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The Holographic Principle: Is it a conceivable theory?

Updated on August 29, 2015

Shadows On The Wall

Holography has often been thought of through the ages and has since offered interpretation to some, including the great Greek philosopher, Plato. He summarized an apologue from which he learned from his teacher Socrates. In this fable, there are people chained in a cave so that they can only see the shadows on the wall which are casts from the light of the fire. However, were someone to escape from the cave and venture outside to get a true glimpse of reality and return to share this visual experience with the others, he would be derided and titled a madman.

This is just symbolization of the fact that we are all essentially captives and the palpable world is the cave we reside in.

The literal theory of Plato's tale, is the idea that reality could be represented completely as "shadows on the wall."

Gerard 't Hooft
Gerard 't Hooft | Source

The Holographic Principle

The Holographic Principle was first proposed in 1993 by a theoretical physicist by the name of G. 't Hooft. It consists of two assertions.

  • All of the information encompassed in some province or region of space characterized as a Hologram. It's a theory which lives on the outer perimeter of that region.
  • Second assertion is that the theory on the boundary (or outer perimeter) of the region (or province) of space in question, should contain at most one degree of freedom per Planck area. (A Planck area is the area enclosed by a little square which has side length equal to the Planck length, a basic unit of length which is usually denoted Lp. The Planck length is a fundamental unit of length, because it is the parameter with the dimensions of length which can be constructed out of the basic constants G (Newton's constant for the strength of gravitational interactions), (Planck's constant from quantum mechanics), and c (the speed of light).

Of course at the first glance to us, the universe appears to be three dimensional. The Holographic Principle professes that the mathematical description of the Universe requires one less dimension. Essentially what you would normally perceive as three dimensional may merely be an illustration of two dimensional processes on a colossal cosmic horizon.

My favored resource on this particular subject matter procures from Juan Maldacena's proposed idea of correspondence. From my own bias, it is conscientious resource material. You can easily speculate whether the Holographic Principle is a conceivable theory or whether you oppose it, based of mathematical evidence he introduces in his work.

You can review some of Juan Maldacena's work HERE.


The Correspondence Within Flat Spaces & Multiple Calculated Results

Though it does not seemingly have much to do with our own universe, this is still exceptionally imperative for theoretical physicists. Ostensibly, we don't live in such an anti-de-sitter space (AdSn). Which is a largely symmetric pseudo-Riemannian manifold with constant negative scalar curvature. The idiosyncratic properties of these spaces are negatively curved, any object thrown away on a straight line will eventually return.

There are some theoretical physicists that hypothesize that this principle could pertain to our own universe. We shouldn't have two abundantly divergent interpretations of reality. There has to be just one extensive theory.

Though the evidence we have acquired thus far, does not yet prove that we are in fact living in a two dimensional universe, quantum information and entropy of entanglement in a theory of gravity is a phenomenal advancement, and has thus provided us with justifiable evidence through multiple thorough calculations. And there is most certainly more evidence developing on this theory. Physical Review Letters has many publications on the Holographic Theory, and is a remarkable source to obtain information from. Unfortunately you do have to purchase the publications you're interested in, and I myself have only purchased a couple. Which precludes me from really providing a definite personal insight on the matter. But as of now, I feel that the theory is absolutely conceivable, given the substantiated evidence. I very much look forward to getting to experience further advancements in physics and particularly in the Holographic Theory.

How Could The Correspondence In Flat Space Be Tested?

Gravitational theories must be formulated. (These do not require exotic anti-de-sitter spaces, but live in a flat space.) For roughly three years, several Universities and Institutes have been working in collaboration on this. Now that i'm writing this, I remember reading a cited article through my prior research, that confirmed the correspondence principle in flat space. I will sort through my earlier material, once I find it I will share it with you all. It may take some time given my current college, work and home schedule, but I will make it a priority.

A Thin Sheet of Reality

What is the Holographic Principle?


TU Wien (2015). Is The Universe A Hologram? Source: Vienna University of Technology

Maldacena. J. (1998). The Large N Limit of Superconformal field theories and supergravity. Lyman Laboratory of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138

Physical Review Letters


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