Lesson #200: The Holographic Paradigm

Yes, another high concept theoretical physics post, but there’s a reason for it.

I came across this ridiculously fascinating article this evening completely independently of the NPR article/radio clip I found yesterday.* As I was reading the article, something clicked. One of the things that the physicists were talking about yesterday is how atoms can be millions and billions of miles apart and still know what is happening to the other…that they are somehow connected and that the information they contain can travel faster than the speed of light. What’s interesting about this is Einstein’s long-held tenet that communications cannot travel faster than the speed of light.**

Now, this is where things get really interesting because the Holographic Paradigm*** suggests that the universe, and consequently everything in it, is a hologram. More specifically, it suggests that every organic thing in the universe is linked through one (presumably ginormous) holographic image. So…those two atoms that we think are separated and able to communicate with one another over great distances and very small amounts of time are in fact, the same atom seen from different angles.

And, lest you think that this theory is some sort of quack branch of quantum physics, the Holographic Paradigm attempts to explain why memory is non-localized and the existence of transpersonal psychology, brilliantly addresses Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s cosmic sermon**** about why and how people feel/are connected to the cosmos and is responsible for the development of holophonic sound. And it certainly casts a whole new light on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

So yeah…good stuff! Physics for the win, real or otherwise (the win, not the physics).

*The stumble button is responsible for this one.

**Not that Einstein wasn’t wrong about stuff…he sort of half disproved (and half proved) his own theory that light is made up of particles. If you remember the double slit experiment, you’ll remember that depending on the conditions light can act both as particles and as waves. He also wasn’t entirely right about gravity, but that comes down to the pesky nature of quantum mechanics.

***The melding of David Bohm and Karl Pribram‘s theories about the holographic nature of the universe (Bohm) and consciousness (Pribram)

****I cannot recommend watching this enough. These ten minutes explain exactly why I think space is so awesome.

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