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Stephen Hawking’s closest collaborator elucidates his ultimate theory: “The cosmos is a hologram.”

Thomas Hertog, close friend and co-worker, goes through a series of talks about the great physicist’s still-revolutionary theories regarding the origins of the Big Bang to mark the sixth anniversary of Stephen Hawking’s death. When I got to know that I was chosen as a doctoral student working with Stephen Hawking to develop a ‘Quantum Theory of the Big Bang,’ what could be better than getting married to the idea of spending two decades to do some intensive work and research into it along with being selected as a researcher in the first place.

The deep partnership that was at the core of all this ended on just the sixth year after the conclusion ofOur search for the answer that could explain how the Big Bang created conditions that were very hospitable for existence was the central mystery throughout this phase. Why do we have such a difficult time of understanding this clear display of destiny?His investigations, reaching the far corners of physics, are epitomes of evolutionary meaning.

Hawking did not see this as a problem though, rather this was where he was at his best. A notable part of his research was related to the attempt—some may call it an aspiration—to explain the design of the universe, through may be his reasoning, or hypothesis.

Getting to know people better through shared scientific experiments was one of my most amazing experiences. His presence alone was enough to fill one with that momentary desire to throw up glorious hands and let the uncertainties of the cosmic sea carry you away, following the relentless optimism in all of us that mankind would one day be able to answer these bewildering questions. On one hand, he brought the creation story to life for us such that we became its players or writers in a sense.

In the early 30s when the theory of the Big Bang being the initial cause of time was still doubtful, the Belgian-born priest-astronomer, Georges Lemaître supported it. The fact that Albert Einstein, at first, refused it because of its ideological similarity to the Christianity cherished is also recognized. On the contrary, Hawking and Penrose put forward their own proof of Lemaître’s theory, making it correct.

Ever since that time, the beginning of the universe in the framework of the Big Bang theory has served both as its foundation and as target for attackers. The question arises: maybe, one of the possibilities of time emergence.

What the final version of the Big Bang theory by Hawking proposes is very controversial and hard to imagine. He structurally thinks of the Universe as a wave or light interference patterns.

© Thomas Hertog

The spots and wavy lines that expose the surface of a screen of an anywhere hologram show a way to the third dimension of space. This implies that dimension is the dimension of time, which signifies holographically the above concept complex as the cosmos-as-hologram. The topic of multiverse has been subject to analysis by several theoretical physicists.

To Stephen, this phenomenon was interesting and he imagined it as a disc or orb, like the one that scientists talked about. An outer ring on the disk is assigned to complete an eternally existing hologram made from almost endless number of qubits which are interacting with each other.

This hologram, from a disk, is the projection of the emerging Universe in the expanding UniverseThe middle encircles the source of the universe, and it is started from there and keeps doing so in a radial direction.

The universe looks like it is written using a code for the qubits with the entanglement of qubits being the way how time looks to us.

What is exciting, actually, is that by introducing fuzziness you may explore the inner structure of the disk as well as taking a panoramic view of it, similar to zooming out. It is also important to notice though that at this point, no piece is left to capture. Our theory claims that this is where time begins its record-keeping.

However, there is no Big Bang prior causing the hologram of the big past because the past does not extend that far.

Such insights now open a totally different look at the great enigma of cosmic empiricism. Until recently, Hawking had always tried to prove this event of “creation” to be a quantum phenomenon by predicting the causes of the origin of the universe rather than the process of how it all started. Similarly, the explosion of holography changes the whole mechanism of the “cosmogenesis”.

Concerning to holographic model, we focus on the border of nonexistence and the Big Bang, internal causality and ripple effects of motion become a singularity which disappears beyond our understanding. The universe just grows up, as laws arise but no moment of creation takes place.

Although the question concerning the final reason of the Big Bang has not been answered yet, the very existence of the increased level of understanding and knowledge makes it possible to ask another, more grounded and detailed question. In a series of his works, namely “brief Chronicle of Time”, Hawking affirms that it looks like it disappears.

However, the law itself maintains its role of the final verdict, which is built on flexible nature and sensitivity of judicial interpretation.

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