Testing a Theory of the Nature of the UniverseCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: August 29, 2014 02:11PM
When it comes to understanding the existence of the Universe, there can be some curious theories. Naturally testing these theories can be an equally interesting endeavor as they push boundaries almost unimaginable. One theory about the Universe is that what we experience and observe is actually a 2D hologram and now researchers at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have an experiment to test this idea.
If the Universe is actually a 2D hologram, then the 3D world we seem to live in is just an illusion, akin to how characters we view with 2D screens believe themselves to be in their own three-dimensional worlds. To test this idea, the researchers are exploiting one of the fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics; uncertainty. If the Universe is a 2D hologram then there must exist 2D bits of information, akin to pixels, and the size of these pixels would be on the Planck scale. These bits describing spacetime, if they exist, but obey quantum mechanics like all other particles, which means there is an uncertainty when measuring their position and velocity. To make those measurements, the researchers have built a Holometer, which is comprised of two, closely place interferometers that are sensitive enough to potentially detect the small jitters of the bits.
For the running of the Holometer experiment, the researchers will be working to identify and isolate sources of noise in the measurements, which could be coming from a variety of sources, including nearby electronics. Eventually though, if the holographic theory is correct, there will a noise that cannot be removed, and thus an aspect of spacetime itself.