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By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/13/2013 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The bad news is you're 'stored' in two-dimensional space.

Good news. This universe is pretty much a dream and everything around you is a projection. No, you didn't take the blue pill or anything, this is just the stunning conclusion of a report published in the journal Nature. Preliminary, mathematical results suggest that this theory might be true.

Nope.

Nope.

Article Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/13/2013 (4 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: String theory, universe, hologram, Hyakutake, cosmology


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hold on to your dog, we're not in Kansas anymore. Two papers posted in the asXiv database and discussed in the journal Nature, suggest that the universe we live in may not be what it seems.

Scientists, particularly cosmologists, who study the universe and its formation, have long wondered where the universe came from and why the universe is precisely the way it is. Going beyond traditional, practical understandings of the universe, they seek to divine the physical laws and realities that actually piece the universe together.

Albert Einstein has done a fairly good job of explaining how gravity works, but nobody understands precisely why. His Theory of Gravity is perhaps one of the most fundamental understandings of the universe itself. With it, we can explain virtually everything we observe in space.

However, Einstein's work has a minor flaw, evidenced by its incongruity with quantum physics. Nobody quite understands why, but the hunch is that we're wrong about the universe, at least in some way. 

In 1997, theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena tossed an almost ludicrous idea into the mix. He hypothesized that the universe might not be made of three dimensions, with which we are familiar, but of ten.

Currently, the fellow on the street is aware of three dimensions of space and one of time. It's a fairly basic and common understanding.

However, according to Maldacena, the universe is made up of tiny strings that are incredibly small and intricate. There are nine strings of space and one of time.

If this sounds absurd to you, don't despair. Basic comprehension of this theory usually develops for people who are in graduate school for physics. For the rest of us, the notion is so alien that it is difficult to grasp.

According to Maldacena, our universe is actually a holographic projection of two-dimensional space. The Daily Mail used the analogy of a credit-card strip to illustrate. On the magnetic strip, there is stored, in two dimensions, information that can be projected into three.

Since we clearly live in three-dimensional space, we must be the hologram. However, the actual reality is the two dimensional space in which everything occurs.

This notion is almost worthy of immediate dismissal by virtue of the fact that it sounds like the ultimate gobbledygook except for one simple fact: the math works. Calculations performed by Japanese researcher Yoshifumi Hyakutake of Ibaraki University, match perfectly with relevant observations made of a black hole--a place where theoretically, information is stored in two dimensions.

In a separate paper, Hyakutake compared his numbers to figures predicted by the theory and surprisingly, the two matched.

That's a gross oversimplification of his work, to merely explain that his observations matched the theory, however the papers are receiving positive reception among the scientific community, which is hard at work trying to replicate his calculations and to possibly falsify them.

Nevertheless, not only do his calculations work, but they are actually simpler than current models of quantum physics. They also bridge the gap between Einstein's Theory of Gravity and quantum physics.

If correct, Hyakutake could easily win a Nobel Prize for his work. It could also revolutionize how we understand the universe and our place within it.



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