The team believe that the universe may be a two-dimensional hologram, much like those found in everyday items like banknotes and credit cards. Holograms appear to be 3D but are in fact 2D, and the study suggests that our Universe may be behaving in the same way.
Three years of work to investigate theory
The idea was first suggested by Juan Maldacena in 1997, after he noticed that a majority of the equations that help us to understand the universe would work just as well if it were 2D. Scientists at Vienna Technology University devoted three years to attempts to make this observation fit with the theories of gravity and quantum theory, and now they think they can put the hologram idea to the ultimate test.
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“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,” said researcher Max Riegler.
Daniel Grumiller said, “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.”
Flat space-time could be 2D hologram
Most research into the holographic principle has been carried out in spaces which boast negative curvature, in which any object thrown in a straight line will eventually return to its starting point. The most interesting aspect of this latest piece of research is that it suggests that the principle holds even in flat space-time, such as our Universe.
Although it may sound a bit like a scene from a sci-fi film like the Matrix, the research suggests that we could be living inside a gigantic 2D hologram. The research may be mind boggling but it is advised that people carry on with their daily lives as normal; our day-to-day reality will not change.