Matthew Headrick, an assistant professor of physics at Brandeis University, works on one of the most cutting-edge theories in theoretical physics — the holographic principle. It holds that the universe is a three-dimensional image projected off a two-dimensional surface, much like a hologram emerges from a sheet of photographic film.
In this first episode of The Take: Big Ideas Explained in Under Five Minutes (listen, above), Headrick explains the holographic principle and why it excites scientists. Hendricks said:
It turns out that this idea of the holographic principle or the universe is a hologram … actually helps us to solve some of the thorniest puzzles that arise when you try to combine quantum mechanics and general relativity.
As theoretical physicists, we’re not satisfied to have two different theories. We need one, unified theory which encompasses both, and that’s a very hard problem.
There’s a step-by-step breakdown of the holographic principle here.
Bottom line: A scientist explains the holographic principle of the universe in a five-minute podcast.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.