The universe is a hologram


A team of physicists has provided some of the clearest evidence yet that our Universe could be just one big projection.

In 1997, theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena proposed1 that an audacious model of the Universe in which gravity arises from infinitesimally thin, vibrating strings could be reinterpreted in terms of well-established physics. The mathematically intricate world of strings, which exist in nine dimensions of space plus one of time, would be merely a hologram: the real action would play out in a simpler, flatter cosmos where there is no gravity.

Maldacena’s idea thrilled physicists because it offered a way to put the popular but still unproven theory of strings on solid footing — and because it solved apparent inconsistencies between quantum physics and Einstein’s theory of gravity.

It provided physicists with a mathematical Rosetta stone, a ‘duality’, that allowed them to translate back and forth between the two languages, and solve problems in one model that seemed intractable in the other and vice versa (see ‘Collaborative physics: String theory finds a bench mate‘). But although the validity of Maldacena’s ideas has pretty much been taken for granted ever since, a rigorous proof has been elusive.

Read on …

7 Responses to “The universe is a hologram”

  1. Amfortas December 16, 2013 at 12:06 Permalink

    And the good Doctor’s next project will require some cadavers and a lot of cables, some lengths of 4 x 2 and some porridge for his manservant Igor.

  2. Mark in Mayenne December 16, 2013 at 12:15 Permalink


  3. JD December 16, 2013 at 13:07 Permalink

    Yawn…this is not a new idea.
    Malcadena in 1997?
    Try Alain Aspect in 1982 or David Bohm’s theory of the Implicate Order long before that-

    Bohm called it “the holonomic universe” and even earlier was Sir James Jeans (1877 – 1946)
    “the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter… we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.”


  4. CherryPie December 16, 2013 at 21:44 Permalink

    Following on from JD – Michio Kaku has also written and spoken extensively about string theory and the holographic universe.

  5. richard December 16, 2013 at 22:12 Permalink

    David Icke is right then. I thought he was mad, maybe he is, but he’s been harping on about a hologram universe. Goodness gracious, I hope he’s wrong about the lizard men. And the moon.

  6. Amfortas December 17, 2013 at 00:20 Permalink

    Bohm shook the scientific world by the scruff of its neck with his views, backed by elegant equations. The Implicate is the ‘set of rules’ and more. It is active. It is, in an interpretation of his view, the ‘Supernatural’ that mystics and ‘religious’ speak of.

    ‘Science’ quickly marginalised him. Hahaha.

  7. CherryPie December 17, 2013 at 00:33 Permalink

    It is, in an interpretation of his view, the ‘Supernatural’ that mystics and ‘religious’ speak of.

    The two things are one and the same, expressed in different ways ;-)

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