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July 23rd, 2013, 12:07 PM  #1 
Senior Member Joined: Jul 2013 From: United Kingdom Posts: 471 Thanks: 40  Is The Universe Really 2 Dimensional?
Physicists now believe that the 3d universe we inhabit may be encoded in just two dimensions. In other words, higher dimensions may be just an illusion, produced by entities such as black holes which exist on the edge of space. It is said that when a 3d object falls into a black hole, it loses it shape and its information gets stored on to the surface of the black hole which devoured it. The object's information is not permanently lost though, and it can be retrieved in order for one to reconstruct it in 3 dimensions. Can our complex world actually be quite simple to understand? Is it all just 0's and 1's or x and y's? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOcS2BaCV_4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh8QfKVcvFA Here's a little thought experiment (hehe): Let's say a point in 3d space is (1,2,4) If x=1 and y=2x, z can be equal to 4x or 2y. Is z really just z? Feel free to comment on this post. Let's spark a debate... 
July 23rd, 2013, 01:11 PM  #2 
Senior Member Joined: Sep 2012 From: British Columbia, Canada Posts: 764 Thanks: 53  Re: Is The Universe Really 2 Dimensional?
Another theory is that our universe is just a hologram projected onto a higher dimensional space. If information in n dimensions can be represented in n1 dimensions, then it could mean that none of what we think is happening actually is happening. On the other hand, if a passage could be created that allows us to travel between dimensions, then this paradox could be avoided, since now we can store information in an arbitrarily high dimension, and retrieve it when we need it.

July 23rd, 2013, 05:31 PM  #3 
Senior Member Joined: Aug 2012 Posts: 2,259 Thanks: 684  Re: Is The Universe Really 2 Dimensional?
I might be a brain in a vat in an artificial intelligence lab run by grad students on the planet Zork. There's no way for me to disprove it. I'm sure that cosmic speculation is not math. It's not even physics. I just hope they keep my vat running. 
July 24th, 2013, 09:18 AM  #4  
Math Team Joined: Sep 2007 Posts: 2,409 Thanks: 6  Re: Is The Universe Really 2 Dimensional? Quote:
Quote:
But it would seem to follow that there could not be, say, a bird directly above you an airplane directly above that bird. The "height" of anything would be fixed by its (x,y) position. And, it would follow that what the "x coordinate" and "y coordinate" are fixed by physics, not arbitrary. Quote:
 
July 24th, 2013, 02:07 PM  #5 
Senior Member Joined: Sep 2012 From: British Columbia, Canada Posts: 764 Thanks: 53  Re: Is The Universe Really 2 Dimensional?
A better place to post this is in the subforum 'Physics and Chemistry'. 
July 24th, 2013, 05:10 PM  #6 
Senior Member Joined: Jul 2013 From: United Kingdom Posts: 471 Thanks: 40  Re: Is The Universe Really 2 Dimensional?
to: hallsofivy i could have placed this post somewhere else, but i thought topology had something to do with the shape of space. in relation to x,y and z, what i was trying to entertain was the idea that z in 3 dimensions can actually be explained in terms of x or y. z doesn't necessarily have to be z. at a point (x=1,y=2,z=4) if x were 1, and y were 2x, then z could be described as 4x or 2y. by the way, please watch the videos before commenting on this topic. i'm not talking about ideas thought up by the average joe. well known and respected scientists have come up with these theories. i think they deserve a little bit more respect. 
July 24th, 2013, 05:36 PM  #7  
Senior Member Joined: Jul 2013 From: United Kingdom Posts: 471 Thanks: 40  Re: Is The Universe Really 2 Dimensional? Quote:
 
July 24th, 2013, 11:08 PM  #8 
Senior Member Joined: Jun 2013 From: London, England Posts: 1,316 Thanks: 116  Re: Is The Universe Really 2 Dimensional?
Hi, if you want to spark a debate, you could research and summarise what this "2D" theory is actually saying. I watched the videos, but am none the wiser. Are they saying that, for example, somewhere on the surface of a black hole something is happening that is effectively human civilisation? And this phenomenon is being projected across space (or is space an illusion, too?) and manifests itself (how?) as some sort of "illusion"? How can the "reality" of human civilisation (a bridge being build, a football match being played), be taking place on the surface of a black hole and what we think we experience here be a projection of this? I suspect they have actually found something much more mundane (although probably significant) about the encoding of 3D information on a 2D surface. There is a pitfall in being too skeptical of new ideas. But, you have to be equally wary of uttering a few magic words and thinking you have a new theory that overturns all preexisting knowldege. PS I agree with Halls of Ivy that you don't yet grasp the difference between: A 2D plane A 2D surface projected in 3D space A 3D space and A 3D space projected into 4D It might be useful to ponder these concepts as well. 
July 25th, 2013, 04:30 AM  #9  
Senior Member Joined: Jul 2013 From: United Kingdom Posts: 471 Thanks: 40  Re: Is The Universe Really 2 Dimensional? Quote:
Here are a few books on this topic that you may be interested in reading before you bash me further: 'Programming The Universe'  Seth Lloyd 'Decoding Reality'  Vlatko Vedral 'Black Hole Computing'  Scientific American 'An Introduction to Black Holes, Information and the String Theory Revolution: The Holographic Universe'  Leonard Susskind 'Decoding the Universe: How the New Science of Information Is Explaining Everything in the Cosmos, From our Brains to Black Holes'  Charles Seife 'Gravity Emerges From Quantum Information'  MIT Technology Review 'The Singularity is Near'  Raymond Kurzweil i think i'll leave it at that.  
July 25th, 2013, 12:41 PM  #10 
Senior Member Joined: Aug 2012 Posts: 2,259 Thanks: 684  Re: Is The Universe Really 2 Dimensional?
My vat is leaking again. Just my luck to be a brain in a vat run by grad students, instead of some of the luckier brains whose vats are run by professionals. Oh well it could be worse. I know a guy whose vat is run by a bunch of high school kids using parts they bought off eBay. @perfect_world, Do you understand that math is not physics? Even if we lived in a 2D universe, it would not affect mathematics in the slightest. But here's a cool way you can encode 3D space into one dimension. For a given point (x,y,z) in 3space, write each of x, y, and z as a real number in decimal notation. Then create a single real number by interspersing the digits of x, y, and z. Take the first digit of x, followed by the first digit of y, followed by the first digit of z, followed by the second digit of x, the second digit of y, the second digit of z, etc. You'll end up with a real number that can be unambiguously mapped back to your original 3 coordinates (x,y,z). So you might as well say that we live in 1space, since you can bijectively encode 3space into 1space in the manner I showed. What do you think about that? 

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