When I was a kid, I remember reading about Dimensions. Now the crux of the matter was this- the most basic difference between us and our photos was that we were 3 dimensional and the images were 2 dimensional.
And how does one understand this 2D and 3D business? Well, simply imagine the image moving, it could either go forward or backward, or northward or southward- but all this movement would be on the surface of that photo paper.
That was 2 dimensional for you. And 3D- well imagine that you plucked that image right out of that photo paper and upwards. That was the 3rd Dimension. So- what makes us 3 dimensional being is that we can not only go in all the 4 geographical directions, but can also move laterally upwards or downwards.
But, if a recent study is to be believed, then we are not 3 Dimensional at all. Instead, we are just those moving pictures on an ever-expanding paper after all.
According to this idea, which is being called the ‘holographic principle’, the universe is not 3D- rather the surface of the universe is essentially flat. However this flat surface contains certain information embedded in it, and this information helps us to perceive everything we see as 3- Dimensional. Confused yet?
Well I was when I first heard of it. But all of it can pretty easily be explained by taking the example of a hologram. As the name suggests, the holographic principle implies that we are living in a hologram. How holograms work is by taking the information out of a picture (the flat surface of the universe) and projecting it as a 3D image with the help of light beams. The latter is the process that we do in our brain.
The basis of this idea lies within the working of the String Theory (That’s right you have heard it before- Sheldon Cooper is working on it). According to String Theory, the gravity which we experience is made up of gravitons. Gravitons are very thin and vibrating strings, and it is them which make up the hologram or the 3D image of whatever is happening in the ‘flat’ universe.
This hypothesis corresponds with quite a few other theories which have been proposed to make sense of our universe. One of these theories is that of ‘anti-de-sitter space’. In the anti-de-sitter space too, things are described as being in 2 dimensions, but their visualisation can be 3D.
Another theory tested was that of ‘quantum entanglement’. This theory states that if two particles were entangled with each other, the properties of the two would depend on each other, and will always depend on each other. Things like their mass, volume would remain the same (the value which is shared by them) even if they are separated over great distances.
The point of these experiments is this- the Universe is as of yet a great big, ever expanding mystery. Every day our scientists are envisioning and experimenting on newer and unique ideas to make sense of the great unknown. Let’s see what new secrets the cosmos throws at us in the future.