Feyman Lectures on Physics

Sep 18, 2014

www.thehindu.com: new-experiment-to-test-the-nature-of-universe

The above small article-cum-news item appeared in "The Hindu" of 31 August 2014. It talks about an experiment which may prove that we live in a 2-dimensional [2-d] hologram. It also says that the same experiment may prove the uncertainty in space-time. (Is it not that the  space-time and energy-momentum (and as such all physical parameters) are bound by uncertainty principle already known and verified in science? .. and what is the Holometer and what data will it gather?).

Be that as it may, the motivation for this experiment must come from Holographic Conjecture [HC]. What this conjecture is?

Stephen Hawking predicted that the surface area of event horizon surrounding the Black Hole should measure its entropy. This led scientists to advocate that the maximum entropy of any closed region of space can never exceed a quarter of the area of the circumscribing surface based on Bekenstein-Hawking law of entropy. Since entropy (Information Theory) relates to the total information contained in a system, this suggests that the information associated with all phenomena in the 3-dimensional [3-d] world can be contained in its 2-d boundary, like a holographic image observed by us in contemporary holograms.

The said new experiment mentioned in The Hindu is being discussed in few Advaita blogs. Does it have any connection with Advaita?
 As we know, a hologram encodes a three-dimensional [3-d] image on a 2-d surface. This image is perceived to be out in space, in front of its 2-d surface provided that it is viewed from an appropriate (frontal) position and it is illuminated by an appropriate (frontal) source of light. Viewed from any other perspective the only information one can detect about the object is in the complex interference patterns encoded on the holographic plate. In analogous fashion the information in Intelligent Being's neural hologram is displayed as a visual, 3-d object out in space only when it is viewed from the appropriate first-person perspective of the perceiving subject. This happens only when the necessary and sufficient conditions for consciousness are satisfied (similar to ‘illumination by an appropriate source of light’). Viewed from any other third-person perspective the information in the BMI's hologram appears to be nothing more than neural correlates in the brain (similar to interference patterns on the plate).

This analogy can be extended to the 4-d universe of Einstein-Minkowski space-time, and also to n-dimensional models of modern physics. In the generalized Holographic Conjecture [gHC], the states of a Quantum Field Theory [QFT] defined over a space-time manifold of (n+1) dimensions are projected (one-to-one mapped) onto the states of another QFT defined over space-time manifold of 'n' dimensions. In hologram, the 2-d projection of a 3-d object, when properly illumined by light, is accessible again in 3-d space. Similarly the 3-d projection of a 4-d world-reality is accessible in 4-d space-time to an Intelligent Being [IB] which has access to fourth dimension of time in the light of supra-dimensional Brahman. IB's body is in the 3-d space while what we call as mind is the fourth dimensional, time-like aspect of the individual IB, which becomes sentient only when IB's mind 'reflects' (the light of) Brahman.

If (n+1) dimensional manifold has n-dimensional surface which can contain all the information of (n+1) manifold, what is the surface of 1-d curve? It is the mysterious 0-dimensional [0-d] surface. It is a point without dimensions or an all pervasive infinity that pervades all the dimensions. It is mysterious because it can contain all the world information within! In a sense it is zero as well as infinity.

In Advaita literature, the metaphor of “World being painted and illumined on a canvas or wall (fresco)” is often used. Its first reference in the extant texts comes in Shankara's Upadesha. 15.2; then prominently in Vimuktatman's Ishta-Siddhi 1.1, and Vidyaranya's Panchadashi (Ch-6: Chitra-Diipa). There Consciousness is analogous to 2-d fresco on which the world phenomena are painted or superimposed (in Advaitic terminology it is an "adhyAsa"). 

However, Brahman as the pure, undifferentiated Consciousness is the ultimate boundary (0-d substratum cum canvas) that not only pervades and supports all other dimensions, but also provides the metaphoric light in which the world-phenomena are illumined!

NB: No analogy should be stretched beyond a point.