Monday, December 10, 2012

The Holographic Principle and the Human Brain

The idea of holograms has been around since the early 1920's when the British Thomson-Houston Company made an unexpected discover while trying to improve an electron microscope, but the theory didnt pick up to practical use until the lae 1940's.  A hologram works like this:  A laser is used to create a light field which passes through a divergent lense, then records the information on the reference plate of the image in which you wish to create in three-dimensional space.  Experts in physics and cosmology have taken this idea of the hologram, and have come to the rationalization that the entire universe is a hologram giving birth to the holographic princple.

 The implications of the holographic principle have been debated for quite some time.  The idea did  not really gain attention until  the infamous Stephen Hawking published a paper on black holes.  In his paper he argued that black holes violated the second law of thermodynamics by stating that information is lost when it reach beyond the event horizon, but the energy remains.  He did make significant breakthrough in the entropy of a black hole that answered questions that had boggled the minds of many physicists.  This equation describes the correlation between the surface area of a black hole and its information. 

Surface area is proportional to the volume of space within the object and in this case I speak about a black hole.

1/4S = c3A/4h/c3G

A = the area of the event horizon of a black hole
C= speed of light in 3 dimensions or a speed of light in a vacuum
h = Planks length - 1.6 X 10-32 metres or meters
G = Gravity as a constant relative to given mass.

When your break this equation down even further you can simply say that
1/4S = A/c3/4hbar/^2c3gbecause the  length is measured by the hbar/c3G  so the c3 cancel each other out when you divide, so your left with 1/4S = A/4hbarG where is te gravitation constant  Since surface area and volume are inversely proportional to one another you can now cancel the 1/4 and 4 out and you are left with this equation. V=S = A/Hbar(N)^2G where n is a function of the number of planck lengths in the closed and bounded system and G is te gravitational constant.

This equation states that the entropy of a black hole is proportional to the surface area by 1/4 the Planck Constant times the force of gravity.  Although this idea gave physicists a new visual and mathematic picture of the black holes, many felt he was wrong about the fate of information within the black hole. A man by the name of Leonard Susskind led scientific debate for years about Hawkings findings.  He believed that information is not lost within the void of a black hole.  He also stated that in a 3-dimensional volume of space, there is a distinct number of quantum states. Black Holes radiate energy in the form of x-rays proportional the energy that is taken in by the 3 dimensional volume of the said black hole. 

Leonard Susskind enhanced the ideas of talented physicists that came before him, Gerald t' Hooft and Charles Thorne.  He argued that since entropy of a black hole increased due to an increase in the surface area, then the surfce area in Planck Units was proportional to the volume of the black hole.    By making this inference,  it leads one to the idea of the holographic principle.  The holographic principle states that any volume of space can be found on the 2-dimensional surface area of space-time.  The information can be calculated by finding the total entropy which that is proportional to the Planck area.  This leaves us with one degree of freedom per Planck area. To think that the whole visible universe could be just an arrangement of bits of information smeared on the surface brain that is beyond the horizon of what we can see on Earth is truly mindblowing.  How can a physical reality that seems so solid be simply a projection from a set of holographic information that could be an infinite distance from my home on Earth.   What is truly amazing about a hologram is the idea of wholeness.  When one tries to remove a part of the hologram, although the fuzziness of the virtual 3-dimensional object increases, one can still make out the original object that was visible before part of the hologram is removed.  This leads us to believe that information of the entire hologram is embedded in each individual region of the 2-dimensional image, so no matter how much you of the information you remove from the system, the holographic projection with still be visible. 

          Just as matter, energy, and information are all equal, but are different states of being in the universe.  Just as information is compared to energy and matter, information is quite similiar to experience.  As human's experience, we develope a working memory of the information we sense through the nerve system.  We experience through seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and taste.  The information we obtain increases over time which leads us to more complex thought and rationalization of the physical world around us which within the laws of physics satisfies the second law of thermodynamics. These senses are computed by the brain of the individual much like a computer where transistors work much like neurons and synapses.  Information is stored along individual neurons, but when the information is retrieved from the working memory, it is fired along the synapses leading to new connections, which is then stored again to be retrieved at a later date in time. Our mind works similiarly to the holograhic membrane to which our universe is projected or computed from.  Our brain acts a "holographic brane" because the information or experiences of the individual is embedded within the neurons of each section of the brain, and information is processed and retrieved when your senses trigger a recall of said information.  One can calculate the amount of information gained from an experience by finding the entropy of a set of information divided by the amount of information of a system that is to be learned or taken in.

       What is also interesting while comparing the structure of a hologram to structure of the human brain.  When one removes a part of the hologram, the structure of the whole is embedded within each part of the image in which you wish to recreate.  This could correlate to the way in which the brain of a human works.  When an individual loses part of the mental or physical functionality of the brain by removing part of the brain, the experiences or information of the content of tht part of the brain is embedded within the whole neural structure of the brain itself.  Experiences learned may become fuzzy, and difficult for an individual to retrieve, but the information from those experiences is still stored within the brain and its neural structure. 

Susskind, Leonard. "The World as A Hologram." Department of Physics: Stanford University.  September 1994. Stanford, CA

Baddeley, Roland. "Introductory Information Theory and the Brain."  Pg. 9-18.  Cambridge University Press. 1999. Cambridge, UK.
Bekenstein, Jacob. "Information in the Holographic Universe." Pg. 59-64. Scientific American. 2003.