The most widely accepted theory as to how our universe came to be the way it is is typically The Big Bang Theory, which posits that all of the matter in the universe today was once held in the tiniest point of energy that eventually exploded in a chemical reaction, rapidly expanding and inflating into what we see around us now.
There are of course other theories as to how the universe came into existence, and one of them involves thinking of it like a broken hologram. Because the highest understandings of physics start to break down at a certain point, some scientists believe that the universe is, or once was, a giant hologram–meaning its physics work fully on a two-dimensional level, but everything appears as if it’s three-dimensional.
As you might have guessed, trying to prove the beginnings of our universe is basically impossible. But, physicists now believe that they have evidence suggesting the hologram theory is just as plausible as the Big Bang theory.
“We are proposing using this holographic Universe, which is a very different model of the Big Bang than the popularly accepted one that relies on gravity and inflation,” says Niayesh Afshordi, who is part of the team proposing the theory.
“Each of these models makes distinct predictions that we can test as we refine our data and improve our theoretical understanding — all within the next five years.”
While the researchers do not believe that we are currently living in a hologram world, they do believe that it’s possible that, at the earliest stages of our universe, say a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang, everything three-dimensional in the universe was actually being projected from a two-dimensional plane.
The idea relies heavily on another idea that the volume of space is “encoded” on some type of observer-dependent gravitational horizon–or a lens that allows us to see more dimensions than are actually present.
The theory has picked up momentum since it was first gaining popularity back in 1997, as over 10,000 papers supporting the theory have been published since.
The team that has acquired new data on the theory says they discovered the data shortly after investigating irregularities in the cosmic microwave background (the remnants of the Big Bang). And the new data seems to support the hologram theory strongly.
“Imagine that everything you see, feel, and hear in three dimensions (and your perception of time) in fact emanates from a flat two-dimensional field. The idea is similar to that of ordinary holograms, where a three-dimensional image is encoded in a two-dimensional surface, such as in the hologram on a credit card. However, this time, the entire Universe is encoded.”
While most physicists and scientists agree on the Big Bang theory, there are unexplainable gaps that are so large and fundamental to mankind’s understanding of physics that we cannot continue to develop modern physics without further understanding the universe around us. No one understands how such a large amount of matter was able to inflate at speeds greater than the speed of light.
The hologram theory fills in many of the gaps that the Big Bang theory seems to be missing.
So, while the team does not believe that we are currently living in a hologram, they believe it could be possible that in the beginning, that’s how our universe was created. However, understanding how the universe transformed into a three-dimensional world from a two-dimensional hologram is another story.
You can read more about the team’s research in Physical Review Letters
Originally Published on Expanded Consciousness
Featured Image Credit: Mauricio Ulloa | Flickr