Friday, October 21, 2011

David Anthony Lowe - Our Universe May Exist Inside a Black Hole

Does our universe exist inside a black hole? How cool would that be - and what a great premise for a sci-fi novel. David Anthony Lowe is working with "a particular description of the holographic principle that shows that a certain kind of universe with gravity can be described, after dropping a dimension, by quantum field theory. (See "The Black Hole and the Babel Fish" for more about the holographic principle.)" Lowe's universe is one with no beginning and no end - and it also is one of many. I think I like his model . . . for now.

The End of Time?

Our universe may be housed inside a black hole. If so, we can map out how time—and physics—will end.
by Kate Becker
FQXi Awardees: David Lowe
June 28, 2011
Imagine strolling up to a very unusual department store. There are no windows, so you can’t see inside. But the external walls of the store list everything it contains: Every party dress, handbag, kitten-heel shoe, and silk scarf is inventoried; the exact size and color and shape is recorded; all the information about every thread of every stitch is emblazoned there on the brick wall.

Now imagine that the shop isn’t really a shop. It’s a black hole, and it contains our entire universe. Not just the stars and galaxies that we can see with telescopes, but many other regions of space, where the laws of physics operate differently. Our familiar universe, with its hundreds of billions of galaxies, is rather provincial, the cosmic equivalent of the Ladies’ Shoe department.

That’s a rough analogy for a new view of the universe being proposed by FQXi grant winner David Anthony Lowe, a physicist at Brown University, that will allow him to explore the "big questions" of cosmology: How big is the universe? Will it expand forever? Has it always existed? Will it always exist?

Lowe’s work builds on the holographic principle, the idea that all the information in our universe can be mathematically represented on a cosmic horizon like the surface of a black hole. Just like the two-dimensional hologram on your credit card, which appears to spring into a third dimension when you hold it just so, this cosmic hologram encodes information for one more dimension than it exists in itself. Lowe interprets the holographic principle as more than just a handy mathematical tool: "It means we’re inside a black hole," he says. "It is a physical reality."
Read the whole article.

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