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New Theory: The Universe as a Hologram!


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Old 26-11-2003, 03:23   #1
forre forre is offline
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New Theory: The Universe as a Hologram!

Does Objective Reality Exist, or is the Universe a Phantasm?

In 1982 a remarkable event took place. At the University of Paris 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 evening news. In fact, unless you are in the habit of reading scientific journals you probably have never even heard Aspect's name, though there are some who 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 travelling 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 elaborate ways to explain away Aspect's findings. But it has inspired others to offer even more radical explanations.

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.

To understand why Bohm makes this startling assertion, one must first understand a little about holograms. 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 commingle) 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.

The three-dimensionality of such images is not the only remarkable characteristic of holograms. If a hologram of a rose is cut in half and then illuminated by a laser, each half will still be found to contain the entire image of the rose. Indeed, even if the halves are divided again, each snippet of film will always be found to contain a smaller but intact version of the original image. Unlike normal photographs, every part of a hologram contains all the information possessed by the whole.

The "whole in every part" nature of a hologram provides us with an entirely new way of understanding organization and order. For most of its history, Western science has laboured under the bias that the best way to understand a physical phenomenon, whether a frog or an atom, is to dissect it and study its respective parts. A hologram teaches us that some things in the universe may not lend themselves to this approach. If we try to take apart something constructed holographically, we will not get the pieces of which it is made, we will only get smaller wholes.

This insight suggested to Bohm another way of understanding Aspect's discovery. Bohm believes the reason subatomic particles are able to remain in contact with one another regardless of the distance separating them is not because they are sending some sort of mysterious signal back and forth, but because their separateness is an illusion. He argues that at some deeper level of reality such particles are not individual entities, but are actually extensions of the same fundamental something.

To enable people to better visualize what he means, Bohm offers the following illustration. Imagine an aquarium containing a fish. Imagine also that you are unable to see the aquarium
directly and your knowledge about it and what it contains comes from two television cameras, one directed at the aquarium's front and the other directed at its side. As you stare at the
two television monitors, you might assume that the fish on each of the screens are separate entities. After all, because the cameras are set at different angles, each of the images will be
slightly different. But as you continue to watch the two fish, you will eventually become aware that there is a certain relationship between them. When one turns, the other also makes
a slightly different but corresponding turn; when one faces the front, the other always faces toward the side. If you remain unaware of the full scope of the situation, you might even
conclude that the fish must be instantaneously communicating with one another, but this is clearly not the case.

This, says Bohm, is precisely what is going on between the subatomic particles in Aspect's experiment. According to Bohm, the apparent faster-than-light connection between subatomic
particles is really telling us that there is a deeper level of reality we are not privy to, a more complex dimension beyond our own that is analogous to the aquarium. And, he adds, we view
objects such as subatomic particles as separate from one another because we are seeing only a portion of their reality. Such particles are not separate "parts", but facets of a deeper and
more underlying unity that is ultimately as holographic and indivisible as the previously mentioned rose. And since everything in physical reality is comprised of these "eidolons",
the universe is itself a projection, a hologram.

In addition to its phantomlike nature, such a universe would possess other rather startling features. If the apparent separateness of subatomic particles is illusory, it means that
at a deeper level of reality all things in the universe are infinitely interconnected.The electrons in a carbon atom in the human brain are connected to the subatomic particles that comprise every salmon that swims, every heart that beats, and every star that shimmers in the sky. Everything interpenetrates everything, and although human nature may seek to categorize and
pigeonhole and subdivide, the various phenomena of the universe, all apportionments are of necessity artificial and all of nature is ultimately a seamless web.

In a holographic universe, even time and space could no longer be viewed as fundamentals. Because concepts such as location break down in a universe in which nothing is truly separate from anything else, time and three-dimensional space, like the images of the fish on the TV monitors, would also have to be viewed as projections of this deeper order. At its deeper level reality is a sort of superhologram in which the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously. This suggests that given the proper tools it might even be possible to someday reach into the superholographic level of reality and pluck out scenes from the
long-forgotten past.

What else the superhologram contains is an open-ended question. Allowing, for the sake of argument, that the superhologram is the matrix that has given birth to everything in our universe, at the very least it contains every subatomic particle that has been or will be -- every configuration of matter and energy that is possible, from snowflakes to quasars, from blue whales to gamma rays. It must be seen as a sort of cosmic storehouse of "All That Is."

Although Bohm concedes that we have no way of knowing what else might lie hidden in the superhologram, he does venture to say that we have no reason to assume it does not contain more. Or as he puts it, perhaps the superholographic level of reality is a "mere stage" beyond which lies "an infinity of further development".

Bohm is not the only researcher who has found evidence that the universe is a hologram. Working independently in the field of brain research, Standford neurophysiologist Karl Pribram has also become persuaded of the holographic nature of reality. Pribram was drawn to the holographic model by the puzzle of how and where memories are stored in the brain. For decades numerous studies have shown that rather than being confined to a specific location, memories are dispersed throughout the brain.

In a series of landmark experiments in the 1920s, brain scientist Karl Lashley found that no matter what portion of a rat's brain he removed he was unable to eradicate its memory of how to perform complex tasks it had learned prior to surgery. The only problem was that no one was able to come up with a mechanism that might explain this curious "whole in every part" nature of memory storage.

Then in the 1960s Pribram encountered the concept of holography and realized he had found the explanation brain scientists had been looking for. Pribram believes memories are encoded not in neurons, or small groupings of neurons, but in patterns of nerve impulses that crisscross the entire brain in the same way that patterns of laser light interference crisscross the entire area of a piece of film containing a holographic image. In other words, Pribram believes the brain is itself a hologram.

Pribram's theory also explains how the human brain can store so many memories in so little space. It has been estimated that the human brain has the capacity to memorize something on the order of 10 billion bits of information during the average human lifetime (or roughly the same amount of information contained in five sets of the Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Similarly, it has been discovered that in addition to their other capabilities, holograms possess an astounding capacity for information storage--simply by changing the angle at which the
two lasers strike a piece of photographic film, it is possible to record many different images on the same surface. It has been demonstrated that one cubic centimeter of film can hold as many as 10 billion bits of information.

Our uncanny ability to quickly retrieve whatever information we need from the enormous store of our memories becomes more understandable if the brain functions according to holographic principles. If a friend asks you to tell him what comes to mind when he says the word "zebra", you do not have to clumsily sort back through some gigantic and cerebral alphabetic file to arrive at an answer. Instead, associations like "striped", "horselike", and "animal native to Africa" all pop into your head instantly. Indeed, one of the most amazing things about the human thinking process is that every piece of information seems instantly cross- correlated with every other piece of information--another feature intrinsic to the hologram. Because every portion of a hologram is infinitely interconnected with every other portion, it is perhaps nature's supreme example of a cross-correlated system.

The storage of memory is not the only neurophysiological puzzle that becomes more tractable in light of Pribram's holographic model of the brain. Another is how the brain is able to translate the avalanche of frequencies it receives via the senses (light frequencies, sound frequencies, and so on) into the concrete world of our perceptions.

Encoding and decoding frequencies is precisely what a hologram does best. Just as a hologram functions as a sort of lens, a translating device able to convert an apparently meaningless blur of frequencies into a coherent image, Pribram believes the brain also comprises a lens and uses holographic principles to mathematically convert the frequencies it receives through the senses into the inner world of our perceptions.

An impressive body of evidence suggests that the brain uses holographic principles to perform its operations. Pribram's theory, in fact, has gained increasing support among neurophysiologists.

Argentinian-Italian researcher Hugo Zucarelli recently extended the holographic model into the world of acoustic phenomena. Puzzled by the fact that humans can locate the source of sounds without moving their heads, even if they only possess hearing in one ear, Zucarelli discovered that holographic principles can explain this ability. Zucarelli has also developed the technology of holophonic sound, a recording technique able to reproduce acoustic situations with an almost uncanny realism.

Pribram's belief that our brains mathematically construct "hard" reality by relying on input from a frequency domain has also received a good deal of experimental support. It has been found that each of our senses is sensitive to a much broader range of frequencies than was previously suspected. Researchers have discovered, for instance, that our visual systems are sensitive to sound frequencies, that our sense of smellisin part dependent on what are now called "osmic frequencies", and that even the cells in our bodies are sensitive to a broad range of frequencies. Such findings suggest that it is only in the holographic domain of consciousness that such frequencies are sorted out and divided up into conventional perceptions.

But the most mind-boggling aspect of Pribram's holographic model of the brain is what happens when it is put together with Bohm's theory. For if the concreteness of the world is but a secondary reality and what is "there" is actually a holographic blur of frequencies, and if the brain is also a hologram and only selects some of the frequencies out of this blur and
mathematically transforms them into sensory perceptions, what becomes of objective reality? Put quite simply, it ceases to exist. As the religions of the East have long upheld, the material world is Maya, an illusion, and although we may think we are physical beings moving through a physical world, this too is an illusion.

We are really "receivers" floating through a kaleidoscopic sea of frequency, and what we extract from this sea and transmogrify into physical reality is but one channel from many extracted out of the superhologram.

This striking new picture of reality, the synthesis of Bohm and Pribram's views, has come to be called the-holographic paradigm, and although many scientists have greeted it with skepticism, it has galvanized others. A small but growing group of researchers believe it may be the most accurate model of reality science has arrived at thus far. More than that, some believe it may solve some mysteries that have never before been explainable by science and even establish the paranormal as a part of nature.
~~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 26-11-2003, 03:44   #2
shizzo shizzo is offline
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So if my brain begins to hurt after reading that enormous text,
can it be concluded that others who read this same passage
are bound to have the same tension behind their foreheads
because of the detailed interconnectedness of humanity?

Or does it means that I should put on my glasses and adjust
the glare from my monitor?



I'd read about this topic in passing a long time ago, but not to
the extent it's presented here. A nice find, forre.


As for my own personal view, I think there's perhaps some
validity in the hypotheses given - an underlying network in
which all things are connected isn't impossible, nor is it to be
discredited as paranormal. Just as twins are often more
sensitive to one another's actions or emotions because of a
biological split of atoms, I'd think it entirely possible that atoms
are capable of sharing a similar bond among each other. And
if the same theory can be applied to encompass everything
outside of that known connection [whichever logic or science
chosen as proof notwithstanding], then it should at least
be taken into consideration.

Last edited by shizzo; 26-11-2003 at 03:57.
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Old 26-11-2003, 04:05   #3
cirrus cirrus is offline
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Well, my head hurts too...

a lot of reading, but interesting article. I don't agree with the possibility that we mathmaticaly analyze the frequencies of the universe and construct them in our minds into the world that we believe to be "real." What about people who build things? Buildings? TVs? Are they just illusions? How can manmade things be holograms? I don't quite understand...

I do think we are connected in a sense. I've often felt like there are many levels of consiousness in the universe, like events that occur that seem more than coincidences. Everything might be connected.

One thing I find amazing is the human "Aura". It might be a hoax, but when people who have lost limbs have an aura photograph, the lost limb is there. People also claim to feel a strange sensation sometimes where the limb should be.

Anyways, if the present and future are connected, perhaps we can use our mental power to see if tatu ever release a new album.
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Old 26-11-2003, 13:53   #4
freddie freddie is offline
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Of course all the sub-atomic particles are interconnected... but that doesn't mean they are a hologram. They all have the same origins in big bang. Every subatomic particle in the world today was once a part of a point in the universe squished together so that it had infinite mass and infinite temperature and there was no time. When "space" started to expand shortly after time "zero" all those particles started to move in different directions in the 4 dimensional world. They had the same point of departure so it's obvious they'll be conected forever - always effecting on eachother like a chain reaction.

I don't like the hologram theory cause the hologram is just a projection of something unreal, an illusion of light. Space though is not solid matter either - it's made up of charges and wave lenghts of fundamental particles (electrons, quarks...) but that is still "something". Those particles are not an "illusion". They have a charge (positive, negative neutral) and they have a mass. Hologram doesn't have a mass. Since a hologram is made out of light and light is made out of nevrinos (I don't know if this is the english word - but those are particles that radiate from the sun and shower the earth everyday...they have no mass, no electric charge and they travel with light speed.)
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Old 27-11-2003, 03:43   #5
shizzo shizzo is offline
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"Nevrino" = "neuron" in English.

I agree with freddie's notion - light isn't known to fluctuate
a mass of any sort, and therefore an existing mass would be
required to deduct the gravity of all things physical. The theory
of light's atoms being non-physical particles renders this idea
baseless if a reason can't be supplied for why weight then exists.
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Old 27-11-2003, 04:07   #6
kishkash kishkash is offline
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flanks for the article forre...interesting theory

of course i've always been saying that tho
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Old 27-11-2003, 06:21   #7
goku goku is offline
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Of course you can't be sure of that, freddie. The Big Bang is just a stab-in-the-dark theory. Thanks for the interesting article forre.
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Old 27-11-2003, 20:07   #8
freddie freddie is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by goku
Of course you can't be sure of that, freddie. The Big Bang is just a stab-in-the-dark theory. Thanks for the interesting article forre.
Big bang is just as much a stab in the dark as evolution. They are both imposible to prove but there are enough cirrcumstantial evidence to prove them beyond a resonable doubt.
The main support behind the Big-Bang theory is the radiation that's coming from every direction around us and originates from 15 billion light years away - literaly the edge of space (though there is no real "edge" as we would imagine it). That radiation is supposed to be a left over from the big bang. Cause when out telescopes turn to that source of radiation they see further in space and back in time - they see space as it was 15 billion years ago, right at the begining, because of a simple fact that the light that traveled to earth from there needed those 15 billion years to reach it. And there is no other reasonable explanation for the existance of it other then big bang.
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Old 01-12-2003, 04:20   #9
russkayatatu russkayatatu is offline
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Thanks for the article, forre - interesting It's not exactly a 'new theory' - I've read about it before: there's one book called The Holographic Universe, by Michael Trenton, I think, that talks about these issues in greater depth and makes associations with topics like faith healing, out-of-body experiences, and miracles - I only read part of it, but it was interesting.

In any case the instant connection between two particles at opposite ends of the universe is strange ... actually Einstein did predict it; that was one of his reasons why quantum theory must be wrong it was 'too spooky' to be real, although this idea of 'entanglement' has been used already to teleport quantum states and create unbreakable codes in crypotography, right? I'm not sure now if it has yet ...
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Old 07-12-2003, 21:56   #10
russkayatatu russkayatatu is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by freddie
Big bang is just as much a stab in the dark as evolution. They are both imposible to prove but there are enough cirrcumstantial evidence to prove them beyond a resonable doubt.
The main support behind the Big-Bang theory is the radiation that's coming from every direction around us and originates from 15 billion light years away - literaly the edge of space (though there is no real "edge" as we would imagine it). And there is no other reasonable explanation for the existance of it other then big bang.
freddie I've been thinking about what you said. Unfortunately I don't know very much about evolution or the evidence for it, but I know a little more about the theory for the big bang ... the way I understand it, the model of the big bang describes a universe that's expanding and that used to be much hotter and denser than it was now. And I think that's really all that we can say: there's a great deal that we still don't know; first of all, because we can't tell exactly what happens to matter at temperatures that high - just as Newton's approximations become radically invalid at speeds close to the speed of light, so Einstein's approximations may break down under conditions that are far removed from anything we have experience of. In any case (from what I know, and it's true I don't know very much) it seems like there is nothing 'reasonably proved' here - this isn't a law court - natural laws are very subtle things. Werner Heisenberg said: "Not only is the universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think." There are some odd things going on, surely.

I don't mind the holographic theory; even if it's wrong it's exciting, and new ways of looking at things are always good

fred, I'm also a little confused about the idea that something is obviously connected to something else because they started at the same place. That doesn't seem obvious to me at all

A little off topic, I read one description that said what we've been able to tell about the universe is about equivalent to a bunch of protazoa under a rock charting the entire Pacific Ocean. Well, that's not nothing, of course, but as there's much more to the earth than the Pacific Ocean ... maybe there's much more to "everything" than our universe, than what we can see? Defining the universe as "everything that is, all space and time," I don't really see how we can presume to know that .... or am I missing something? Does anyone have an answer, cause almost everything I've read makes this assumption (often directly)

edit: I was doing a little more research on this topic and came across a book called "The Big Bang Never Happened," about the work & theories of Hannes Alfvйn, a Swedish Nobel laureate: according to this book there are some problems with the big bang (for example, some galaxies would require several billion more years to form than the dating for the big bang would allow), and it suggests a possible replacement involving plasma cosmology ... I'm not sure exactly what that is; you see I do not know what I am talking about at all, LoL ... but it doesn't seem to be totally crackpot; I think there is still a lot of discussion going on.

Last edited by russkayatatu; 08-12-2003 at 00:02.
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