Physicists theorize that, at the smallest scale (the Planck scale), the universe is composed of bits of information like the 0’s and 1’s used to store and process information digitally. This information is stored onto light sheets that, in turn, create everything around us. I wonder if 1) our body stores and processes information in the same way as the universe, and 2) if the information stored by the universe and by our body can be accessed by some people.
As per an article in Scientific American, “Is Space Digital?” (April 2012), over the past couple of decades physicists have discovered insights into how the universe stores information, even suggesting that information, rather than matter and energy, constitutes the most basic unit of existence.
Information is a way to distinguish between things, and one of the basic principles of physics says that distinctions never disappear. For instance, if I write a story and then burn the piece of paper, the information on the page will be physically reorganized but it will still exist; the information cannot be eliminated altogether (so much for cutting up that ugly high school photo). It seems impossible that all information ever produced in the universe still exists, but it does according to the basic laws of physics.
The Holographic Principle
The retention of all the information ever produced is possible due to the holographic principle which was developed over two decades by physicists. The holographic principle implies that all the information about our world is stored on two-dimensional surfaces or light sheets that contract at the speed of light. The contraction of the light sheet happens both forward and backward in time.
Light sheets contain information about the position of every particle, electron, quark and neutrino and every force that acts on them. So, if you walk into a room, all the information about that room and all of your thoughts, emotions, cells, particles and everything else about you at that moment in time is recorded onto a light sheet (and you thought Facebook was scary). But rather than just film that passively records information, the light sheet projects that information out into the world and generates all the forces and particles around us, including spacetime itself.
Physicists mostly agree about the holographic principle, however they don’t know how the information is encoded, how the 1’s and 0’s are processed or how that information gives rise to the world. Craig Hogan, a physicist at the University of Chicago and a director at the Fermilab Particle Astrophysics Center near Batavia, Ill., is attempting to determine if indeed the universe is composed of the 0’s and 1’s that make up bits of information. Because, if it is, it could change the way we think about space and time.
Light & Spintronics
In an earlier post (“How Our Body Might Collect Information”), I theorize how light frequencies and molecular spintronics might be at the root of how our body collects, encodes and processes information. I’d like to suggest that perhaps the “digital” universe works the same way as our body, and vice versa.
Every substance, every chemical element, emits a unique set of light frequencies that carries information about that substance or chemical. Our body and everything in our environment, including other people, emit a complex soup of light frequencies that carry all the information about their source. When these light frequencies hit our body, they have the potential to interact with our atomic particles, a process that depends on many factors such as amplitude, reflection, permittivity, permeability, composition and temperature.
When the light interacts with our particles, the spin up and down of our electrons collects and encodes information about the outcome of the interaction, just as in the budding technology of molecular spintronics. A group of atoms that forms, say a nerve, then projects that processed information out again with different light frequencies, and the process is repeated over and over again in our bodies and in our environment.
Is that how the universe collects, processes and generates its bits of information? Light frequencies might carry information that is collected and encoded as 0’s and 1’s by the spin up and down of electrons or an even smaller particle. As the complex information is continually gathered, processed with other information and redistributed, the information changes and new information is continually emitted again and again. The universe might literally be a thick soup of light frequencies and particles, all working at creation—creation on the macroscopic level of stars and planetary systems and on the microscopic level of our cells and the very person we are.
Accessing Information in Light Sheets
The possibility of light sheets containing all the information ever created provides a potential explanation about how some people can access information about the past and future, and about our bodies. Could some people be physically sensitive to a broader range of light frequencies that allow them to access information carried by those combinations of frequencies? The different ranges of frequencies might explain why some people can access some types of information while others are able to access different information or none at all.
On a smaller level, is every person surrounded by their own light sheets containing all the information their body and their being has ever generated? Does it stop there or does every organ have its own light sheets, and every cell, and every particle?
We live in such an interesting time! I can’t wait until further discoveries are made to see if any of these theories are valid and if they shed more light on the intimate connections between the universe and our lives. You can bet you’ll be hearing about them here.
Sources & Further Information
Bekenstein, Jacob D. “Information in the Holographic Universe.” Scientific American. August 2003. Accessed April 12, 2012. http://www.phys.huji.ac.il/~bekenste/Holographic_Univ.pdf
Moyer, Michael. “Is Space Digital?” Scientific American. January 17, 2012. Print edition: April 2012. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=is-space-digital (Note: You can only access the complete article online if you have a subscription.) I used the print edition for this article.
Talbot, Michael. The Holographic Universe. Harper Perennial. New York: 1992.
Back in 1991, Michael Talbot wrote his famous book “The Holographic Universe” in which he describes our brain and the world around us as a hologram, with every piece of the hologram containing information about the whole. An excellent read that I would highly recommend. Much of his work was based on the theories of David Bohm, a University of London quantum physicist and former protégé of Einstein, and Karl Pribam, a Standord neurophysiologist.
Explore Energy. No Boundaries. No Fear.
Touchy Subjects is owned and operated by Brenda Piquette. All information on the Touchy Subjects blog is copyright Brenda Piquette 2010 – 2012. Note: This information is provided for entertainment purposes only and should be verified for accuracy.