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Sparks Fly Over Shoestring Test Of ‘Holographic Principle’

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Science  13 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6078, pp. 147-149
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6078.147

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The Fermilab holometer aims to test one interpretation of the so-called holographic principle, which states that the amount of information that can be crammed into a region of space and time, or spacetime, is proportional to the region's surface area. If the holographic principle holds, then the universe is a bit like a hologram, a two-dimensional structure that only appears to be three-dimensional. Proving that would be a big step toward formulating a quantum theory of spacetime and gravity. The principle implies a kind of information shortage that, according to the experimenters, makes it impossible to say precisely where an object is. The holometer aims to prove that position is inherently uncertain. Not everyone cheers the effort, however. A co-inventor of the holographic principle says the experiment has nothing to do with his brainchild. Others say they worry that the experiment will give quantum-gravity research a bad name.