London: A new study has provided what scientists believe is the first observational and substantial evidence that our universe could be a vast and complex hologram.
Researchers investigating irregularities in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the ‘afterglow’ of the Big Bang, have found there is substantial evidence supporting a holographic explanation of the universe.
A holographic universe, an idea first suggested in the 1990s, is one where all the information, which makes up our 3-D 'reality' (plus time) is contained in a 2-D surface on its boundaries.
"Imagine that everything you see, feel and hear in three dimensions (and your perception of time) in fact emanates from a flat two-dimensional field, said Kostas Skenderis, Professor at the University of Southampton in Britain.
"The idea is similar to that of ordinary holograms where a three-dimensional image is encoded in a two-dimensional surface, such as in the hologram on a credit card. However, this time, the entire universe is encoded!" Skenderis added.
Although holographic properties could be thought of as rather like watching a 3-D film in a cinema -- for example we see the pictures as having height, width and crucially, depth -- when, in fact, it all originates from a flat 2-D screen.
However, the difference in our 3-D universe is that we can touch objects and the 'projection' is 'real' from our perspective, the researchers said.
"Holography is a huge leap forward in the way we think about the structure and creation of the universe. Scientists have been working for decades to combine Einstein's theory of gravity and quantum theory. Some believe the concept of a holographic universe has the potential to reconcile the two. I hope our research takes us another step towards this," Skenderis explained.
The scientists now hope that their study will open the door to further our understanding of the early universe and explain how space and time emerged.
The research has been published in the journal Physical Review Letters.
(With IANS inputs)