The Holographic Universe Explained

  • Published on Apr 10, 2019
  • We live in a universe with 3 dimensions of space and one of time. Up, down, left, right, forward, back, past, future. 3+1 dimensions. Or so our primitive Pleistocene-evolved brains find it useful to believe. And we cling to this intuition, even as physics shows us that this view of reality may be only a very narrow perception. One of the most startling possibilities is that our 3+1 dimensional universe may better described as resulting from a spacetime one dimension lower - like a hologram projected from a surface infinitely far away.
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    Hosted by Matt O'Dowd
    Written by Matt O'Dowd
    Graphics by Aaron Halevy
    Directing by Andrew Kornhaber
    The holographic principle emerged from many subtle clues - clues discovered over decades of theoretical exploration of the universe. Over the past several months on Space Time, we’ve seen those close clues, and we’ve built a the foundations needed to glimpse the true meaning of the holographic principle. We’ve moved from quantum field theory to black hole thermodynamics to string theory. We’ve made a background playlist if you want to start from scratch, and I especially recommend catching last week’s episode. But this is tough material, so let’s do a review.
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Comments • 3 697

  • Toughen Up, Fluffy
    Toughen Up, Fluffy 13 hours ago

    Now I'm going to watch 'The Holographic Universe Explained' Explained.

  • Zes
    Zes 2 days ago


  • AJ81
    AJ81 2 days ago

    Some of us can't filter it out, goddamnit.

  • Lex Brown
    Lex Brown 2 days ago


  • Unreal Addiction
    Unreal Addiction 3 days ago

    Soooooo this is what Stephen Hawking was doing on his laptop ! Animation and graphics!!!!

  • Clark Thornton
    Clark Thornton 4 days ago

    This was the first space time episode where I just had no idea what the fuck was going on at any point

  • BD
    BD 4 days ago

    I dont even understand the answers to the questions from commentors at the end of the video

  • Alan Schaub
    Alan Schaub 4 days ago

    “Our Universe may be holographic...or at least have a dual representation.” This sounds like Plato’s Ream of Ideal Forms!

    • chris sonofpear1
      chris sonofpear1 2 days ago +1

      Sort of. However, it is all geometrical, at this point. Like how information for a black hole's contents are thought to be stored on a two D surface.
      What this means for ethics and imagination is much more contestable.
      And trying to bind nature to expectations of perfect unchanging models can lead to dichotomies, in physics and philosophy.

    • Alan Schaub
      Alan Schaub 4 days ago

      “Perhaps our Universe has an alternative, more true representation out there?” Are these Plato’s archetypes?

  • J. C.
    J. C. 5 days ago

    Ok so I’m dumb. I watched the whole video and don’t know the answer. Are we living in a matrix?

  • June Blankenship
    June Blankenship 6 days ago

    It kinda makes sense that all the information inside a black hole would appear to be encoded on its surface since, from the frame of any observer outside the black hole, nothing ever crosses the event horizon

  • Gavin Rowley
    Gavin Rowley 7 days ago

    I gotta see this again. whew!!

  • Force Ghost
    Force Ghost 8 days ago

    When I was a boy I used to love reading about quantum theory.
    I used to think, and still think that black holes puncture space as
    space is paper thin, yet infinite in every direction.

  • Kate Orman
    Kate Orman 9 days ago

    I was halfway through this before I realised my mouth was hanging open.

  • Necro Nomaken
    Necro Nomaken 9 days ago

    If we are the bubble of an inner 4d universe, what evidence of the influences of that 4d universe could there be?

  • Raymond Mulholland
    Raymond Mulholland 10 days ago

    In 14:00 through 14:30, our host basically admits this does not meet Popper's Fallibility Principal, which has for a long time defined what science is and has also been used in an effort to discredit religion. It is time we admit that science is no longer science but a religion where the gods are higher math equations. I am not a hater of science, but atheists can no longer use science to attack religion.

  • melik williams
    melik williams 10 days ago

    So a blackhole is a wormhole to another universe

  • hello hh
    hello hh 11 days ago

    His monotone voice made me space out, what if a black hole fast forwards evolution and that's why things disappear as they fall in... almost like a teleportation device, we evolve then we die, then we sustain life, in another form, so the black hole would allow us to fast forward our current state into our next state

  • Micheal Kelly
    Micheal Kelly 12 days ago

    More of a mirror then?

  • Bryon Popplewell
    Bryon Popplewell 13 days ago

    I never went to college, but understood some of this and jumped to a couple of his same conclusions. I now firmly believe I failed myself. :(

  • v Bremont
    v Bremont 13 days ago

    time*/ The return of the messiah “is a beautiful woman “the messiah returned as the Queens counsellor/ invisible to all harm. To open the gates of EDEN & paradise. 20/20 the decade of the women president 😇👽

    • chris sonofpear1
      chris sonofpear1 2 days ago

      And will we NOTICE this has happened?

    • v Bremont
      v Bremont 5 days ago

      ​@J. C. what i meant to say is that a women decade can change the whole / as the perception is currently fix on a male dominant behaviour/ Gin / yang/ therefore is the yang time this time around*🍾🍾

    • v Bremont
      v Bremont 5 days ago

      ​@J. C. holy grams & the religious cocktail/ body & mind/ body //is the machine, mind is the essence/ / however essence can be an external habitant on the body machine// Purpose could be to stimulate perception that is transmitted to the the brain/ since the brain controls everything the body does automatically* however on what concerns the mind// ends & means still a mystery .

    • J. C.
      J. C. 5 days ago

      v Bremont I understood the video more than what your trying to say. And I understood 0% of the video.

  • Joseph Malone
    Joseph Malone 13 days ago

    What if the holographic projection was just a reflection of the real 3d space being shown in a 2d plane? Like a mirror or water reflecting a ghost image. This makes it nonconsequential as it has no effect on the real 3d space. 3d space is independent of 2d space while 2d space is dependent on 3d space. Just like x-value is a independent variable and y-value is dependent on x for its own value. We dictate how we are and that dictates what the reflection shows not the other way around. Fact: Higher dimensions control lower dimensions. Our 3d space is governed by time, with time being governed by a 5th dimensional variable. Find these hidden variables! More work needs to be done in higher dimensions that time so we can fully understand our reality.

  • orsozapata
    orsozapata 13 days ago

    These videos are very cool, well crafted and detailed. It's a pity to read the comment sections and just find a list of the usual, dumb-but-believed-to-be-smart comments by silly people.

  • rio evi
    rio evi 15 days ago +1

    sad, really sad. one day we will try to understand how we were happy by throwing a rock at each other, and try to go back cause there won't be anything out there in our senses. no hope

  • Drew Peisner
    Drew Peisner 16 days ago

    I’m not trying to be an angry commenter or anything, I am just genuinely curious if you do actually believe that Chronicles of Riddick is better than any marvel movie. If so, is there any particular reason you dislike them?

  • ThalesWell
    ThalesWell 17 days ago +2

    The music: while it matches the profound and scary implications of the physics, this was maybe the most important episode for music not to be distracting yet was the most distracting I've heard in any episode.

  • Ari Mouratides
    Ari Mouratides 17 days ago

    There is nothing "dubious" about orchOR. It's an attempt to quantify how why and where consciousness exists. If you believe it to be an emergent property of "switches" then you fall into the singularity camp...and then your bias is painfully clear...can you confirm or deny this bias? If so there is no rational debate to be had. If you are actually objective, then please offer your objective explanation of consciousness

  • Andres Seyer
    Andres Seyer 17 days ago


  • breadbutt
    breadbutt 17 days ago

    cool, but one thing confuses me. If the entropy of a black hole is described by the surface area of the event horizon, how can the volume not also represent the entropy? a black hole is a sphere, so the volume and surface area are inherently linked. you can't increase or decrease the surface area of a sphere without also increasing or decreasing it's volume.
    I'm not trying to disprove anything, I'm just trying to figure out what I'm missing.

  • Ryan Gray
    Ryan Gray 17 days ago

    Spirituality has been discussing these ideas for thousands of years...They call it having an eternal spirit. It makes me think, If we are the projection, and our hardcopy producing the projection is located outside time and space, this theory could help explain life after death....Crazy!!!

  • Sunbeam
    Sunbeam 17 days ago

    took me until 12'28 to stop the video, quit pretending and finally accept my brain had not grasped a single thing so far

  • Kevin Gonzalez
    Kevin Gonzalez 17 days ago

    Holofractal unified theory. We are all a part of one Enormous (literally all things in existence) organism. We are divided up by mathematical dimensions, our universe is one side of "god's shape".

    • boccabr
      boccabr 16 days ago

      Kevin Gonzalez an infinite what if..

  • Tempus Fugit
    Tempus Fugit 18 days ago

    This is already written in Vedic scriptures and also in Quran!!! Go check it out. Not sure about Bible though.

  • I Art Laughing
    I Art Laughing 18 days ago +2

    So are we actually beneath the event horizon of the 4th Space Time dimension?

  • selfless
    selfless 18 days ago

    man, is it even legal to be this smart?

  • necromancer
    necromancer 18 days ago

    Most frightening thought is in leaving in " a simulation"
    It's frightening because it's appears logically most realistic explanation of mysterious universe. ( You can justify theory of infinite universe with theory of simulated universe )
    A highly complex and efficient VR game in auto mode.

    Can anyone please explain that we're not in simulated universe ?( in simple language since I'm student of literature not science)

    • J. C.
      J. C. 5 days ago

      necromancer we live in the matrix. It’s a hologram.

  • Paul Dacus
    Paul Dacus 18 days ago +6

    9:50 Complicated? Before Maldecena, string theory is a real no-brane'r

  • Charlie Wood
    Charlie Wood 19 days ago

    I like Chronicles of Riddick better than any Avengers film; but the MCU has put out one movie that I think is actually great, Captain America.

    I'd like to say Amazing Spider-Man, but that film isn't part of the MCU, unless I'm mistaken.

    Also, I thought that Thor Dark World was good largely because it ignored the Avengers plot and told its own story.

  • etofok
    etofok 20 days ago

    says something unbelievably weird - proceeds to top it off "let's add something weird"

    ASTROALL 20 days ago

    Occam's Razor says ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • Nicholas Reed
    Nicholas Reed 20 days ago

    Please don't talk this way about our brains here in the beginning of this video thanks. I love my self.

  • Arkhèss Ananta
    Arkhèss Ananta 21 day ago +1

    How do we know that our universe is not an AdS space ? I'm thinking about redshift here. Looks like an AdS space. Or am I understanding something incorrectly ?

  • Jack Croatan
    Jack Croatan 22 days ago

    I know I am too dumb to comprehend what he is saying. I watched the whole lecture by Susskind on this theme, and I felt I was even dumber. but I have to point out that analogies, or metaphors, whatever you wanna call them, used in explaining these types of subjects are often complicated themselves. I think all of this could be explained in a simpler way. I don't think that we are all morons.

  • Eddie Dingle
    Eddie Dingle 22 days ago +1

    Man, I picked the wrong video to watch while on all this LSD

  • ActuallyMediocre OverClocking

    Video's kinda old but anyone know where he got that t-shirt? It looks sick

  • Ryan Allen
    Ryan Allen 23 days ago

    i like turtles!

  • ks sreejith
    ks sreejith 24 days ago

    Zoom in close enough and even a speck of dust can appear thick/wide to have 3 dimensions while to the naked eye, it looks like it appears as a point particle in 1D

  • Chase
    Chase 25 days ago

    Could a black hole in our universe not be incoded with our same physics ?
    Would it not be possible for a black hole to pull all light and gravity into its horizon, just to compute a hologram out the otherside, hence, a multiverse in some regard

  • N. A. Barnes
    N. A. Barnes 25 days ago +1

    If you where inside of a ship with no windows and you fell into a black whole what would it look like from in the ship

  • Jimmy Johns
    Jimmy Johns 26 days ago

    Seems like good info but man you need to get on The Equalizer the voice was so muffled on this I couldn't take it

  • Joe Hinojosa
    Joe Hinojosa 26 days ago

    I need to smoke some Hashish to UNDERSTAND THIS VIDEO. 💨

  • Clark Magnuson
    Clark Magnuson 26 days ago +1

    This is material that was in Roger Penrose lectures a long time ago. PBS SPACETIME cannot make this stuff up.

  • Jan Bruun Andersen
    Jan Bruun Andersen 27 days ago

    There is meta-physics, and there is meth-physics. This was definitely the latter.

  • T K
    T K 27 days ago

    Nima Arkani Hamed’s lectures expand greatly on this topic.

  • Lucas Ferreira
    Lucas Ferreira 27 days ago

    i literally fall asleep watching this and then i dreamed about being at university discussing Quantum Gravity

  • Charlie Angkor
    Charlie Angkor 28 days ago

    how can the host talk about such theories in several videos without going completely nuts is beyond my understanding.

  • Charlie Angkor
    Charlie Angkor 28 days ago

    If we cannot conform our theory to the universe, couldn't we try to conform our universe to our theory instead?

  • Christian Vulpescu
    Christian Vulpescu 29 days ago

    The more I learn about modern cosmology the more I doubt if any of this models will ever be confirmed or falsificated. As stunning those thoughts are, I'm asking myself, if they are relevant to get more knowledge about the real spacetime.

  • Dariusz Labuzek Art

    Check out


    I can't believe how complex this reality is yet how evil and lonely it is. Purposely, a controlled, capricious, on purpose harassing, evil dumb existence.

  • Jim Tomp
    Jim Tomp Month ago

    I think I can explain a fake third dimension you should check out my book the philosophy of dimensional geometry