If someone said that the Earth is flat they would dismiss it as ignorant, but things change when we analyze the universe. There is a conjecture that ensures that everything we know can be explained as a hologram contained in only two dimensions. A new model gives weight to that theory.
The idea that the whole universe can be understood as a complex three-dimensional hologram is not new. The conjecture is called Holographic Principle, and has been around since 1993. What this hypothesis postulates is that the reality we perceive as three-dimensional can actually be explained as the holographic image of what happens in an infinite two-dimensional horizon. It is as if the objects of a room could be explained and measured by the information left by their shadows on the walls. Kostas Skenderis, of the department of mathematics of the University of Southampton, in the United Kingdom, and one of the authors of the study explains thus the Holographic Principle:
Imagine that everything you see, feel and hear in three dimensions (including your perception of time) actually emanates from a flat field with only two dimensions. The idea is similar to those holograms in which a three-dimensional image is encoded in a flat object, as in the small holograms of credit cards. The difference is that here is the whole universe that is encoded on a flat surface.
The problem with this description is that it is very easy to fall into the fascinating idea that we live on a kind of intergalactic petri dish on which rests a hologram emitted by you to know what advanced civilization with murky intentions. From there to relate it to the Bostrom theory and to think that we live in a Matrix style simulation there is very little.
What the new study published in Physical Review Letters has found is not the proof that we live trapped in a hologram, but that the data we know of the universe maybe (just maybe) can be explained by a two-dimensional holographic model, which is very different. Actually, it is a very promising find.
Current physics has a problem. The theory of general relativity formulated by Einstein is great for explaining phenomena on a large scale, but it begins to fail when it comes to explaining minute processes at the quantum level. This problem is especially serious when it comes to describing and explaining the universe in the moments immediately following the Big Bang.
What the new study has achieved is to develop a model with only two dimensions in which years of data on microwave background radiation fit, which is the radiation supposedly emitted by the Big Bang that today is measured and studied to try to understand the origin of the universe. The study does not even explain all this radiation (only a 10-degree portion) but it fits, and that’s important at the time of postulating the Holographic Principle as the theory that finally allows to reconcile general physics with quantum physics. It was as easy (or as daring) as removing a dimension.
The holographic principle is still far from being anything more than a simple conjecture, but if we prove it is true, it would allow us to understand issues such as space-time or gravity in a completely revolutionary way.