- From the time when Einstein posited the physics game changer that space and time were inextricably linked, scientists have pondered where the cosmic web called spacetime comes from. Now, according to a deep dive by Knowable Magazine, ongoing research in quantum physics may finally work out at an explanation: A curious phenomenon called quantum entanglement could be the fundamental basis for the four dimensions of space and time which we occupy. In fact, in a mind-bending twist, our reality could be just a “hologram” of this quantum state.
Quantum Realm and Fuzzy Physics
Despite being separated by vast differences, when two particles are able to simultaneously and instantaneously react to one another, they’re considered entangled. But according to the guidelines of spacetime, this means that the particles sometimes transmit signals faster than the speed of light — apparently setting up quantum physics against the speed of light, which is the universe’s speed limit.
Tom Siegfried wrote in Knowable, citing a year’s worth of physics research by Harvard researcher Brian Swingle published in the journal Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics, “But they actually don’t send any message at all. So how do entangled particles transcend the spacetime gulf separating them? Perhaps the answer is they don’t have to — because entanglement doesn’t happen in spacetime. Entanglement creates spacetime.”
The math behind this concept is dense and complicated, but on zooming out, the crux is that the math that describes the four dimensions experienced by us of length, width, depth, and time, is the same as the math underlying a three-dimensional quantum state.
The research article states that this is comparable to how a two-dimensional image projects a three-dimensional hologram, thereby conceding that these are still untested hypotheses.
Siegfried writes, “But it could be that physics is on the brink of peering more deeply into nature’s foundations than ever before into an existence containing previously unknown dimensions of space and time.”