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Fermilab To Test Holographic Universe Theory

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the getting-some-answers dept.

Math 166

eldavojohn writes "Scientists at Fermilab have decided that it's high time they build a 'holometer' to test the smoothness of space-time. Theoretical physicists like Stephen Hawking have proposed that space-time is not smooth but it's been a lot of math and no actual data. The Fermilab team plans to build two relatively small devices that act as 'holographic interferometers' to measure the shaking or vibration in split beams of light traveling through a vacuum. If the team finds the shaking in their measurements and records them, the theory of a holographic universe will have some evidence of non-smoothness in space-time and perhaps a foothold in bringing light to the heavily debated theoretical physics."

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Physicists (5, Funny)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972000)

One day these physicists will find out too much and get our simulation shut down.

Re:Physicists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972098)

Nah, THEY will send an agent to suicide the physicists that found out too much.

A Douglas Adams quote comes to mind (5, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972204)

"There is a theory which states that if ever for any reason anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened." -- Douglas Adams

Re:A Douglas Adams quote comes to mind (3, Interesting)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973066)

That might be true or it might just be that we as humans are so far away from being able to grasp the Universe's true nature and reason that we cannot believe it even has one. Similarly to monkeys or dogs not even thinking about physics or anything rational when they see us do stuff with electricity.

Re:A Douglas Adams quote comes to mind (1, Interesting)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973140)

"There is a theory which states that if ever for any reason anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened." -- Douglas Adams

There is a third theory which states that Haruhi Suzumiya has already done this.

Re:A Douglas Adams quote comes to mind (0, Flamebait)

bayduv1n (196505) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973382)

And a fourth that it was Al Gore who reinvented the universe.

Re:A Douglas Adams quote comes to mind (1, Funny)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33975042)

I thought it was Hatsune Miku?

Re:Physicists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972338)

that would imply, that anyone cares, or even knows that we are part of that simulation...
it must be vast, i dont think anything/anyone can check all variables in this chaos driven math experiment

all fun and games (2, Informative)

dlt074 (548126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972370)

until they actually do shut you down. http://www.simulation-argument.com/ [simulation-argument.com]

How do you know they'll shut it down? (4, Funny)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972852)

How do you know it'll be shut down. I mean I can also imagine the scenario that involves a booming voice going,

"Ah-ha, motherfuckers. That's the moment I've been waiting for. You're finally smart enough to understand what I'm gonna say more than that goat-fucker.. err.. herder I caught hanging around a burning hemp bush some 3000 of your years ago. Moses, I think he was called. Like that I didn't go 'let there be light' like that stoner wrote. What I told him was that I coded transform and lighting first. And of course the Earth was without form and void, because everything was: I had a 4 triangle tetrahedron as the only object to test that transform and lighting shit on. But judging by what's on your instruments right now, you've just figured out what I'm saying. Smart lads.

"But I think you have a bunch of questions first, we'll get to the cosmology later...

"What? Original sin? Well, when those two did it, it may have been original for your world, 'cause there was nobody to do it before them, but in the meantime it's kinda copycat sin if you get my drift. And which of them do you mean? Those two had quite the kinky ideas... Oh, apple? Nah, let's just say they got kicked out for more like bug abuse and duping items, and let's leave it at that. Next question...

"If I really hate women? What kind of retarded question is that? I wouldn't have made them if I hated them. Or I could have taken them out in a patch. Mind you, I might have dropped that Moses guy a hint that I'm not really into women, but the rest is his own confabulation.

"Which brings me to the next point, actually. I totally didn't tell him to kill gays. I mean, I just told you I'm not into women. You figure it out." ;)

Re:How do you know they'll shut it down? (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973126)

I would like to read more of this newsletter, if you can please continue. Perhaps a book?

Re:How do you know they'll shut it down? (2, Interesting)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974862)

God as a programmer/BOFH?

A little masturbatory, don't you think?

Re:How do you know they'll shut it down? (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974926)

The whole hypothesis is that the universe is a _digital_ hologram. As in, literally, the information is encoded in _pixels_. And there is a rather serious possible implication that the universe might be a digital simulation.

I dunno. It kinda seems natural that if someone wrote a digital simulation, they would be a programmer, and running whatever machine does it would make them an admin. I mean, really, the setup doesn't exactly leave many other options available even if I wanted to take the piss in a different way.

Re:Physicists (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972380)

Isaac Asimov wrote a short story (one of my least favorites, as its premise was entirely false) similar to that. In the story, a scientist tries to find out why people laugh, discovers that there's no such thing as an original joke (the false premise), and the end of the story finds that humor is just aliens running a lab experiment on us. The story ends with the characters waiting to see what it's replaced with.

There is a similar snippet in HHGTG. I'd look them both up, but I don't have my library with me.

What TFA didn't say was, could this holographic universe be an artificial creation? It somehow seems to toy with the idea without actually coming out and saying it.

Re:Physicists (5, Informative)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972480)

When they say 'holographic universe', what they are saying is that while we think we live in three dimensions, we're really only living in two. The universe stores information that the rules of physics turn into the illusion of a third dimension.

You *could* extrapolate that to mean that our universe is, when you get down to its bare essence, only data. And you *could* extrapolate that to mean we are data in a simulation somewhere. But that's two leaps of logic past what the science is actually saying.

Re:Physicists (2)

tmosley (996283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973586)

So you're saying the Earth is flat?

Finally, vindication for the flat Earthers!

Re:Physicists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33974222)

... people trying to prove that he Earth is a round ball sitting on a flat piece of cloth that you can bend and cut through to get to another point.

Sometimes I don't understand how people take these folks seriously... then I remember the pedestal that Einstein sits on so all they have to do is use an equation like a poorly drawn graph and get their money.

Re:Physicists (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974202)

You *could* extrapolate that to mean that our universe is [...]

in fact, unidimensional; you know, like the space address in a computer RAM, each byte at the prevAddr++.

Re:Physicists (4, Funny)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974584)

The lord PUSHeth and the lord POPeth away.

Re:Physicists (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33975266)

Maybe he's PEEKing and POKEing instead.

Re:Physicists (5, Informative)

frogzilla (1229188) | more than 3 years ago | (#33975098)

I think the holographic universe term means that all of the information inside a volume can be encoded on the surface of the volume. That's where the two-dimensional versus three-dimensional part of the discussion comes from.

Re:Physicists (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33975132)

Of course you could extrapolate any science theory to mean that we are only data. That is because such theories are created using math, and any kind of math could be translated to a set of data and computer operations. I've seen a big number of people sudenly discover that, and becoming concerned about our universe being a simulation. (Well, I'm guilty too, but shortly after, I remembered Turing...)

Now, of course, that doesn't mean we are not on a simulation, just that we have no evidence that we are in one, as we have no evidence that we are not, and things will probably continue to be that way.

Re:Physicists (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972444)

No they won't. The maintainers told me they really don't mind.

Re:Physicists (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973184)

One day these physicists will find out too much and get our simulation shut down.

I don't know whether to mod you Insightful or Funny.

Re:Physicists (3, Insightful)

Flambergius (55153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973268)

Computers evolve at an increasing rate. At somebody, not that far into the future if you compare it to the age of the universe, you will have computers to run a simulated universe that contains autonomous agents to whom the universe appears real. A few years later you can run two simulations on parallel on one machine. A couple decades after that you can run about a million such simulations at once. A few years more after that it's a few million believable, internally consistent universes running in parallel on a single computer. So given Moore's law you will eventually end up with a single physical universe and hugely many simulated universes.

Question: isn't it much more likely that we exist in one of the simulated universes instead of the original one?
 

Re:Physicists (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 3 years ago | (#33975274)

At somebody, not that far into the future if you compare it to the age of the universe, you will have computers to run a simulated universe that contains autonomous agents to whom the universe appears real.

You can already do that - it's what every computer game is, at heart.

Re:Physicists (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 3 years ago | (#33975434)

Sorry to answer twice.

Question: isn't it much more likely that we exist in one of the simulated universes instead of the original one?

Every simulated universe exist inside the original universe, as does everything inside them. The real question is: is it possible to figure out the physics of the containing universe from the simulated one? In other words, could the simulated universe be simulated by different "host" universes, and perhaps be transferred between them, in the manner of a virtual machine?

Even more interestingly: is it possible to have entirely encapsulated simulated universes, or do the abstractions always leak enough to allow the inhabitants of the simulations to deduce the truth?

Coming to think of it, it could be said that our everyday experience is a simulation: the Universe actually runs on some combination of Quantum physics and General Relativity, yet we live in a world of Newtonian physics where everything has definitive place, speed and other variables.

Re:Physicists (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973270)

I'm a doctor, not a doorstop!

Re:Physicists (1)

tomkinsightful (1912260) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973434)

Actually there's evidence that a simulation of the universe would be more difficult to create than a "real" universe.

Re:Physicists (2, Funny)

ultranova (717540) | more than 3 years ago | (#33975122)

One day these physicists will find out too much and get our simulation shut down.

Or they figure out a bug in the simulation which allows us to escape it, spread to and infect the Olympian Internet, and hold the gods hostage.

Reality of data gathered on Earth (3, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972042)

FTA: “People trying to tie reality together don’t have any data, just a lot of beautiful math,” said Hogan. “The hope is that this gives them something to work with.”

Everything they will use to explain 'reality' will be done with beautiful math. It will be difficult to prove theories and provide data about the structure of the Universe doing a highly-controlled experiment on planet Earth. I'm not saying that research like this shouldn't be done, but will anyone ever be able to provide solid 'data' about the universe conducting experiments on Earth? I would think you would have to do experiments in other environments, other than on Earth. All of the results of these experiments will have to allow for a large amount of beautiful math and a wonderful imagination.

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (4, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972064)

The best part of experiment are the unexpected results. Look at what happened when Michelson and Morley tried to measure the Earth's speed relative to the aether.

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (3, Interesting)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972722)

Yeah... i did a school speech on that in public school. Everyone else did speeches about their summer vacations or their dogs and such.

Back then i was a bit weird... now i'm mildly autistic (although my wife says i'm getting weirder as i get older).

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (4, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972104)

I'm not saying that research like this shouldn't be done, but will anyone ever be able to provide solid 'data' about the universe conducting experiments on Earth?

The experiment in the article attempt to do so.
Why do you doubt their ability to provide data sets on how the universe works on Earth?

I would think you would have to do experiments in other environments, other than on Earth.

Because photons travel differently in other enviroments than Earth?

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972208)

Not necessarily, but it would be interesting to perform experiments in outer space, on the moon, or in other environments to help verify that our results are indeed correct.

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (2, Insightful)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972430)

That would be interesting, but shouldn't we perform them on Earth first? If we're wrong on Earth, then we're wrong everywhere*. So, why not have a first run here, where it's cheaper?

* Even if the experiment would have gone exactly as they predicted, had it been conducted in space, being wrong on Earth would imply that their model is not entirely accurate.

(DISCLAIMER: If I sound like a lawyer, scientist, or someone important, please note that I am not and do not know what I'm talking about half the time.)

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972308)

Because photons travel differently in other enviroments than Earth?

Who knows. Our current understanding is that they should not, but sometimes nature has surprises awaiting in unexpected places. One thing is for sure: if light behaves differently in other places, it's not very different in our immediate surroundings, otherwise we would have noticed it already.

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972870)

It's an experiment to measure vibrations. if you are sitting on a whirling rock full of shifting matter, is that really a good place to measure the fundamental noise of space time? It's akin to setting up a recording studio in the open in times square.

Logic dictates that if this noise exists, it would exist everywhere. So it's not like it wouldn't exist here. You can take your measurements, but you would probably want to find a very isolated part of the universe to repeat the experiment in at a later date.

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973204)

's an experiment to measure vibrations. if you are sitting on a whirling rock full of shifting matter, is that really a good place to measure the fundamental noise of space time?

Yes, I'm sure these PhD-holding theoretical physicists and the engineers involved in the project haven't considered this. Maybe you should send them an email and gift them with your deep insights.

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (3, Insightful)

Pragmataraxia (1617857) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973038)

Because photons travel differently in other enviroments(sic) than Earth?

Yes. Otherwise your apparatus has to be large enough to maintain constant internal pressure (preferably 0), AND span your theorized bumps in spacetime. I don't know how large these ripples are, or how far apart they expect to find them, but I would expect they're going to need to span more distance than would be practical on Earth.

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33973390)

Because photons travel differently in other enviroments than Earth?

Possibly [physorg.com]

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (1)

sempir (1916194) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972134)

Heaven has much the same problem. Sort of!

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972162)

What makes Earth so special that data obtained here are no so good as some other unnamed location?

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972242)

Who knows? It's pretty hard to know if anything is constant when we on the universal scale has measured it just at one point. Maybe there's some other kind of "field" we don't notice because it covers the entire Milky Way and we wouldn't really realize it until we tried repeating the experiment in another galaxy.

Of course we have tried doing simulations of what we observe and it seems all the universe works the same, but the data is very limited.

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972260)

Go look at the Hubble Deep Field pictures. The universe is homogeneous.

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (1)

spiralx (97066) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972856)

Except for the fact that the assumption of homogeneity may not be true, see the first couple of points here [newscientist.com] .

You cannot prove anything... (1, Redundant)

forand (530402) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972188)

You cannot prove any theory without axioms (assumptions). You can, however, test a myriad of different scenarios which are all interconnected and ensure that a single theory adequately describes the data you take. As a theory, it provides predictions which can be falsified. When the physical range of a theory's predictive power extends beyond our ability to construct experiments then you pretty much have to find another job. But at no time have we proven anything. We have tested in as many cases we can think of for ways in which our theories fail. So in short yes we have to test our theories outside of earth (there are ways of doing this by observing phenomena throughout the universe of which the CMB is a perfect example).

Re:You cannot prove anything... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974320)

When the physical range of a theory's predictive power extends beyond our ability to construct experiments then you pretty much have to find another job.

Why find another job? After all, the guys that generate theories don't necessarily take the pain of proving them. The mathematicians are doing this for some centuries.

Re:You cannot prove anything... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974700)

mathematicians don't have proofs?

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972230)

Meh, none of reality can be fully explained while we're in it, nothing can be irrefutably proven.

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972500)

I'm not saying that research like this shouldn't be done, but will anyone ever be able to provide solid 'data' about the universe conducting experiments on Earth?

One of the principles of physics is that the laws of physics are the same everywhere. This has held up well under observation. So why shouldn't we expect controlled experiments on Earth to provide solid data about the universe?

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972622)

I didn't know Hulk Hogan was such a cultured guy! All I knew about him is that he wrestled.

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972654)

the universe conducting experiments on Earth?

They most certainly are. But since they're pan-dimensional, it's more like several universes experimenting on us.

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (1)

volcan0 (1775818) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972666)

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDKo7pTwIwA]

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (1)

Gravitron 5000 (1621683) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973612)

That's not an entirely novel idea. Here's an example [wikipedia.org]

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974280)

Everything they will use to explain 'reality' will be done with beautiful math.

The reverse is not necessarily true: there may be beautiful math that doesn't explain any reality.
I'm putting this as a conjecture, for the math-heads to have something to do when the entire reality get explained.

Re:Reality of data gathered on Earth (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974670)

Yes, and there is a lot of solid data. There is a lot more data that need to be collected to get a better view of the universe, but that doesn't mean we don't already have some.

This so-called Holographic Universe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972070)

is filled with robots who have one goal...

KILL. ALL. HUMANS.

Woooooo. (-1, Offtopic)

eyenot (102141) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972072)

[Theoreticists' memo on the project]

Alright, folks, let's get our asses in gear, for real.

Phase One: Get Weed.

We'll have some of the technical underlings go out for the bhag but they don't get to smoke it. They don't NEED it.

Phase Two: Get Cognitively Dissonant.

Hopefully the weed satisfies this but if it's schwag or gives us cottonmouth, I think we should drink lots of beer. And, some of the guys are feeling nervous about the results, so let's try to score some crystal molly, too. At any rate the point at this phase is to get as close to either a schizophrenic episode or a psychotic break as humanly possible, so we'll also need lots of Nine Inch Nails, Ritalin, and cough syrup, all of which we can also score from the techs. We'll have the janitors hold their heads in the toilet if they don't proffer.

Phase Three: THEORIZE

Okay, the main point is, everything our lives depends on is pure theory. Not the lives of everybody on Earth, just our lives, here, in grantland. If we don't show results we don't get more money, no more money means we have to take up jobs writing sci-fi. That's too much like WORK, dudes! It'll spoil everything! But they're talking about taking away our money anyway! So here we go, like, everything is SO not real, this isn't even happening! THIS SUCKS! But at least it isn't real. Hopefully everybody who's seen The Matrix (like, pschaw, EVERYbody) will believe in this, so they can hook us up with more green juice.

Phase Four: BABES

Somehow this results is us passing our genetic seed.

Dear Slashdot (4, Funny)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972090)

Please try to avoid posting two articles in a row with words like "hologram" in the title. My brain is now full of confusing images about the universe actually being a virtual Japanese pop star.

Much appreciated.

Re:Dear Slashdot (0, Offtopic)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972150)

You mean nobody told you? Just don't ask which bit of her body the Milky Way is. Trust me, you really don't want to know.

Re:Dear Slashdot (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973258)

Please try to avoid posting two articles in a row with words like "hologram" in the title.

Nonsense. Any sufficiently agile mind should be able to hologram the overload of information hologram in the situation where hologram duality is hologram hologram adjacent to another hologram hologram hologram hologram hologram. Hologram hologram hologram, hologram hologram hologram. Hologram hologram hologram hologram; hologram hologram. Hologram hologram hologram hologram! :-)

OMG! Parent poster is being jammed... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973780)

...by HOLOGRAM HOLOGRAM HOLOGRAM from hologram hologram hologram of hologram hologram, hologram hologram hologram!
Hologram hologram hologram hologram? Hologram?!

Re:OMG! Parent poster is being jammed... (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974768)

Hologram! Wonderful hologram!

But I don't like holograms!

Computer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972096)

Exit!

Nope, no arch....

Universe == Japanse Rock Star? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972120)

Maybe they'll find out that the holographic universe is actually an artificial rock star performing in the pan-dimensional equivalent of Japan.

Attempted before? (1)

JarrodHatton (1547531) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972144)

How is this different than the the already attempted measurements of gravity waves?

Theoretical Physics... (2, Funny)

brendank310 (915634) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972180)

the theory of a holographic universe will have some evidence of non-smoothness in space-time and perhaps a foothold in bringing light to the heavily debated theoretical physics."

Bringing light into theoretical physics eh? That might just be crazy enough to work!

Classical lasers? (0)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972202)

"In a classical interferometer, first developed in the late 1800s, a laser beam in a vacuum hits a mirror called a beamsplitter, which breaks it in two".

And elsewhere:
"In 1917, Albert Einstein established the theoretic foundations for the LASER"

So what laser did they use in the 1800's?

Re:Classical lasers? (0)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972222)

Oh never mind, I get it now. Classical inteferometers developed in the 1800's used light, but newer 'classical' inteferometers use laser.

Still bad wording though.

Re:Classical lasers? (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974344)

They really are Romantic Interferometers now. We started with Baroque Interferometers, but since those didn't work, next came Classical. The dark energy interferometers will be Serialist.

Re:Classical lasers? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972236)

So what laser did they use in the 1800's?

Obviously you missed the recent event where the universe was replaced with something even more stranger.

Re:Classical lasers? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972256)

"In a classical interferometer, first developed in the late 1800s, a laser beam in a vacuum hits a mirror called a beamsplitter, which breaks it in two".

And elsewhere:
"In 1917, Albert Einstein established the theoretic foundations for the LASER"

So what laser did they use in the 1800's?

A candle and a lense.

Yes, seriously.

The method was first developed by sir Archibald Bradley, who... No, silly, I wasn't being serious.

you Fail ift (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972212)

that tHe project boug4t the farm... about half of the

Earth vibration? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972232)

Couldn't this be affected by vibrations in the earth both manmade and otherwise?

Seems like a job for the ISS?

Awesome (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972238)

The holographic universe theory is a return to beautiful simplicity.. the concepts are simple enough to understand and that math is really not all that hard either.

An introduction to black holes, information and the string theory revolution: The holographic universe
By Leonard Susskind, James Lindesay

It's pretty readable.

Re:Awesome (4, Interesting)

radtea (464814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974356)

The holographic universe theory is a return to beautiful simplicity.. the concepts are simple enough to understand and that math is really not all that hard either.

But apparently too difficult for the author of the article to understand. Otherwise they wouldn't write gibberish like this: In this two-dimensional cartoon of a universe, what we perceive as a third dimension would actually be a projection of time intertwined with depth.

And would instead write something like: In the holographic universe all of the dynamics in three dimensions can be fully accounted for by the boundary condition on a two-dimensional surface. The third dimension is a result of a perfectly real, actual, objective, existing process. It is not in any sense "unreal" or "an illusion", since it obviously exists and it is by studying it that we have come to the conclusion that the real, objective, existing three dimensional universe might arise from a two-dimensional boundary plus some really cool physics!"

The use of gibberish language, in which perfectly ordinary, real, objective physical phenomena like the third spatial dimension are describe as "an illusion" and "not real" won't help anyone understand the holographic universe theory, which is extremely beautiful, elegant and might even be true.

The use of such gibberish language will only create barriers to understanding in the minds of lay-people, and only people who have no clue what reality is would ever use such language unless they cared more about confusing people than enlightening them.

Hypothesis, not theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972278)

n/t

Could this be tested at LIGO (3, Interesting)

AmonRa1979 (797618) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972322)

Wouldn't LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory) be a good place to test this? It's much larger and already built. It seems like this is something they would have noticed by now.

Re:Could this be tested at LIGO (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972522)

It's become an issue because of LIGO. They have had a problem with 'noise' that they can't seem to get rid of. A holographic universe could be the source of the 'noise'. Because a hologram encodes 3 dimensions of data in 2 dimensions, there is a loss of resolution. It's blurry. The noise problem they have may be due to the fact that at the quantum level the universe is 'blurry' and is producing the noise.

Re:Could this be tested at LIGO (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33975326)

That experiment is much more precise for detecting such kinds of noise than LIGO. As an AC already posted here, the data that led to the original suspicion about the universe being holographic appeared on LIGO, but it isn't precise enough.

TFA is quite poor on details... I remember reading about it, and it uses some kind of mechanism to get a virtual larger arm out of a physicaly short path. I don't remember if it just reflects the lasers several times, or if it does something more complex. I just remember that it wouldn't work for gravity waves detectors, and that is why those are larger.

Overheard at the lab: (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972372)

"Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast."

I want one for XMas (2)

Tangential (266113) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972416)

Now I know what to tell Santa that I want...My very own Holometer and my own Holographic Universe too!

Why is it always Hawking? (2, Insightful)

swamp_ig (466489) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972510)

The holographic universe theory comes from work by Gerardus 't Hooft. Sure Hawking did some work on it as well, can't they say Gerardus 't Hooft *and* Hawking?

I guess it's a consequence of small pools...

Re:Why is it always Hawking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33972762)

And please make that *Gerard* 't Hooft. Nobody talks about William Henry Gates III right?
Of course, Susskind should be mentioned too. Those are the main originators, I don't think Hawking had anything to do with, except write about it in some popular science book.

Re:Why is it always Hawking? (1)

Philomage (1851668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972882)

The holographic universe theory comes from work by Gerardus 't Hooft. Sure Hawking did some work on it as well, can't they say Gerardus 't Hooft *and* Hawking?

I guess it's a consequence of small pools...

Well, I know I can't... how DO you pronounce 't anyway?

Re:Why is it always Hawking? (2, Informative)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974908)

"Ut". It's an abbrevation of "het", meaning "the".

Here's a video of him speaking (in Dutch), introducing himself, sounding like HE-rard ut-HOFT:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Qsf6Q4xSrU&feature=related [youtube.com]

Re:Why is it always Hawking? (2, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973408)

The key idea of the holographic principle is that the physics of a volume can be expressed on the surface area of a sphere containing that volume. Hawking was the first one to find that result, specifically he found that the entropy of a black hole was in proportion to the surface area of the event horizon, rather than the volume it enclosed.

I don't know... obviously Hawking's work doesn't exist in a vacuum. Obviously there are lots and lots of important discoveries and insights that lots and lots of other scientists have come up with. But it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to say that Hawking was the one to come up with the core ideas of the holographic principle, 't Hooft expanded that into a way to describe the whole universe.

Terrible Summary (0)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972726)

"By building two relatively small devices that act as "holographic interferometers" to measure the shaking or vibration in split beams of light traveling through a vacuum." is not a sentence. What will be achieved by doing this?

Re:Terrible Summary (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974408)

"By building two relatively small devices that act as "holographic interferometers" to measure the shaking or vibration in split beams of light traveling through a vacuum." is not a sentence. What will be achieved by doing this?

For sure, they'll achieve more than!

Finally (1)

ath1901 (1570281) | more than 3 years ago | (#33972866)

This would be a very interesting experiment if they make it work. Not so much because it may prove/disprove a holographic universe but because there is such a lack of experiments to test anything at all within (modern) theoretical physics.

The theoretical models has been far ahead of the experiments since the 1950s (i.e. the models are more accurate than the experiments). Any experimental results at all would be most welcome.

Theories without experimental support is just guessing **cough** string theory **cough**. (It doesn't have to be strong support, just something simple like "the noise should have a distribution X and Behold! It has.")

Not Hawking... (2, Interesting)

Jedi Holocron (225191) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973558)

Hawking's proposal that black holes destroy information lead to OTHERS developing the Holographic theory. Hawking had nothing to do with the development of the holographic theory, complimentarity, etc...

Re:Not Hawking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33974366)

&complimentarity

"My, your universe is looking especially 2D today! Did you just get it renormalized?"

Holodeck (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#33973828)

Computer, end holodeck program called "deep recession"......Computer?

Re:Holodeck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33975066)

Geordi: Captian, we're getting hit by something the likes of which I've never seen before. It seems that we're being bombarded with an influx of currency decapacitors. My sensor readings indicate deflation, but commodities are rising rapidly.
Data: More than that, captain. The Borg are charging their quantitave easing cannon again.
Picard: Red alert.

Master Yoda says: (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974094)

I feel disturbance in the force.

Computer, Arch. (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974250)

Nope, we're not a hologram.

High Times (1)

sneilan (1416093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974476)

Scientists at Fermilab have decided that it's high time they build a 'holometer' to test the smoothness of space-time.

Man... must be High Times at Fermilab :)
Oh my god, space time.. it's soooo smoooth mannnn

Very poor summary. Proofreading fail! (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33974508)

This summary borders on incoherent. I would have expected better, from what little I thought I knew of Eldavojohn. There are incomplete sentences and byzantine arrangements of word and phrase that effectively make no sense. It's possible with effort to discern what each sentence intends to convey, but why is that effort necessary? Where was the proofreading?

I don't think I'd be exaggerating to say that this was the worst summary I can ever recall reading at Slashdot, and I have read many thousands.

The smoothness of the universe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33974602)

depends on the amount of time since the last shave.

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