Experiment Set to Test Whether the Universe Is a Hologram
Created by physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago, a machine called the Holometer will determine if the universe is merely a series of bits or if a more substantial material reality exists.
In a field in Illinois sits a shed. In that shed sits a machine that is gathering data to determine whether the universe is a hologram. Created by physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago, a machine called the Holometer will determine if the universe is merely a series of bits, similar to how newspaper photos are composed of colored dots, or if a more substantial material reality exists.
"The theory is that space is made of waves instead of points, that everything is a little jittery, and never sits still," says Craig Hogan at the University of Chicago, who dreamed up the experiment.
The machine works by directing lasers at two different mirrors down two sets of 40-meter tubes. The lasers will measure the position of the mirrors over the course of about a year; if the mirrors move, this may be evidence that the space-time fabric is given to jittering. The machine is extremely precise: such space-time units would measure a hundred billion billion times smaller than a proton.
If the experiment confirms an inherently unstable space-time continuum, researchers may be a step closer to understanding the quickening expansion of our universe, which is currently (though weakly) attributed to dark energy. Inventive theories have been proposed to account for mysterious forces that contradict our current theories of gravity. One idea is string theory, which Dr. Michio Kaku explains in his Big Think Floating University lecture:
Read more at New Scientist
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
Is everyone's favorite Thanksgiving centerpiece really to blame for the post-dinner doldrums?
- Americans kill around 45 million turkeys every year in preparation for the Thanksgiving meal, only to blame our favorite centerpiece for the following food comas.
- Rumor has it our after-dinner sleepiness results from the tryptophan found in turkey.
- However, it is the meal's overall nutritional imbalance, not just the tryptophan, that make us want to leave the dishes for tomorrow. Or maybe the next day.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
The famed author headed to the pond thanks to Indian philosophy.
- The famed author was heavily influenced by Indian literature, informing his decision to self-exile on Walden Pond.
- He was introduced to these texts by his good friend's father, William Emerson.
- Yoga philosophy was in America a century before any physical practices were introduced.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.