Tag Archives: WTF

Department of WTF

Some physicists say we live in a hologram

The idea that we live in a hologram probably sounds absurd, but it is a natural extension of our best understanding of black holes, and something with a pretty firm theoretical footing. It has also been surprisingly helpful for physicists wrestling with theories of how the universe works at its most fundamental level.

The holograms you find on credit cards and banknotes are etched on two-dimensional plastic films. When light bounces off them, it recreates the appearance of a 3D image. In the 1990s physicists Leonard Susskind and Nobel prizewinner Gerard ‘t Hooft suggested that the same principle might apply to the universe as a whole. Our everyday experience might itself be a holographic projection of physical processes that take place on a distant, 2D surface.

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The Science of Push and Pull

Two fascinating articles. First, the mysterious push. Princeton chemists and biologists have discovered an engine within the mitochondria that serves to push organisms towards greater evolutionary fitness. The press release is a bit opaque, but the men in New Jersey say, “What we have found is that certain kinds of biological structures exist that are able to steer the process of evolution toward improved fitness.” 

Next, the puzzling pull. Evidently dark cosmic magnets beyond the edge of our universe are tugging away at galaxy clusters. A NASA astrophysicist speculates, “this motion is caused by structures well beyond the current cosmological horizon, which is more than 14 billion light-years away.”

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