[ExI] "Is the Universe a Big Hologram? This Device Could Find Out"

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Wed Oct 27 06:27:52 UTC 2010

Is the Universe a Big Hologram? This Device Could Find Out
IAN O'NEILL - Astroengine.com


During the hunt for the predicted ripples in space-time - known as 
gravitational waves - physicists stumbled across a rather puzzling 
phenomenon. Last year, I reported about the findings of scientists using 
the GEO600 experiment in Germany. Although the hi-tech piece of kit 
hadn’t turned up evidence for the gravitational waves it was seeking, it 
did turn up a lot of noise.

Before we can understand what this 'noise” is, we need to understand how 
equipment designed to look for the space-time ripples caused by 
collisions between black holes and supernova explosions.

Gravitational wave detectors are incredibly sensitive to the tiniest 
change in distance. For example, the GEO600 experiment can detect a 
fluctuation of an atomic radius over a distance from the Earth to the 
Sun. This is achieved by firing a laser down a 600 meter long tube where 
it is split, reflected and directed into an interferometer. The 
interferometer can detect the tiny phase shifts in the two beams of 
light predicted to occur should a gravitational wave pass through our 
local volume of space. This wave is theorized to slightly change the 
distance between physical objects. Should GEO600 detect a phase change, 
it could be indicative of a slight change in distance, thus the passage 
of a gravitational wave.

While looking out for a gravitational wave signal, scientists at GEO600 
noticed something bizarre. There was inexplicable static in the results 
they were gathering. After canceling out all artificial sources of the 
noise, they called in the help of Fermilab’s Craig Hogan to see if his 
expertise of the quantum world help shed light on this anomalous noise. 
His response was as baffling as it was mind-blowing. 'It looks like 
GEO600 is being buffeted by the microscopic quantum convulsions of 
space-time,” Hogan said.

Come again?

The signal being detected by GEO600 isn’t a noise source that’s been 
overlooked, Hogan believes GEO600 is seeing quantum fluctuations in the 
fabric of space-time itself. This is where things start to get a little 

According to Einstein’s view on the universe, space-time should be 
smooth and continuous. However, this view may need to be modified as 
space-time may be composed of quantum 'points” if Hogan’s theory is 
correct. At its finest scale, we should be able to probe down the 
'Planck length” which measures 10-35 meters. But the GEO600 experiment 
detected noise at scales of less than 10-15 meters.

As it turns out, Hogan thinks that noise at these scales are caused by a 
holographic projection from the horizon of our universe. A good analogy 
is to think about how an image becomes more and more blurry or pixelated 
the more you zoom in on it. The projection starts off at Planck scale 
lengths at the Universe’s event horizon, but its projection becomes 
blurry in our local space-time. This hypothesis comes out of black hole 
research where the information that falls into a black hole is 'encoded” 
in the black hole’s event horizon. For the holographic universe to hold 
true, information must be encoded in the outermost reaches of the 
Universe and it is projected into our 3 dimensional world.

But how can this hypothesis be tested? We need to boost the resolution 
of a gravitational wave detector-type of kit. Enter the 'Holometer.”

Currently under construction in Fermilab, the Holometer (meaning 
holographic interferometer) will delve deep into this quantum realm at 
smaller scales than the GEO600 experiment. If Hogan’s idea is correct, 
the Holometer should detect this quantum noise in the fabric of 
space-time, throwing our whole perception of the Universe into a spin.

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