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Does the universe only have two dimensions?

Posted on Wednesday, 29 April, 2015 | Comment icon 26 comments

Is your perception of the third dimension actually an illusion ? Image Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)
New mathematical models lend credence to the idea that we live in a universe that is essentially flat.
The concept of depth is something we see, experience and take for granted in our everyday lives, but now according to scientists at the Vienna University of Technology we might actually be living in a flat two-dimensional universe in which depth is simply an illusion.

This idea of a holographic universe, which was first proposed back in 1997, suggests that what we perceive as a third dimension is simply the 'horizon' of a two-dimensional image. The concept is similar to what we see in the holograms found on bank cards.

By creating new gravitational theories based on this idea of 'flatspace', the researchers were able to determine that the concept of a holographic universe, at least in theory, could actually have merit.

In particular their models now suggest that the idea of a two-dimensional universe projecting a three-dimensional appearance may actually be possible in a universe where spacetime is flat.

"If quantum gravity in a flat space allows for a holographic description by a standard quantum theory, then there must by physical quantities, which can be calculated in both theories - and the results must agree," said theoretical physicist Daniel Grumiller.

It's certainly true that we have only a very limited perception of the universe around us - there is nothing to say that what we think of as depth must actually be a tangible, physical dimension.

Despite these new findings however the idea that we are all living inside a holographic universe is a concept that, at least for now, is likely to remain firmly rooted in the realms of theoretical physics.

Source: Tech Times | Comments (26)

Tags: Universe, Hologram

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by quiXilver on 30 April, 2015, 2:25
every answer seems to open more questions... how awesome!
Comment icon #18 Posted by ancient astronaut on 30 April, 2015, 2:45
Hhahahahahahaaaaa! Oh man I laughed at this one You are most welcome mylady.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Hugh on 30 April, 2015, 3:36
2D beings wouldn't be able to see anything, because they would look "along the edge" of the plane that they are confined to. That edge, which is a 1D line, has zero height and is infinitely thin. When we look around us, we see things that have a 3rd dimension of height, which is orthogonal to both our line of vision and our width of vision, so we are at least 3D. It's possible that we, and the universe actually have more than 3 dimensions, and that what we see is only a 3D "slice" of everything at any particular moment, but that's another thread.
Comment icon #20 Posted by krypter3 on 30 April, 2015, 4:21
One thing that always gets me and don't take it the wrong way, I'm a science guy through in through. But it seems awfully pretentious of us to think our mathematics, that we created, is capable of 'explaining' how the universe works. I mean who told the universe to adhere to our train of thought?
Comment icon #21 Posted by Likely Guy on 30 April, 2015, 4:41
If I'm flat, how can food pass through me? Be that as it it may... welcome Orbacuck to these forums, our 124,999th member.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Foil Hat Ninja on 30 April, 2015, 5:49
The idea that our eyes are the final authority on what is real just doesn't cut it. Our eye-visual cortex system just receives information and sends it to our cerebral cortex for processing into something that we're capable of dealing with. What's actually "out there" is just a swirl of energy that our brains interpret in a certain way. Some people have extremely vivid visual hallucinations. That doesn't make them real (or does it?). Some of us can't even tell what color a dress is if the light hits it a certain way.
Comment icon #23 Posted by XenoFish on 30 April, 2015, 10:26
What if we're 4 dimensional beings observing a 1, 2, and 3 dimensional reality?
Comment icon #24 Posted by She-ra on 1 May, 2015, 13:46
Here's another article on this for anyone that's interested Ready your brain. The universe might be two-dimensional, except we perceive it as three-dimensional, according to the Physical Review Letters. In this thought experiment, the flat surface of the universe contains all the information we need to sense three dimensions—much like a hologram. Link to remainder of article here:
Comment icon #25 Posted by Merc14 on 1 May, 2015, 13:55
One thing that always gets me and don't take it the wrong way, I'm a science guy through in through. But it seems awfully pretentious of us to think our mathematics, that we created, is capable of 'explaining' how the universe works. I mean who told the universe to adhere to our train of thought? So 1+1 doesn't equal 2 in another galaxy?
Comment icon #26 Posted by Tsubasa_Zero on 11 May, 2015, 12:30
'and the results must agree' I always have trouble believing these kind of things. You are inputting data into a simultion of something you just thought up and that proofs something? And why not make it 1 dimension while you are at it?

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