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Whether we actually live in a hologram is being hotly debated, but it is now becoming clear that looking at phenomena through a holographic lens could be key to solving some of the most perplexing problems in physics.

Last month, Japanese physicists presented in Nature News as "the clearest evidence yet that our Universe could be just one big projection." The universe existing as a ‘hologram’ is the theory that the three dimensions we perceive are actually just “painted” onto the cosmological horizon - the boundary of the known universe.

In two papers on arXiv, that represent the the culmination of many years’ work focused on hypothetical calculations of the energies of black holes in different universes, Yoshifumi Hyakutake and colleagues from Ibaraki University in Japan offer evidence that supports a theory that suggests that a universe as we conceive of it could actually be a hologram of another two-dimensional space --a holographic projection of another, flat version of you living on a two-dimensional "surface" at the edge of this universe. This radical model of the universe helps explain some inconsistencies between general relativity (Einstein’s theory) and quantum physics. At certain extremes (such as in the center of a black hole) Einstein's theory break down and the laws of quantum physics take over.

The standard method of reconciling these two models has come from the 1997 work of theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena, at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, who proposed a radical model of the Universe in which gravity arises from infinitesimally thin, vibrating strings which exist in nine dimensions of space plus one of time, and would be a hologram --a simpler, flatter cosmos where there is no gravity.

Maldacena's theory provided physicists with a mathematical Rosetta stone, a 'duality', that allowed them solve problems in one model that seemed unsolvable in the other, but has yet to receive a rigorous proof. A theory that Columbia University mathematican Peter Woit describes as "not even wrong."

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