I thought the holographic Principle was just a sexy way of referring to the fact that a black hole's maximum entropy is bounded by its surface rather than its volume, and since the surface is a Schwarzschild radius, and that can be said to be 2D, then that's where they got the notion of calling the principle, holographic, since holograms are thought to be 2 dimensional(even though they are not 2 dimensional).

But the notion that the holographic principle applies to all the Universe, not just black holes, and that it shows the universe is a holographic illusion, won't go away, as shown by the two links above.

So, is there a real possibility that the Universe is a hologram, and that we live in the matrix, and that what we think is real, which is the 3D, material world, is just an illusion?

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    $\begingroup$ I think the word 'illusion' is completely out of place. A possibly more accurate way of putting it might be: the holographic principle posits that all the information of a D dimensional universe can be reproduced given all information on a D-1 dimensional sheet on the boundary $\endgroup$ – Danu Jan 25 '14 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ What do you even mean be "illusion"? In theory you could come up with an infinite number of different physical models that all describe the universe correctly and correctly predict the outcome of every experiment. If it is not possible to experimentally distinguish between two models, they are both equally correct. It makes no sense to claim that one specific model is the one true model and all the others are illusions. That would be like claiming there is only one true reference frame. $\endgroup$ – SpiderPig Jan 25 '14 at 21:17

Yes, the holographic principle is almost certainly right in our world and mathematically inevitable in any hypothetical world that contains the gravitational force and obeys the postulates of quantum mechanics.

Juan Maldacena wrote the 1998 paper that was most important for the adoption of the ('t Hooft's and Susskind's, 1992-1993) holographic principle. It is the first paper at


and has about 10,000 citations as of now. Indeed, the higher-dimensional "bulk" of our bodies may be considered an illusion according to the holographic principle. At least, Maldacena himself has used the word "illusion" in his 2005 popular article in Scientific American.


The media reports that the OP referred to describe just a particular technical result in a particular example of holography that is approximately 100-1,000 times less important than Maldacena's 1998 work.


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