What Is the Holographic Principle?

08/28/11
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Peter Galison

Peter Galison is a leading historian of science whose research explores the interaction of experimentation, instrumentation and theory in physics. An author, film producer and MacArthur Award-winner, he is the Joseph Pellegrino University Professor in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University.

When Stephen Hawking elegantly described the relationship of quantum mechanics with black holes, he inadvertently opened the door to a radical possibility: that our universe, as we know it, is like a hologram. Science historian Peter Galison and leading physicists Brian Greene and Cumrun Vafa explain how the resilient nature of information combined with the behavior of event horizons suggests that the three dimensions of reality we observe may in fact be a two-dimensional information structure “painted” on some sort of cosmological horizon.

More videos from this series: A Thin Sheet of Reality

This program is part of The Big Idea Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.