Abstract: Many famous physicists promote (themselves and) the “Holographic Universe” (aka the “Holographic Principle”). I show that the Holographic Universe is incompatible with the notion of Free Will.
When studying Advanced Calculus, one discovers situations where the information on the boundary of a locale enables to reconstitute the information inside. From my mathematical philosophy point of view, this phenomenon is a generalization of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. That says that the sum of infinitesimals df is equal to the value of the function f on its boundary.
The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus was discovered by the French lawyer and MP, Fermat, usually rather known for proposing a theorem in Number Theory, which took nearly 400 years to be proven! Fermat actually invented calculus, a bigger fish he landed while Leibniz and Newton’s parents were in diapers.
As Wikipedia puts it, inserting a bit of francophobic fake news for good measure: “Fermat was the first person known to have evaluated the integral of general power functions. With his method, he was able to reduce this evaluation to the sum of geometric series. The resulting formula was helpful to Newton, and then Leibniz, when they independently developed the fundamental theorem of calculus.” (Independently of each other, but not of Fermat; Fermat published his discovery in 1629. Newton and Leibniz were born in 1642 and 1646…)
Holography is a fascinating technology.
The objection is similar to that made in Relativity with light: if one goes at the speed of light (supposing one could), and look at a mirror, the light to be reflected could never catch-up with the mirror. Hence, once reaching the speed of light, one could not look oneself into a mirror. Einstein claimed he got this idea when he was 16-year-old (cute, but by then others had long figured out the part off Relativity pertaining to that situation…
My further objection below is going to be a bit more subtle.
Here Is The Holographic Principle As Described In Wikipedia:
The holographic principle is a principle of string theories and a supposed property of quantum gravity that states that the description of a volume of space can be thought of as encoded on a lower-dimensional boundary to the region—preferably a light-like boundary like a gravitational horizon. First proposed by Gerard ‘t Hooft, it was given a precise string-theory interpretation by Leonard Susskind who combined his ideas with previous ones of ‘t Hooft and Charles Thorn. As pointed out by Raphael Bousso, Thorn observed in 1978 that string theory admits a lower-dimensional description in which gravity emerges from it in what would now be called a holographic way.
In a larger sense, the theory suggests that the entire universe can be seen as two-dimensional information on the cosmological horizon, the event horizon from which information may still be gathered and not lost due to the natural limitations of spacetime supporting a black hole, an observer and a given setting of these specific elements,[clarification needed] such that the three dimensions we observe are an effective description only at macroscopic scales and at low energies. Cosmological holography has not been made mathematically precise, partly because the particle horizon has a non-zero area and grows with time.
The holographic principle was inspired by black hole thermodynamics, which conjectures that the maximal entropy in any region scales with the radius squared, and not cubed as might be expected. In the case of a black hole, the insight was that the informational content of all the objects that have fallen into the hole might be entirely contained in surface fluctuations of the event horizon.
The Superficiality Principle Rules:
I long suspected that physicists and mathematicians are taken by the beauty of the simplification of knowing the inside from the outside. It’s a sort of beauty, fashion model way of looking at the world. It miserably fails with Black Holes.
To figure this out, one needs to know one thing about Black Holes, and another in philosophy of mind.
FREE WILL DEMOLITION OF THE HOLOGRAPHIC PRINCIPLE:
My reasoning is simple:
- Consider a Black Hole so large that a human being can fall into it without been shredded by tidal effects. A few lines of high school computation show that a Milky Way sized volume with the density of air on Earth is a Black Hole: light falling into it, cannot come back. (Newton could have made the computation and Laplace did it.)
- So here we have this Human (call her H), falling in the Milky Way Air Black Hole (MWAB).
- Once past the boundary of the Black Hole, Human H cannot be communicated with from the outside of the boundary (at least from known physics).
- What the Holographic proponent claim is that they can know what is inside the MWAB.
- Suppose that Human H decides to have scrambled eggs for breakfast instead of pancakes. The partisans of the Holographic Universe claim that they had the information already. However they stand outside of the MWAB, the giant Black Hole, and cannot communicate with its interior. Nevertheless, Susskind and company claim they knew it all along.
That is obviously grotesque. (Except if you believe Stanford physicists are omniscient, omnipotent gods, violating known laws of physics: that is basically what they claim.)
This is not as ridiculous as the multiverse (the most ridiculous theory ever). But it’s pretty ridiculous too. (Not to say that the questions Free Will lead to in physics are all ridiculous: they are not, especially regarding Quantum Theory!)
By the way, there are other objections against the Holographic Universe having to do with the COSMOLOGICAL Event Horizon (in contradistinction of those generated by Black Holes). Another time…
We Are Hypocrites, So We Live From Fake News:
Tellingly, the men promoting the Holographic Universe are Nobel Laureates, or the like. Such men tend to be very ambitious, full of Free Will, ready to say, or do anything, to dominate (I have met dozens in person). It is revealing that so great their Free Will is, that they are ready to contradict what they are all about, to make everybody talk about themselves, and promote their already colossal glories.