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Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory 247

Back in 2009, researchers theorized that space could be a hologram. Four years ago, Fermilab proposed testing the theory, and the experiment is finally going online. Jason Koebler writes Operating with cutting-edge technology out of a trailer in rural Illinois, government researchers started today on a set of experiments that they say will help them determine whether or not you and me and everything that exists are living in a two-dimensional holographic universe. In a paper explaining the theory, Craig Hogan, director of the Department of Energy's Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics writes that "some properties of space and time that seem fundamental, including localization [where things are], may actually emerge only as a macroscopic approximation from the flow of information in a quantum system." In other words, the location of places in space may constantly fluctuate ever so slightly, which would suggest we're living in a hologram.
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Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

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  • Re:Flip the switch (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zAPPzAPP ( 1207370 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @08:13AM (#47763957)

    That's what we got religion for:
    No matter what 'we' realize, there will alwas be enough people wo believe something completely different for no reason, to keep the system going.

  • by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @08:33AM (#47764051) Homepage Journal

    This might be part of an answer to your question: "Ohio lawmakers want to limit the teaching of the scientific process" [].

    In other words, you live in a country where being an ''egghead'' (your term - not mine) is not respected. As a matter of fact, you live in a country where a large percentage of the population still thinks some invisble man in the sky has created the entire Uinverse in 6 days, and the Earth itself might well be 6000+ years old (instead of 4+ billion years old).

    Need I say more? Case closed.

  • Re:Flip the switch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rasmusbr ( 2186518 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @08:36AM (#47764075)

    If it is a simulation you could argue that it is almost certainly optimized for sentient beings.

    Based on what we know about simulators, they are inherently slower and smaller in scope than the system they run on. You're never going to have a virtual machine that is more powerful than the metal that it runs on. Similarly, you're probably not going to have a simulated universe be more powerful than the universe that is hosting the simulated universe.

    Think about it this way: if you're going to build models of 2x4 Lego bricks using 2x4 Lego bricks, the models will be much fewer in number than the actual Lego bricks. If you find yourself being a Lego brick, odds are you are an actual Lego brick and not a model Lego brick.

    Also, tightly packed systems where the components of the systems are small and close to one another in space are faster than systems where the components are large and far from one another in space, because communication happens at the speed of light, which is constant (as far as we know).

    On the other hand, if we build a model that focuses on modelling one particular thing and neglects a bunch of other stuff then the probabilities change. Perhaps we live in a simulator hosted by a much larger universe where there is virtually no life except for the being that built the simulator, whereas our simulation is optimized to be relatively packed with life.

  • What next (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bazmail ( 764941 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @08:40AM (#47764105)
    Document its API, what else?
  • Re:Flip the switch (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rasmusbr ( 2186518 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @09:05AM (#47764283)

    When people say "maybe we're living in a simulation" they mean a simulation created by sentient beings. If we live in a simulation then the host universe has sentient beings in it by definition. So that's a given.

  • by Megol ( 3135005 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @09:28AM (#47764431)

    You are mixing two orthogonal concepts: that we are perhaps living in a simulation and that the 3D/4D world we live in are actually a flat holographic universe. Don't do that.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev