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**These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"**

Inspired by the
fact that the entropy of a black hole is proportional to its surface and
believing that the Planck length is one side of an area that can hold
only one bit of information, Gerard't Hooft (“Cosmology in 2+1 dimensions”, 1993)
generalized those ideas and proposed that the informational content of a region
of space can always be equivalently expressed by a theory that lives on the
boundary of that region (the so called “holographic principle”). Everything
that happens in a three-dimensional
space is encoded in a two-dimensional surface. In particular,
the horizon of a black hole (a two dimensional surface) stores all the
information that ever fell into the hole (the solution to Hawking’s paradox of
information evaporation). The Argentine
physicist Juan Maldacena (“The Large N Limit of Superconformal Field Theories and
Supergravity”, 1997) realized that one could represent a universe described by
superstring theory functioning in an anti-DeSitter spacetime (a negatively
curved spacetime) with a quantum field theory operating on the boundary of that
spacetime. And viceversa. In other words,
one could imagine a two-dimensional universe with no gravity that exists on the
boundary of a three-dimensional universe with gravity.
The three-dimensional interior of the universe contains strings and black holes and is governed only by gravity, whereas its two-dimensional boundary contains elementary particles and fields and is governed by quantum laws. Quantum Physics does not exist inside, gravity does not exist outside.
The two universes are
equivalent. The three-dimensional universe which we perceive might indeed be
encoded on a two-dimensional surface, like a hologram. This makes spacetime
less “fundamental” than assumed if it can be reduced to something simpler. Back to the beginning of the chapter "The New Physics" | Back to the index of all chapters |