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The World As A Hologram

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by WyattDerp, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. WyattDerp

    WyattDerp New Member

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    765
    Sounds bogus, but it isn't! (Not that I understand it fully, but it's not pseudo-science, just mind-blowing). So get some :popcorn: and enjoy!

    [youtube]2DIl3Hfh9tY[/youtube]
    Leonard Susskind on The World As Hologram - YouTube
     
    Jayhawker Soule and Quagmire like this.
  2. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule Well-Known Member

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    29,763
    Religion:
    Judaism
    Very interesting. Thanks.
     
  3. WyattDerp

    WyattDerp New Member

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    765
    Praise God is all I can say o.o

    On the very large and very small scale the world is just.. amazing, it's like a two-pronged assault of beauty and perfection on whatever tragic comedy we humans are currently involved in. In the beginning and in the end, "it's all good", when I see/hear things like this I have no doubts. It's the in-between bits I still struggle with xD
     
  4. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule Well-Known Member

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    29,763
    Religion:
    Judaism
    ... or applaud the awesome human endeavor termed science.
     
  5. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Well-Known Member

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    8,605
    It really is some fascinating stuff, but I think the term "hologram" is a bit misleading. Not that this is Susskind's doing; it's the standard term. But if instead of "holographic principle" or something similar, physicists called it "bounded information principle", I doubt it would stimulate as much interest. Simplistically, the theory (actually, a set of related cosmologies) grew out of the (re-)adoption of information theory in physics as a framework for understanding and interpreting quantum mechanics, the problems between the unification of QM and cosmology (relativity, black holes, etc.) and gravity. Information theory provides in many ways an ideal way to understand quantum physics, because for the most part the quantum world is inaccessible to us and is known only mathematically. The descriptions of the states and characteristics of quantum systems have no direct relation to what we think of as reality or the physical world. However, being mathematical, they can naturally be understood in terms of bits (or, to use the proper terminology, qubits). When information theoretical descriptions of the quantum world are incorporated into currently proposed unification theories of the micro and macro words, then the entire cosmos can be described in terms of information and only information.


    For those interested, Susskind and Lindsey have written a book on this which is available for free here (it takes a while to load completely): An Introduction To Black Holes, Information And The String Theory Revolution: The Holographic Universe.

    Susskind also has another book which is intended for the general reader (The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics) but I have not read it so I can't say if it is any good.

    The two papers by the individuals (Susskind and 't Hooft) which are the best known for making popular this idea are also available for free in their draft form:

    The world as a hologram

    Dimension reduction in quantum gravity
     
  6. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Well-Known Member

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    8,605
    Or both. In their monograph (available for free here) The Holographic Anthropic Multiverse: Formalizing the Complex Geometry of Reality (vol. 43 of Series on Knots and Everything) authors Amoroso & Rauscher use the holographic principle in their proposed cosmology. Their cosmology is also a theistic one, a theism which they claim "is the explanatory power of the anthropic cosmology that prospers the underlying predilections".
     
  7. Le Neigeden d'antan

    Le Neigeden d'antan New Member

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    Some people have theorized that the world is merely a computer simulation. In basic terms they base this on the assumption that since energy is Quantized at the subatomic level, those "energy levels" are much like pixels on a computer screen. The fact that there are certain limitations on the physics of the universe might imply that something out there is "tweaking" the settings of the simulation.

    Then again, perhaps it's just that we haven't reached a sufficiently advanced level of physical understanding.
     
  8. WyattDerp

    WyattDerp New Member

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    765
    Thanks to the universe for being awesome and pretty and making many little agents that try to look at it from the inside. Or something. :D
     
  9. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey Staff Member Premium Member

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    42,791
    So basically, Reality is just somebodie's opinion? :eek:

    Had a feeling. :yes:
     
  10. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Well-Known Member

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    8,605
    Of course not. That's crazy. Reality is my opinion, and only my opinion. And I'll prove it just as soon as I untangle the really long sleeves of this jacket the put on me and out of this small but comfortably padded room.
     
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  11. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey Staff Member Premium Member

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    42,791
    Hey! I thought that was you next door. Could you keep it down? I can barely hear what my imaginary talking monkey is saying.
     
  12. uberrobonomicon4000

    uberrobonomicon4000 New Member

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    Watched the video and think its pure speculation.

    When someone starts to postulate about bits and the universe it seems like it would lead to some type of intelligent design.

    Meaning everything is programmed to act and behave a certain way. Otherwise I would like to see someone jump in a black hole or try to reprogram the universe. :D
     
  13. WyattDerp

    WyattDerp New Member

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    765
    One has nothing do with the other in this context. "Bit" is just a word of saying "unit of information". And even if what you said made any sense, then at best you're dismissing it as invalid because you don't like the result? Huh. It doesn't even lead to the result, but you're not to find out because you aborted.

    And even if the Universe was "programmed" in whatever way you may mean, from that would not follow that parts of that same universe can simply "reprogram the universe". Just like me writing this sentence doesn't mean the letters can just reassemble themselves into a different one.
     
  14. uberrobonomicon4000

    uberrobonomicon4000 New Member

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    I know what a bit is, but it’s much more than a unit of information. Yet, at the same time a bit means absolutely nothing.

    In physics, I’m sure they are referring to some type of particle, which has properties and acts and behaves a certain way given a specified set of parameters.
    However, even like water, can you tell me it cannot change its state? You can look at it in nature and realize it can go through several different states (or changes). So nothing is predefined or programmed to act or behave a certain way.

    I’m not knocking your post or the video because I enjoyed the part on holograms. I found interesting when he related 2D environments to actual 3D. It makes me think of X-men holograms, which were true holograms.
     
  15. WyattDerp

    WyattDerp New Member

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    765
    I think it's more information theory than physics, it's not referring to a particle.

    That doesn't follow. If a ball rolls down a slope, the fact that it does roll down the slope doesn't prove it's not "programmed" to act that way.
     
  16. uberrobonomicon4000

    uberrobonomicon4000 New Member

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    486
    eh... if that is the case then physics doesn't have much to say about particles.
    I believe you are making the same point, yet missing it at the same time. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  17. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Well-Known Member

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    8,605
    Both in classical and quantum information theory, it has a very specific meaning.

    The fundamental framework for quantum physics and quantum field theory is mathematical. At the heart of QM is the idea of a quantum system's "state". Information theory defines information through probabilities (more or less). The reason binary code is useful is because a bit can take on one of two possible state, and therefore it has alternatives. Information theory defines information through alternatives. Quantum mechanics describes physical reality via a mathematical apparatus with no obvious, direct connection to physical reality. The ways in which a particular quantum system is characterized is mathematical, and does not correspond in any one-to-one fashion with characteristics of the physical system. In this it differs fundamentally from classical physics, in which things like location, velocity, momentum, etc., were represented as variables which characterized as system in a one-to-one fashion: a "particle' would have specific 3D coordinates at some time t, would have a mass, would be traveling with a particular velocity, etc.

    In quantum physics, this isn't possible. Mathematically, we represent quantum systems (such as a photon) as being characterized by different possible states at the same time. For simplicity, one could think of these descriptions as a probability function. Thus the manner in which we describe physical reality at the quantum level is probabilistic. Some argue that it is irreducibily so, but whatever the actual relation between the mathematical descriptions of quantum systems and physical reality, information theory provides an excellent way of describing physical systems. Information is defined by alternatives, and quantum systems are literally described in terms of "existing" in alternate states.

    It is the possibility of different states that motivates the term "bits" (or qubits).

    Dimensionality reduction, thought, is in this case much more a matter of mathematics than it is holograms. Quantum physics describes reality at a very small scale. But as everything is composed of things at that scale, it is supposed to describe everything. It doesn't (or at least not well, as among other things it conflicts with the only theoretical framework within physics which rivals QM- relativity). At the macro-level, gravity is not just ensuring what goes up must come down, but is a fundamental component to current models of the cosmos. Spacetime curvature, the lack of an absolute reference frame, etc., all relates to gravity. But gravity doesn't currently "fit" well within quantum mechanics. So there are various ways in which physicists have incorporated gravity to create relativistic quantum mechanics, but the problem is we don't currently have much in the way of testing these various solutions. The holographic principle plays a role in some solutions. But again, the term is based on the re-incorporation of information theory into physics (it had been rather central earlier, as it relates to entropy, but it wasn't really needed). The basic description of all matter is one of possible states, and therefore "bits" of information.
     
  18. uberrobonomicon4000

    uberrobonomicon4000 New Member

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    486
    Bits and Qubits are two entirely different things.

    One refers to QM and the other doesn’t, as in QM refers to entanglement. Meaning a bit or "qubit" can be in two different places at once. An original bit, an electrical bit, can’t, while a photon can, depending the mathematical probability (or state).

    I'm not ignoring the other part of your posts. I will respond to it later.
     
  19. uberrobonomicon4000

    uberrobonomicon4000 New Member

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    486
    Also, something else consider, if a black hole is something not even light can escape then what type of particle are we talking about?

    That is, if a bit (Qubit according to QM) is considered to carry or have information, then that information has to be present in some type of particle and travel in or through some type of medium.

    So that bit or qubit needs to be clearly defined before it can be considered a particle.

    Is it the Higgs Boson? Is it anti-gravity? Is it plasma? How do you capture that particle to transmit data or represent it?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  20. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,605
    "Before analyzing in detail the resulting distinction between quantum and classical information, let us take note of some common misconceptions about the relationship of information to the physical world related to the increasingly popular idea that information is physical in nature. The greatest and most common error of this sort is naively to identify information with the physical systems that may be used in communicating it."
    Jaeger, G. (2009). Entanglement, information, and the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Springer.

    They are not entirely different, but very similar. For one, both are part of information theory and derive their origins from there. For another, both were used before to characterize physical systems. Finally, this:
    is a fundamentally problematic way of looking at qubits. The reason that information theory and its formalism was adopted in physics is in part to avoid (or bypass) the inconvenience of describing physical systems using classical formalisms (math), but without being able to relate the mathematical descriptions (classical formalisms) of the physical systems to the systems themselves. This is still an area of much debate, but the use of information theory provides a way to frame experimental results, methods, findings, etc., which is useful, free of any interpretative framework for the measurement process, and capable of stimulating further progress.

    However, as soon as one relates qubits to quantum systems, one has introduced the same problem which has plagued modern physics since Einstein and Bohr had their no-holds-barred combat match about the completeness and interpretation of quantum mechanics. By using information theory, one can adopt the probabilistic interpretation of QM without actually applying this to the physical systems. The fact that the mathematics imply e.g., an electron as being in more than one location in physical space is avoided entirely. Additionally, while the probabilistic interpretation still implied that the photon actually was somewhere in some form (an interpretation that couldn't be validated), the use of information theory makes this irrelevant. It only considers possibility states as abstractions. The success of QM formalism (which is incredible) is maintained, but the problem of making physics actualy describe the physical is put aside.

    In this way, a qubit is exactly like a bit, but is not binary. Of course, qubits do have some relation to actual physical systems. However, so do bits used in standard computing. The difference is not particularly important, as a central reason for the adoption of information theory and "qubits" in quantum physics is the abstract nature of mathematical characterizations of quantum systems. So not only do both bits and qubits come from the same source (the formalizing of information by Miller, Shannon, Weaver, and others), they are both used to describe abstractly elements which can be realized in some sense physically yet need not be (as the section I quoted above is careful to point out).

    An original bit isn't electrical at all: The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information

    Neither "bit" nor "qubits" exist in places at all. They are descriptions of possibilities. One is a description in which two states are possible, and only two states, are possible. It could be the flip of a coin.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
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