Universe neither confirms nor denies its holographic nature
The standard approach makes use of quantum field theory, which, when simplified to the point of predictions, results in a range of “cold dark matter plus inflation” models.
These models are already known to fit the data from Planck superbly. But in recent years, there has been substantial progress in calculating some of the more annoying parts of quantum field theory. These are referred to as loop corrections, and they can be very difficult. The researchers made use of an additional loop correction to constrain the parameters that go into the model, which resulted in a narrower range of possible quantum field theory models that fit the data.
Holographic theory predicts the cosmic microwave background but does not do a better job than quantum field theory, says Lee.
Both predict the data very well. If you take the full Planck data, then quantum field theory does a better job. But you can’t really compare that directly to the holographic approach, because it turns out that the simplification used to obtain solutions from holographic theory breaks down for one part of the data.
By analyzing a sub-set of the Planck data, where the results from holographic theory were not influenced by the simplification, the researchers found that holographic theory fit as well, or maybe even marginally better, than quantum field theory. Unfortunately, that margin does not rise to statistical significance, so the best we can say is that holographic theory is as good as quantum field theory—at least when it’s not breaking. More.
Larger question: Is the reason that a lot of this stuff is classed as “science” the fact that the researchers are playing around with the tools of science? Nothing the matter with that, but it would be good to make the situation clear.
See also: “Substantial evidence” claimed for universe as a hologram: Researchers: “However, this time, the entire universe is encoded!” Encoded? Funny that.
Universe is not a hologram after all?
Oh, not this again… Is the universe a hologram?
We are living in a giant hologram, or a giant trailer filled with poop, or whatever Stephen Hawking says we are living in
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