The Fermilab Holometer in Illinois is currently under construction and will be the world's most sensitive laser interferometer when complete, surpassing the sensitivity of the GEO600 and LIGO systems, and theoretically able to detect holographic fluctuations in spacetime.
The Holometer may be capable of meeting or exceeding the sensitivity required to detect the smallest units in the universe called Planck units. Fermilab states, "Everyone is familiar these days with the blurry and pixelated images, or noisy sound transmission, associated with poor internet bandwidth. The Holometer seeks to detect the equivalent blurriness or noise in reality itself, associated with the ultimate frequency limit imposed by nature."
Craig Hogan, a particle astrophysicist at Fermilab, states about the experiment, "What we’re looking for is when the lasers lose step with each other. We’re trying to detect the smallest unit in the universe. This is really great fun, a sort of old-fashioned physics experiment where you don’t know what the result will be."
Experimental physicist Hartmut Grote of the Max Planck Institute in Germany, states that although he is skeptical that the apparatus will successfully detect the holographic fluctuations, if the experiment is successful "it would be a very strong impact to one of the most open questions in fundamental physics. It would be the first proof that space-time, the fabric of the universe, is quantized."
- ^ a b c Mosher, David (2010-10-28). "World’s Most Precise Clocks Could Reveal Universe Is a Hologram". Wired. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/10/holometer-universe-resolution/.
- ^ a b "The Fermilab Holometer". Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. http://holometer.fnal.gov/. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
- ^ Dillow, Clay (2010-10-21). "Fermilab is Building a 'Holometer' to Determine Once and For All Whether Reality Is Just an Illusion". Popular Science. http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-10/fermilab-building-holometer-determine-if-universe-just-hologram.
About a hundred years ago, the German physicist Max Planck introduced the idea of a fundamental, natural length or time, derived from fundamental constants. We now call these the Planck length,
lp = √meters. Light travels one Planck length in the Planck time, = 1.6 × 10-35
tp= √ = 5.4 × 10-44seconds.
The physics of space and time is expected to change radically on such small scales. For example, a particle confined to a Planck volume automatically collapses to a black hole.
See: Fermilab Holometer
A Conceptual Drawing of the 'Holometer' via Symmetry
“The shaking of spacetime occurs at a million times per second, a thousand times what your ear can hear,” said Fermilab experimental physicist Aaron Chou, whose lab is developing prototypes for the holometer. “Matter doesn’t like to shake at that speed. You could listen to gravitational frequencies with headphones.”
The whole trick, Chou says, is to prove that the vibrations don’t come from the instrument. Using technology similar to that in noise-cancelling headphones, sensors outside the instrument detect vibrations and shake the mirror at the same frequency to cancel them. Any remaining shakiness at high frequency, the researchers propose, will be evidence of blurriness in spacetime
“With the holometer’s long arms, we’re magnifying spacetime’s uncertainty,” Chou said.
See: Hogan’s holometer: Testing the hypothesis of a holographic universe