that support it all the way down!

smile

Report this

By GW=MCHammered, February 12, 2010 at 10:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve often felt our lives were a different-dimension
highschool science project gone awry. But now we know
calamity is likely just some cosmic catalyst injected
into the reflective soup of a phantom reality.

So I ask, if we believe our Free Will to be real, can
we choose a Common Sense response to Ruling Men’s Loco?
After all, it’s our hologram too. And apparently, the
soup is already plenty stirred before it arrives.

Report this
 
Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Zuade Kaufman, Publisher   Robert Scheer, Editor-in-Chief
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook