(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE UK EXPRESS NEWS)
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Black holes are incredible wells of gravity, where the force of attraction traps everything including light. Black holes are often found at the hearts of galaxies and up until April this year have been purely theoretical. In April, astronomers behind the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration photographed the first ever shadow of a black hole millions of light-years from Earth. But little is still known about the exact nature of these terrifying objects and speculation is rampant.
This is why astronomer Michelle Thaller, who is the assistant director of Science Communications at NASA, said dark holes challenge our understanding of physics.
The space experts appeared in a science video for Big Think, where she discussed the idea black holes are key to cracking the secrets of the universe.
And perhaps most shockingly, the astronomer suggested the universe in which we live is nothing more than a two-dimensional hologram.
Dr Thaller said: “Things are stopped in time as they fell into the black hole. And right at the boundary, there is almost kind of a sphere, a two-dimensional surface that somehow contains all the information about what’s inside the black hole.
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“And this reminds people of something that humans invented, called a hologram.
“Now, a hologram is a two-dimensional object. You can make it out of glass or a piece of film. And you shine a light through it and all of a sudden, there seems to be three-dimensional projections.
“And the idea is that we are looking at some fundamental way the universe stores information. Around a black hole, where space and time have been crushed out of existence, could there be a shell of information, something like a hologram?”
But how does this cosmic revelation suggest the universe at large is a form of a hologram?
According to Dr Thaller, black holes could be a miniaturised representation of how the universe works on a big scale.
This all sounds incredibly strange
In this scenario, all of the information in the universe is spread out across a 2D surface and we could be part of it.
But the astronomer said this does not in any way imply intent or creative design behind the hologram.
She said: “We’re just talking about the universe may really be information contained in a two-dimensional structure, not the three dimensions that we’re aware of now. This all sounds incredibly strange.
Black holes are incredible wells of gravity peppered throughout the cosmos
Black hole: Dr Michelle Thaller said the universe could be two-dimensional information
“I’m always a little bit afraid to talk about it. But I think that the thing to really kind of gain from this is that black holes are staring us right in the face. We’re now observing them.
“They’re right there. And we cannot really describe how the universe should work with one of these things. They don’t make sense.”
On April 10, 2019, the EHT collaboration published the world’s first ever photograph of a distant black hole at the heart of galaxy Messier 87.
The historic achievement confirmed the existence of black holes 100 years after they were theorised by Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity and by astronomer Karl Schwarzschild.