APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02)

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APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:06 am

Image Holometer: A Microscope into Space and Time

Explanation: How different are space and time at very small scales? To explore the unfamiliar domain of the miniscule Planck scale -- where normally unnoticeable quantum effects might become dominant -- a newly developed instrument called the Fermilab Holometer has begun operating at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) near Chicago, Illinois, USA. The instrument seeks to determine if slight but simultaneous jiggles of a mirror in two directions expose a fundamental type of holographic noise that always exceeds a minimum amount. Pictured above is one of the end mirrors of a Holometer prototype. Although the discovery of holographic noise would surely be groundbreaking, the dependence of such noise on a specific laboratory length scale would surprise some spacetime enthusiasts. One reason for this is the Lorentz Invariance postulate of Einstein's special relativity, which states that all length scales should appear contracted to a relatively moving observer -- even the diminutive Planck length. Still, the experiment is unique and many are curious what the results will show.

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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by geckzilla » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:48 am

Well, the seemingly nutty idea and the unknown look like this. This is it, people. Exploration of the quantum world. It's not a telescope peering into the cosmos or a party of shirtless men wielding machetes in a forest, but nonetheless I felt the hairs on my body raise a little bit when I read that paper.
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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by alter-ego » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:47 am

geckzilla wrote:Well, the seemingly nutty idea and the unknown look like this. This is it, people. Exploration of the quantum world. It's not a telescope peering into the cosmos or a party of shirtless men wielding machetes in a forest, but nonetheless I felt the hairs on my body raise a little bit when I read that paper.
Yes, this new and exciting in its nature, and I felt (still feel) the same way about gravitational wave detection technology. However, the best ideas have trouble in practice. I have my reservations about the expected performance of the 40-meter interferometer. Although it's got the added sensitivity of a "ring-down" style resonator applied to the interferometer, it will be also harder to extract such small amplitudes from the multi-pass, amplified phase variations from environment changes. I'm a bit disappointed that there isn't more detail regarding laser bandwidth, the evolution plan for the interferometer hardware from the APOD prototype design, and just how nested do the arms need to be. For example, if there are two beam splitters, any separation will experience different environments and different signals. Here, the prototype items shown are about as unstable as you can get, I'm familiar with them, but I also know you must start somewhere - form normally follows function.

Hogan's approach for requiring the Plank Length to be invariant in all reference frames is the goose-bumpy part for me. Them's strong words and showing that will be a tough road to hoe. Regarding the technology, my feeling is this is similar to Gravity Probe B experiment that recently measured Gravitomagnetism (frame dragging). A beautifully done experiment that was first proposed in 1959. It wasn't until 2004 that the technology existed. Hogan could be in for a long slog too, maybe not 45 years, but I believe longer than 2 - and that assumes the theory / experiment is not debunked.

As usual, I hope Hogan is successful and that my prediction is wrong. I just want to be alive for the next breakthrough if it should occur.
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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by Nitpicker » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:09 am

What an interesting and surprisingly concise paper by Craig Hogan.

Ignoring, for a moment, the bits that I don't quite fathom [at all] and assuming that the experiment ultimately indicates our commonly understood reality in 4-D(+) is generated from 2-D information ...

... could it also mean that it is reversible? In the sense that the 4-D(+) reality we all know and love, is in fact the reality, and the 2-D information is "merely" how reality manifests itself at the quantum scale. I would guess the answer is no.

Regardless of all that, and regardless of whether this offers to resolve the issues between relativity and quantum theory, it is rather amazing. And I like how unassuming the lab looks from the outside, too (edit: or is it a hologram?)
Last edited by Nitpicker on Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by starsurfer » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:12 am

From yesterday's clue, I incorrectly guessed today's APOD would be a galaxy cluster gravitational lens. However, I'm pretty certain tomorrow will be an image of the open cluster M6.

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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by geckzilla » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:40 am

I should have noted in my post that no, I don't really understand a good deal of that, but the parts that I think I do understand were fascinating. Say there exists evidence of compression artifacts in quantum data. Would that infer that our Universe is some kind of simulation? I lack perspective to understand this outside of human analogies.
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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by Ann » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:21 am

For now, I haven't even read the paper (but I will...), but surely, considering that the quantum world - which we do think gives us a lot of information about extremely tiny parts of the universe - is sort of uncertain and "blurry", do we really have reason to think that the universe itself is "set" and stable in its smallest parts? And if the smallest parts are blurry, doesn't that mean that there has to be some sort of "blurriness" to the whole thing?

But just because that fundamental blurriness might be there (and is proabably there, according to my amateur gut feeling), does that really mean that we, who are so many orders of magnitude removed from the smallest scale of the universe, can hope to really detect it?

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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:08 pm

A little deep for me! :D
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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by MadMan » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:50 pm

I'm not a physicist and I wouldn't say I have a good understanding of quantum mechanics, but I'll throw this out:

Back in the '80s I believed some whacky conclusions some people were drawing about reality from quantum mechanics. I would say they were more "new agers" than scientists. Based on Schrodinger's cat for example, they would say that reality is a product of the mind that observed the cat, so my reality is different from your reality, blah blah blah.

Anyway I've grown up since then and concluded that quantum mechanical weirdness disappears at our level. To use an analogy, say you had a high definition television with 10000 lines instead of 1080. Say that 1 out of 10 pixels had random values at any one time, so if you looked at an area of 10 X 10 pixels, you would see a lot of flickering. But if you step back and look at it from a normal viewing distance, it becomes crystal clear.

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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:15 pm

As I have noted before it wouldn't surprise me if some ongoing variations at the Plank scale might act to produce a type of noise that could be holographic in nature and that, one day, may explain some of of physic's mysteries. I'm surely not in the position to devise an experiment or even theorizing such an existence but I'm glad that those at Fermilab are trying. Thanks also to those at APOD for giving us this fascinating look into the world of research of the small. And, of course, our more typical daily look to the large. Too my life both add a 5th dimension to ponder upon.
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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by hoohaw » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:29 pm

MadMan wrote:Say that 1 out of 10 pixels had random values at any one time, so if you looked at an area of 10 X 10 pixels, you would see a lot of flickering. But if you step back and look at it from a normal viewing distance, it becomes crystal clear.
Yes, and thus it fools you into thinking the wrong thing.

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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by Boomer12k » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:11 pm

"Hello, Dave. Would you like to play a game?"

Like one scientist put it...." it gets...BITTY..." As in "itty bitty"....when looking at spacetime at that scale...it gets "bitty"....

I hope they get a result.

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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:28 pm

Prior to the above APOD referring to Craig Hogan's research in 2012, I ran across this PowerPoint presentation (also from him on holographic noise) from 2009. Very much over my head but I thought it was quite interesting to look through.

http://astro.fnal.gov/Retreat/Retreat0409/hogan.pdf
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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by Boomer12k » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:59 pm

AND YET....EVERY TIME...I mention the concept that we live in an ENERGY HOLOGRAM PROJECTION......I get slammed....

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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:49 am

Boomer12k wrote:AND YET....EVERY TIME...I mention the concept that we live in an ENERGY HOLOGRAM PROJECTION......I get slammed....
I'm highly skeptical of any such claim from anybody who can't very, very clearly explain, in mathematical terms, just what they even mean by that.

Personally, I don't understand the underlying theory well enough to have an opinion. It's interesting, but that's it. I'll wait until there's a consensus of physicists who actually work in this area before I start having a firm opinion myself.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by BuleriaChk@aol.com » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:17 am

Seems to me that the experiment is trying to assess the noise of the ratio between the diameter and the circumference of a circle.... :D

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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by BuleriaChk@aol.com » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:21 am

BuleriaChk@aol.com wrote:Seems to me that the experiment is trying to assess the noise of the ratio between the diameter and the circumference of a circle.... :D
Not only that, it is really hard to do if we live at a point on the circumference....

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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by Guest » Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:37 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
Boomer12k wrote:AND YET....EVERY TIME...I mention the concept that we live in an ENERGY HOLOGRAM PROJECTION......I get slammed....
I'm highly skeptical of any such claim from anybody who can't very, very clearly explain, in mathematical terms, just what they even mean by that.

Personally, I don't understand the underlying theory well enough to have an opinion. It's interesting, but that's it. I'll wait until there's a consensus of physicists who actually work in this area before I start having a firm opinion myself.

Interesting.... Russell and Whitehead took some 300 pages to 'very, very clearly explain in mathematical terms', that 1+1=2. By your own admission, you do not understand the underlying theory, so I don't see how you can understand the concepts proposed or proofs provided in any mathematical terms, regardless how clearly stated. How then can your opinion hold any merit. I agree that the consensus of the physicist qualified to form such opinions can form the basis for discussion, but only for those who are able to materially contribute. In the mean time, it is beneficial for the educated layman to follow those who are learned in the field and able to attract learned supporters, and then study their work product in order to expand our knowledge base.

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Re: APOD: Holometer: A Microscope into Space... (2014 Sep 02

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:28 pm

Guest wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote:I'm highly skeptical of any such claim from anybody who can't very, very clearly explain, in mathematical terms, just what they even mean by that.

Personally, I don't understand the underlying theory well enough to have an opinion. It's interesting, but that's it. I'll wait until there's a consensus of physicists who actually work in this area before I start having a firm opinion myself.
Interesting.... Russell and Whitehead took some 300 pages to 'very, very clearly explain in mathematical terms', that 1+1=2. By your own admission, you do not understand the underlying theory, so I don't see how you can understand the concepts proposed or proofs provided in any mathematical terms, regardless how clearly stated. How then can your opinion hold any merit. I agree that the consensus of the physicist qualified to form such opinions can form the basis for discussion, but only for those who are able to materially contribute. In the mean time, it is beneficial for the educated layman to follow those who are learned in the field and able to attract learned supporters, and then study their work product in order to expand our knowledge base.
I have no idea the point you're trying to make. I simply said that I don't understand this material well enough to hold a strong opinion in the absence of any scientific consensus. You think that's an unreasonable position?
Chris

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