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Is the universe a hologram? The strange physics of black holes | #5 of Top 10 2019 | Big Think

MICHELLE THALLER: Black holes really are kind
of getting to the very heart of our physics. And I believe that they’re kind of showing
us the way that eventually we’re going to need different physics and new physics. People ask questions like, “What happens inside
a black hole?” Or even, “What happens at the very boundary
of a black hole, the event horizon, when light is absorbed?” And honestly, our physics is telling us a
lot of contradictory things. And our image of what an event horizon really
is may be changing. People like Stephen Hawking and Leonard Susskind
have recently come up with this idea that a black hole should not be able to destroy
information. O.K., what do we mean by information? Information can be almost anything. All of the different atoms in my body have
angular momentum, they have charge, they have mass. There’s all sorts of little bits of information
that make me me. At the quantum mechanic level, the tiniest
of levels, there are different amounts of energy, there are different probabilities
that are contained in the structure of my matter. And information, in some ways is a form of
energy. It’s actually a way that you can describe
something which is somehow, in a strange way, a higher energy state than not being able
to describe something. And so one of the questions is, “If energy
really can’t be destroyed energy itself is something that is intrinsic in the universe,
you can’t really created or destroy it is it possible that information is the same way? Is there really no way to actually destroy
the information about what all of my subatomic particles are doing right now?” So black holes kind of stare you right in
the face. What a black hole supposedly does is it absorbs
everything. Space and time bend into a black hole so that
nothing can escape. That means that any information about the
material that fell in is gone. The only thing we know about it is that as
a black hole absorbs material, it gets more massive. It actually adds that mass to the mass of
the black hole. And as that mass increases, the event horizon
becomes larger. Basically, the area where space is so curved
that you can’t get out begins to extend the more massive a black hole is. The most massive black holes we know of in
the universe are many billions of times the mass of our sun. And the physical extent of this event horizon
is about the size of our solar system, maybe like out to the planet Pluto. So is it possible, then, if everything goes
into a black hole and nothing ever comes out, space and time go inside the black hole and
don’t come out? What happened to that information? And this has begun to make a lot of people
wonder if we really have thought of black holes the wrong way. Maybe there isn’t an event horizon in the
true sense. I actually had a friend of mine that studies
black holes say, “Well, I’m not sure if they’re black. They may be very, very dark navy blue.” And what he meant by that is, maybe there
are some tricks to actually get information out of a black hole. Maybe there really is some form of energy
that can leak away from the black hole over time. Now, Stephen Hawking wondered if quantum effects
very near the event horizon could actually separate something called virtual particles,
the energy of space itself. If you’re familiar with Einstein’s equation,
E equals MC squared, energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. Energy and mass are the same thing. They’re equivalent. You can actually make mass into energy, and
you can make energy into mass. Around a black hole, where there’s very hot
gas, very high temperatures, very strong magnetic fields, perhaps, there’s a lot of energy. And that energy can actually manifest itself
as particles, mass. And the energy always creates particle/antiparticle
pairs. They’re called virtual particles. And matter and antimatter, the thing you know
about it is that it annihilates immediately. So these tiny little particles come into existence,
then annihilate, and you’re back to energy. And this happens all around us all the time. So, if this happens near a black hole, it’s
possible one of these little particles can go into the black hole and the other one escapes. And all of a sudden, there’s a particle that
shouldn’t be there. The universe basically has a new particle,
energy from nowhere. And how can that work? And the information theory people say that
what happens is that energy has to come out of the black hole. The black hole’s mass begins to decrease if
there is this poor little orphan particle that shouldn’t have been there in the first
place. So over time, tiny particle by tiny particle,
These black holes can evaporate away. And maybe there’s something about those virtual
particles that contain some information about the black hole and what fell into it. It even gets stranger than that, because a
lot of people think that time goes slower and slower as you approach a black hole, till,
at the event horizon, time basically stops. So instead of anything really ever falling
into a black hole, what the event horizon may be is some sort of shell of information. Things are stopped in time as they fell into
the black hole. And right at that boundary, there is almost
kind of a sphere, a two-dimensional surface that somehow contains all the information
about what’s inside the black hole. And this reminded people of something that
the humans invented, called a hologram. Now, a hologram is a two-dimensional object. You can make it out of glass or a piece of
film. And you shine a light through it, and all
of a sudden, there seem to be three-dimensional projections. And the idea is that are we looking at some
fundamental way the universe stores information. Around a black hole, where space and time
have been crushed out of existence, could there be a shell of information, something
like a hologram? And a lot of people began to wonder, maybe
that’s the way the universe works on a larger scale. Maybe black holes are showing us, intrinsically,
what the underlying nature of reality is, that there really is a two-dimensional surface
of something that contains all information about the entire universe. Maybe in some way, we are part of this giant
hologram. And I should mention that the word, hologram,
in no way implies that somebody made the hologram. We’re just talking about the universe may
really be information contained in a two-dimensional structure, not the three dimensions that we’re
aware of now. This all sounds incredibly strange. I’m always a little bit afraid to even talk
about it. But I think that the thing to really kind
of gain from this is that black holes are staring us right in the face. We’re now observing them. They’re right there. And we cannot really describe how the universe
should work with one of these things. They don’t make sense. The universe shouldn’t be able to lose information. So how do you get information when space itself
are bent in and nothing comes out? Black holes may be the key to where the next
physics has to go. We all know that we need a next Einstein,
a next quantum theory, something that actually describes how gravity works in very intense
situations like a black hole. Now we’re actually observing black holes well
enough that we really have to get on this. We really have to figure out how the universe
works around one of these things. And we may end up learning what the universe
itself really is.


  1. patrick digilio Author

    The universe is a conciousness hologram. We only ever experience ourselves. Everything we experience that is seemingly outside of ourselves is still only within the brain. Everything is made up of various energy frequencies that our brain picks up and decodes into this reality. But in reality, everything is entirely different than what we experience

  2. swampthing401 Author

    The problem with science these days is that everything is speculation. without one single shred of proof whatsoever , things become the excepted Norm.

  3. KootFloris Author

    No! We do NOT live in a hologram! Why,? Because we always project our dominant conviction onto the universe. We believed in Bible: God as creator, Newton: God as clockmaker, Darwin: survival of the fittest, Beyond Einstein: evolving consciousness, and now that we play virtual games all the time, indeed hologram concepts pop up. I think: the essence of collaboration is the next great essential story. Check it out.

  4. Elmir Elmir Author

    Black holes are not dangerous they are just acting their part in the nature. And the nature itself hasn't been discovered fully yet and as such it still amazes us. No fear!

  5. spinthefastest Author

    There's no such thing as 2 dimensions.
    If a particle has 0 thickness it doesn't exist.
    A hologram has to be at least one photon thick. Also Pluto isn't a planet it's an ice dwarf.

  6. Aaron Burr Atwood. Author

    Maybe black holes are pure antimatter or a gateway to an entire antimatter universe that runs parallel with ourself. This “universe is two dimensional information” theory is intense and real brain tingler. This video was great, thanks. 🤯

  7. Antonio Teixeira Author

    Self Organising torsion field resonant fractal🤔

    I.e :

    Least we forget : Symbiogenesis.

    Lets us not forget brothers and sisters (pardon my "hippyness", if you please), the BASIS of our human condition,  seing IT,  in ITS proper Light.
    In its proper lesson.
    In its proper humbleness of co existing Inteligences.

    These "bodys" called so by the indewling life, are SELF organising innatly inteligent multi tiered and multi leveled cellular confluence of inteligences, responsible for automating trilllllllllions of processes. Fact.

    From hair growth, down to the many follicles, to immune system response, to bone growth, blood cell production, neural network functionality, digestive system, intestinal flora village absortion, bacterial dynamics symbiosis.
    Viral dynamics, aging dynamics, nail growth rate and patterns, enamel maintenance, cellular regeneration, tissue growth, sperm and egg production, sperm and egg inception cellular Self organising/Self building dynamics (i.e pregnancies), hormonal convergence and maintenance, liver and kidneys…etc etc…
    Indeed…the list is looong indeed. VERY long!

    Whole libraries could be filled with the list of cellular processes that are automated within human Bio verses…and indeed, "we" have!

    Pregnancies are THE most obvious one though…or does the reader think that its the mother that constructs/assembles her baby? 🤔
    Do you Perceive this PI, properly?? Whats a PI, you ask my fellow being?

    Profound Insight.

    Calcification? Neural network growth? Digestive system? Genetic memmory inprints??? Again….the list IS loooooooooong indeed

    As such, PI:

    "An Inbound cellular inteligence, in confluence, potentialy manifests, dictated by biological "restraints" (neural network conception etc etc etc et cuetra, a confluence of diverse cellular inteligences) an outbound emergent sapiance.
    "" us ""

    Hence, we have an indewling abstract (…"""energy"""…) form of awhareness in SYMBIOSIS with a highly complex eoooons old, self organising, cellular inverted Universe.

    Proud of "our"/" your" inteligence???? Hardly "ours" to beguin with!!!
    Rather…at "heart" , again ill put it more succintly, a series of cellular Inteligences that in Confluence, potentialy manifest a biological form of sentience.

    Hence a co operation, a Symbiosis of an outbound "Human personality" and inbound Self Organising Inteligences.

    Self Evident Fact.

    With that in mind……These Biologies know well of the meaning of the Atom structure. Indeed, since cellularly, They work upon it!!

    These eyes, yours, dear brother and sister, dear Being that reads these words have LOOOOOOONG known the nature of Light and its secrets. After all,  the Self organising cellular retina, moving by itself, does one hell of a job!….or indeed…IT, The BIOverse "you" inhabit, might not have been birthed with retinas. Among the Quizzzzzilion of cellular Self Organisation processes….many mysteries/issues/problems arise.

    BIO Lo Gy…should NOT bt taken quite so for granted…

    Only a Parent would know the depth of this PI…

    Indeed…"ITS tech" (Self Organising INBOUND confluence of Inteligences) is SO amasing, thats it been copied on to cameras etc etc other devices made by us! No comment of Beehive structures (hezagono) and flys eyes!

    Oh indewling compartmentalised life force……we are surrounded by the infinity of the Factals of Self Organisation…
    Multi Dimensional.
    Do you remenber?

    Indeed………..these Complex organisation chains of Living matter, DNA, know, generally speaking, VERY WELL what, IT, is doing…or most of us would have Down syndrome🤔…among other particularities of These Self organising Biologies in terms of neurological impediments and birth abnormalities….etc etc etc etc etc etc looooong list of defects…which possibly came from the more recent catastrophy that neatly wiped out these Biologies (and many others) 11.800 years ago or more🤔

    That said, it does make me want to state the following statement:

    War is…… ……vastly out dated.
    In CLEAR breach of the respect a Civilised being should have for the Toroidal Fractals of Self Organisation.
    If, IF, Eugenics is to be done, it is done by RESPECTING the Fractals. Not by Forced Biological death.
    Unless said Incarnation so wishes. Nonetheless…it is the obvious use of vesectomys that is the anwser. (The pill is not. Too many side effects…including changing a vast amount of fish species sex! Human hormones in the pea etc etc ALL is related.)
    Gold given in exchange or fiat currency, for having a vesectomy. Fair play?

    Hence…one way or another…by direct introspection or indirect study's via microscope etc etc of these Biologies relation to Quantum matter, etc, etc… it all elucidates a very profound Aspect looooong known by the really ancient civilizations of other Human biologies…

    The Symbiotic Self Organising Toroidal nature of the Universe…circlely awhare of "one another"…


    In other words…."ALL" is known

    FOR ALL is already known within the complex aspects of Self organising Biologies….BUT….does the indewling life know?

    Hence the deepest Koan being…

    The Symbiosis between Self organising ASPECTS of the Multiverse and …..""us"".

    Hence, respect ALL life…Respect eacthother. Men and Women. Respect Plants. Respect all animals.
    Diferent sentience levels.
    Respect ALL, that IS.

    That, trully will be, a TIER 1 Civilization.

  8. fuliana pir Author


  9. fuliana pir Author


  10. Thijs van Gisbergen Author

    I think we rather spend our money and time elsewhere, than in studying black holes, even though it could be a vital part of our origin, chances that we'll ever be able to reach or extract advantage out of that particular information are beyond small, so the only reason for it is pretty much curiosity. What I'm saying is that we rather spend time on things we can in fact achieve. To compare it with something, we can't even go to the sun or understand that with enough complexity. So focussing on an even more abstract subject is almost pointless before you figure out the easier stuff. It's like me trying to get into hybrid arpeggios while not even having regular arpeggios down to make a musical comparison. We should focus on things that we can achieve or get value from. Science is losing popularity through this kind of talk eventually because it's too abstract. In fact, at some point, you aren't going to differ much from religion.

  11. Matthew Sheeran Author

    She's a remarkable communicator: I have never heard this or anything else so mysteriously mind boggingly complicated so well and concisely but accurately explained! I wonder how information equates with order in the laws of thermodynamics sense or are they indeed the same thing!? The thermodynamics she didn't elaborate on..

  12. Pedro Pedroz Travels Author

    At the beginning of the end of the universe there will be nothing left but black holes floating/moving around space/the universe. One by one they will attract and start to eat each other to form one super massive black hole and that black hole will then collapse in on its self, become so dense it will turn into a singularity holding all space, time, mass etc. Then one day its will get very very hot and "BANG" we have the expansion of a new universe, recycled from the old LOL…well that's my unscientific theory of the universe haha….I don't know.

  13. John Connor Author

    did she say the universe and earth is flat…..hahaha.. i get what your saying but your going to lose ground on the people arguing flat earth

  14. Ahmed Pasha Author

    Hey look,if we think too much,we can be stuck in a paradox.
    The only thing to imagine is , what a great opportunity we have to live a life!

  15. Earl of Doncaster Author

    Why would information be destroyed when it falls into a black hole? Yes the information becomes inaccessible but it's not destroyed, just transformed.

  16. Kaxcer Author

    I dont know how about you but I realized Its not worth it for me to know everything about Universe etc … I dont want to go crazy from the truth. Sometimes its better to not know.

  17. J M Author

    I think everything that goes into one gets catapulted into another dimension. Or I believe we live in a parallel universe. I think our universe is layered. It’s stacked but with space in between. I believe there’s soft spots on our layer or any other layer, and those soft spots get pulled down from the underlying layer. Which forms a black hole. What ever it pulls in, gets thrown into the underneath layer or universe. I don’t know if it’s destroyed or if it starts new again. Maybe it becomes debris . I believe not every asteroid in our universe was formed in ours. In perhaps came from the layer above us.

  18. Ale Cisla Author

    This is sooooo interesting, I could spend hours and hours listening to you talking about black holes! And I have a question: Is there any philosophical implication with the fact that information can be lost in a black hole? I mean, if it does, where this information goes to? And if it's really destroyed, doesn't that imply a sense of meaningless to everything in the universe, including us? … I don't know, I have this thought in my head. And it's not a good one… lol

  19. AncientEsper Author

    What’s interesting is that this theory already assumes there is no time, it is an illusion. Your whole life is already mapped out in a 2D sheet of information. Brings us back to the ultimate hard question, how are we conscious and why do we experience time at all?

  20. Michael W Author

    Pfft! It's simple, really. Gravity leaks into the past, and maybe future. Take the pictures of the universe graphed on the time x axis. Black holes trace a straight line from their inception to their end, if there is one. Anyhow, the lines that are traced out by black holes through time is a cosmic string.

    Living in 3 dimensions is nuts when trying to understand the larger shape of the universe. You'll probably find that constants in nature are probably ratios of orthogonal spatial relationships of 4 or more dimensions. That's the headspace you'll be in when you solve it.The holographic principal and loop quantum gravity both have similar views, get with them.


    MAN how can i prove that there's a 4d when i do CONSCIOUS ASTRAL PROJECTION TRAVELING is very easy i leave %100 conscious my physical body Resting in my bed in the 3d and i as spiritual light body form can travel flying because gravity doesn't affect me because I don't have physical matter on me then I can go to anyplace i want for example the white house ans i can see and hear what Donald trump is talking with Ivanka but they can't see me with their physical eyes then i can return to my physical body ans tell you exactly what they were talking about EASY LIKE THAT AND ALL THIS SO CALLED SCIENTISTS DON'T KNOW ABOUT THIS?? WHENEVER THEY WANT I CAN PROVE IT 626-848-2502 IGNORANT HUMAN SCIENTISTS


    This scientists have been become a religious dogmatic physicists


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