HOLOGRAM:How is “reality” created from The Field? Most quantum physicists agree it is a very similar process to the creation of a hologram. In other words, the universe we see is a “holographic universe.” “When we look at some of the scientific views of ‘reality’ that have tried to get down, down, down to the nitty-gritty, we see at its ultimate level… that reality is not solid – it’s mostly empty space – and whatever solidity it has seems more to resemble a hologram picture rather than material, harsh, solid reality.”1 “University of London physicist David Bohm, for example, believes… that despite its apparent solidity, the universe is at heart a phantasm, a gigantic and splendidly detailed hologram.”2 Let’s back up for a minute…. Quantum Physics is actually a science of mathematics, and it is the most accurate mathematical science to date to explain what we see in our “reality.” “Quantum mathematics – which is, in our belief, the most fundamental mathematics, the most accurate mathematical description of nature that we have discovered – this mathematics shows us clearly that the movements of objects are describable only in terms of possibilities, not the actual events that happen in our experience.”3 The mathematics used in quantum physics to “describe nature” and explain the behavior we see in our “reality” is also the same mathematics used to create a hologram. This is why quantum physicists say the universe seems to be more like a hologram than solid reality. So, to understand the “holographic universe,” we have to understand how a hologram is created. But first, a very brief background…. Holography was invented by a Hungarian physicist, Dennis Gabor, for which he received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1971. But it was not until the laser was invented in 1960 that holography became workable and practicable. Today it is used for many things, including credit cards and product packaging. There are actually three different kinds of holograms, some using lasers and others using white light. But let’s talk about the basic laser process for creating a hologram, in simplified form. The first thing to understand about creating a hologram is that it is a two-step process.
The first step is that you shoot a laser beam out of a gun, and then immediately split it into two beams. One half of the original beam (called the “reference beam”) is directed toward a special holographic film (or plate). The other half of the original beam hits and bounces off an object, and then goes to the same piece of holographic film. At this point, what you’ve got is a holographic image (a pattern) on the holographic film; but you can’t see the image of the object. If you look at the film, all you can see is a bunch of nothing – indiscernible waves. You may remember a craze in the 1990’s about so-called “3-D pictures.” These were pictures where, if you looked at them normally, all you could see was… nothing, really. Just a bunch of wavy lines.
Looking at the original image on a piece of holographic film after Step 1 is very similar. You really can’t see anything. But now let’s do Step 2. If you take the reference beam from Step 1 and shine it on the holographic film again…. …out pops the object from Step 1. This would be the equivalent of changing your focus to have the 3-D picture pop out as a discernible image. Now, the most interesting thing about this holographic image of an apple that pops out in Step 2 is that it looks very real and very solid – so real that your mouth can water, and you want to pick it up and take a bite. But if you try to pick it up, your hand will go right through it, since there’s nothing there. “Creating the illusion that things are located where they are NOT is the quintessential feature of a hologram…. If you look at a hologram, it seems to have extension in space, but if you pass your hand through it, you will find there is nothing there…. Despite what your senses tell you, no instrument will pick up any energy or substance where the hologram appears to be hovering. This is because a hologram is a virtual image, an image that appears to be where it is not.”4 So how can quantum physics say we live in a holographic universe? That doesn’t make any sense. What we see and touch looks and feels very real and very solid. We can reach out and grab and eat the apple we see in front of us; so how can it be a hologram? We also don’t fall through the floor; nor can we walk through walls (well… the vast majority of us can’t).
The first answer is to say that many quantum physicists don’t actually say our physical reality is a hologram; they says it acts like a hologram, since the mathematics used to explain both is the same. But more and more scientists are now going further and suggesting we do, indeed, live in a hologram, based on the most recent experiments. For example, in 2008 Craig Hogan, director of Fermilab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics, said, “If the GEO600 result is what I suspect it is, then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram.”5 “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.”6 And according to Dr. Jacob Bekenstein, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “An astonishing theory called the holographic principle holds that the universe is like a hologram…. The physics of black holes – immensely dense concentrations of mass – provides a hint that the principle might be true.”7 So at this point I would simply ask you to suspend all judgment and consider the possibility we live in a holographic universe, as the scientific results of quantum physics suggest. You don’t have to “believe” this forever; just try it out as an experiment. I admit this is a radical way of thinking; but after all we’ve been through trying to find “the truth” – most of which didn’t work very well – maybe it’s time to get a little more radical. “It is relatively easy to understand this idea of holism in something that is external to us, like an apple in a hologram. What makes this difficult is that we are not looking at the hologram; we are part of the hologram.”8 * * If we look around carefully and pay attention, there are “clues,” or “hints,” we’re being given all the time about how this universe actually works. I’m going to mention a few of those hints over the course of this book, and I’m going to be suggesting some Hollywood movies for you to rent and watch. Now you might say, “That’s all just fiction; it’s just a movie;” and you would be right. But fiction and movies can also give us hints about what is really going on. Especially science fiction. When I was young there was a comic book called Dick Tracy, and Dick had this really incredible wrist-watch-two-way-radio-thingy. I say “incredible” because in the 1950’s it was pure science fiction. Today it’s a reality.9 I could – and you could – list hundreds of things in the field of technology, for example, first mentioned in some artistic medium that have come true in the last few decades, not the least of which are George Orwell’s 1984 and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged – unfortunately. So there are two short videos I want you to watch to get a better idea what this whole holographic concept is about, and how real a hologram can seem. One is a scene from the movie, The Thirteenth Floor. In this movie, a German scientist figured out how to create a full-blown hologram that one can become part of, like a total immersion movie. But the scientist gets murdered, and his friend and partner (Douglas Hall) wants to find out who did it. So Douglas gets in the “hologram machine” and enters into a hologram of Los Angeles in 1937 where the scientist had left him a clue about his murder.
The scene you will watch is Douglas’ first time in the hologram machine. Please note how he reacts to being in a hologram and his astonishment at how real it looks and feels to him. Click here to watch the video. The second video clip is from Star Trek: The Next Generation (Episode 16, 11001001). Since the Starship Enterprise was traveling around the universe all the time, they had to figure out how to make it possible for the crew to take a vacation. So they created the Holodeck – a room where any hologram could be requested and created for their relaxation and enjoyment. The scene you will watch is Commander Riker asking to spend time in New Orleans playing some jazz, with a very interesting audience. Again, notice how surprised he is that the woman looks and feels and smells so real. Click here to watch the video. But if all of this is possible, the question then arises: How is our holographic universe created for us to experience as the physical universe?
1. Ledwith, Miceal, Ph.D., Professor of Systematic Theology, Maynooth College, Ireland. What the Bleep!? – Down the Rabbit Hole – Back to reading
2. Talbot, Michael. An essay also entitled The Holographic Universe – Back to reading
3. Goswami, Amit, What the Bleep!? – Down the Rabbit Hole – Back to reading
4. Talbot, Michael. The Holographic Universe, p. 25 – Back to reading
5. Chown, Marcus. Our world may be a giant hologram, New Scientist, January 15, 2009 – Back to reading
6. Ibid. – Back to reading
7. Bekenstein, Jacob D., Ph.D., Professor of Theoeretical Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Information in the Holographic Universe, Scientific American, August 2003 – Back to reading
8. Talbot, Michael. Id., p. 46 – Back to reading
9. Sutter, John. HP developing a ‘Dick Tracy’ wristwatch, CNN, June 3, 2010 – Back to reading