Do We Live In A Holographic Universe?


What if our existence is a holographic projection of another, flat version of you living on a two-dimensional “surface” at the edge of this universe? In other words, are we real, or are we quantum interactions on the edges of the universe – and is that just as real anyway?

Whether we actually live in a hologram is being hotly debated, but it is now becoming clear that looking at phenomena through a holographic lens could be key to solving some of the most perplexing problems in physics, including the physics that reigned before the big bang, what gives particles mass, a theory of quantum gravity.

In 1982 a little known but epic event occured at the University of Paris, where a research team led by physicist Alain Aspect performed what may turn out to be one of the most important experiments of the 20th century. You did not hear about it on the Daily Show. In fact, unless you are a physicist you probably have never even heard Aspect’s name, though increasing numbers of experts believe his discovery may change the face of science.

Aspect and his team discovered that under certain circumstances subatomic particles such as electrons are able to instantaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them. It doesn’t matter whether they are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart.

Somehow each particle always seems to know what the other is doing. The problem with this feat is that it violates Einstein’s long-held tenet that no communication can travel faster than the speed of light. Since traveling faster than the speed of light is tantamount to breaking the time barrier, this daunting prospect has caused some physicists to try to come up with increasingly elaborate ways to explain away Aspect’s findings.

University of London physicist David Bohm, for example, believes Aspect’s findings imply that objective reality does not exist, that despite its apparent solidity the universe is at heart a phantasm, a gigantic and splendidly detailed hologram. Bohm was involved in the early development of the holonomic model of the functioning of the brain, a model for human cognition that is drastically different from conventionally accepted ideas. Bohm developed the theory that the brain operates in a manner similar to a hologram, in accordance with quantum mathematical principles and the characteristics of wave patterns.

To understand why Bohm makes this startling assertion, one must first understand that a hologram is a three- dimensional photograph made with the aid of a laser. To make a hologram, the object to be photographed is first bathed in the light of a laser beam. Then a second laser beam is bounced off the reflected light of the first and the resulting interference pattern (the area where the two laser beams conflate) is captured on film. When the film is developed, it looks like a meaningless swirl of light and dark lines. But as soon as the developed film is illuminated by another laser beam, a three-dimensional image of the original object appears.

In a recent collaboration between Fermilab scientists and hundreds of meters of laser may have found the very pixels of reality, grains of spacetime one tenth of a femtometer across.

The GEO600 system is armed with six hundred meters of laser tube, which sounds like enough to equip an entire Star War, but these lasers are for detection, not destruction. GEO600’s length means it can measure changes of one part in six hundred million, accurate enough to detect even the tiniest ripples in space time – assuming it isn’t thrown off by somebody sneezing within a hundred meters or the wrong types of cloud overhead (seriously). The problem with such an incredibly sensitive device is just that – it’s incredibly sensitive.

The interferometer staff constantly battle against unwanted aberration, and were struggling against a particularly persistent signal when Fermilab Professor Craig Hogan suggested the problem wasn’t with their equipment but with reality itself. The quantum limit of reality, the Planck length, occurs at a far smaller length scale than their signal – but according to Hogan, this literal ultimate limit of tininess might be scaled up because we’re all holograms. Obviously.

The idea is that all of our spatial dimensions can be represented by a ‘surface’ with one less dimension, just like a 3D hologram can be built out of information in 2D foils. The foils in our case are the edges of the observable universe, where quantum fluctuations at the Planck scale are ‘scaled up’ into the ripples observed by the GEO600 team. We’d like to remind you that although we’re talking about “The GEO600 Laser Team probing the edge of reality”, this is not a movie.

What does this mean for you? In everyday action, nothing much – we’re afraid that a fundamentally holographic nature doesn’t allow you to travel around playing guitar and fighting crime (no matter what 80s cartoons may have taught you.) Whether reality is as you see it, or you’re the representation of interactions on a surface at the edge of the universe, getting run over by a truck (or a representation thereof) will still kill you.

In intellectual terms, though, this should raise so many fascinating questions you’ll never need TV again. While in the extreme earliest stages, with far more work to go before anyone can draw any conclusions, this is some of the most mind-bending metaphysical science you’ll ever see.


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  • Andrew Savage

    This is a very well-informed and enlightened article.
    What if the Time Barrier itself is an illusion? If we are truly living in a holographic Verse, which I am not doubting, then would not that imply that we live in a Matrix of ones and zeroes in which every matter, vibration, and action that is occurring within said Matrix or Holo Verse is happening simultaneously at the same instant? Let us say that this Verse is a Hologram, when the user turns this Verse on or off, does not time stay moving in the same direction throughout the entirety of the apparatus? And as time progresses throughout any piece of computer hardware or software, there are typically files and operations built into the said computer or Holo Verse which will every now and then go back, cycle through, to an event where there was a glitch or flaw in effort to fix the flaw before the apparatus ceases. Thus leading me to my next question: How often do you think that this Holo Verse we reside in remedies glitches and updates its patches?

    • Reginald

      This might seems wild to imagine Andrew, but if you saw the movie “The Matrix”, there is a scene when Neo see’s a black cat cross his path in the kitchen and he ask Morpheus and the lady turns to him and say “what did you just see?” and he replys that it was a black cat and that is appeared twice repeating the same exact same movement.

      Morpheus and the lady look at each other and say that waht NEo and they know as dea jeah vou is actually a blitch in the MAtrix Program and they operators of the Matrix must have started the matrix program over again.

      Sound familiar to you ?

      How many times have you and I have something happen to us and it felt like we have done it before exactly the way that we just felt that it happened ?

      Since no one can really explain what dea jah vouh really is, I can accept the fact that we are actually second level Holograms and all you need to do is look up Holographic Universe or read about pioneers like Dr. KArl Pribram and if that is not enough evidence for you then please enlighten me to what your conclusions are.

      Dr. Pribram makes it very clear that we are living inside of a reality Matrix as holograms and nothing more.

      The wild part is that he proves mathematically that we are actually not first level holograms but second level holograms, and that in itself is way to deep for most people.

      I think we are all part of a eternal fractal that holds us in some kind of dynamic reality via advanced technology that only the people in the future know about and use.

      Good luck Andrew.

  • Joshua von Ammon

    This not a well-formed nor enlightened article. It is reporting on loosly understood data and completely misinformed interpretation of some extremely provocative ideas. Firstly our terms: “holographic universe” was never intended to suggest there is some potential 2d plain of existence projecting a 3d illusion. That is taking the metaphor far too literally or rather verbatim. A hologram is simply put a plate that contains an interference pattern created by a single but divided laser beam that has reflected off some object. Diagrams are probably on wiki. This is the important part: A holographic plate can have a multitude of separate 3d images on it that are brought to “life” as the direction of light reflected upon it is changed. If a holographic plate were shattered, each piece of the plate would contain the entire 3d image as well as the many different images put onto it. The quality of the 3d image would only suffer as the sliver is further shattered. This means that the information in the plate is nonlocal and can be more or less taken from any particular place. These qualities as allegory are paramount in the term “holographic universe.” With Aspect’s experiment for example the system being tested was positronium. (electron-positron) that rotate until they annihilate each other sending off two PHOTONS (not electrons) in opposite directions. Each gamma ray held the same movement pattern in it’s respective opposite direction. This led people to conjecture that the photos were “communicating” to stay in sync, and since they’re traveling the speed of light in opposite directions then logically they must communicate faster than the speed of light…Yes i thought that conclusion was pretty weak as well… Bohm pointed out concerning this experiment, that at this kinda of subatomic level the sense of “space” or “locality” ceases to exist. That if you consider the quality of nonlocality in a hologram where the same information can exist in two places simultaneously, it creates a sort of metaphor at how to look at the universe…and how to look at this experiment. This of coarse gets into some crazy detail but anyway…Just wanted to give a non wiki-taught version of the material. There are thorough evaluations on the topic to be read by any Joe. Look up anything by Michael Talbot…

  • Reginald

    Hello Joshua, there is enough evidence world wide to not only prove within a reasonable amount of proof to convince cave men that different dimensions and different universe’s exist.
    Not to mention all of the scientist doing highly advanced research in holography.

    They are not doing it for nothing.
    Google ” Russian experiments with holograms”

    Then google ” anything about holograms and us”

    Then take the time to read some of it.
    You might be quite surprised at the results.

    Good luck.

    • Name (required)

      your resistance disables your ability to live it….
      loosen up. live in your right brain a little.

  • Von

    Fascinating but this makes me go cross-eyed just trying to work out the implications. I was in a coma a few years ago and experienced the same occurance happening repeatedly until somehow my brain realized that this was not ‘normal’ as it felt like a video rewinding and playing the same few seconds over again. As soon as I realized this it stopped. I have never forgotten this experience and it was very vivid.

  • Name (required)

    it’s all in your head. just live what you want to. that will be your reality. change your mind if you need to. it’s all what you believe

  • Lynn

    I am an energy healer and the systems I work on in the body are all holographic, everything above the 5th dimension is holographic. I tend to think of the universe we live in as layers of holographic resonance, and this can be understood by cymatics, as the frequency rises shapes change, some frequencies appear to flow, the higher the vibration the more complex the geometry. The body itself is made primarily of 3 rays.

  • John

    This is a well written articles that totally fails to accurately report the science. Joshua up there essentially gets it right. The holographic universe idea comes from the idea of boundary encoding in black holes. It’s too complex to get into in a comment, but the end result is that for any given VOLUME of space it must be that the state of that volume can be completely determined by observing the conditions on the SURFACE of that volume. It’s more about information theory than pure physics. The result is that any volume is isomorphic (mathematically identical) to it’s own surface.

  • Ruth

    My question is, if we live in a holographic universe, where and what is the real universe, that we are its reflection?