holography

An Interview with Thanu Padmanabhan [Video]

“Atoms” of space are too small to see, but betray themselves indirectly.

I’m fascinated by how the humblest observations can lead you to the profoundest conclusions, and here’s one I learned from Thanu Padmanabhan, an eminent theoretical physicist at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune, India. Suppose you cup your hands around a glass of cold water to warm it up. From this simple […]

A Hologram Shows How Space Could Pop Into Existence

The holographic principle—with a real hologram

I remember buying my first hologram as a college student in the mid-1980s. It showed a bed of nails. I came across it at a gallery in what was then the world’s capital of spacey trinkets, Haight Street in San Francisco. When I picked it up, the hologram looked like a featureless sheet of film, […]

Space Is an Elaborate Illusion

The holographic principle suggests that space emerges from a deeper spaceless reality.

Editor’s Note: This post was initially published May 12 on the World Science Festival’s Web site. My dad took a peculiar pleasure in fitting the maximum amount of stuff into the smallest possible space. Whenever we went on a family trip, he packed our suitcases like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle, ensuring there wasn’t a single […]

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