Inside the Hologram

This is from arXiv:2009.04476 [hep-th] Inside the Hologram: Reconstructing the bulk observer’s experience


Figure 1 (adapted from arXiv:2009.04476 [hep-th]):  The setup showing the reference system coupled to a black hole

The holographic principle in high energy physics has been proved to be quite rigorous. It has allowed physicists to understand phenomena that were too computationally difficult beforehand. The principle states that a theory describing gravity is related to a quantum theory. The gravity theory is typically called “the bulk” and the quantum theory is called “the boundary theory,” because it lives on the boundary of the gravity theory. Because the quantum theory is on the boundary, it is one dimension less than the gravity theory. Like a dictionary, physical concepts from gravity can be translated into physical concepts in the quantum theory. This idea of holography was introduced a few decades ago and a plethora of work has stemmed from it.

Much of the work regarding holography has been studied as seen from an asymptotic frame. This is a frame of reference that is “far away” from what we are studying, i.e. somewhere at the boundary where the quantum theory lives.

However, there still remains an open question. Instead of an asymptotic frame of reference, what about an internal reference frame? This is an observer inside the gravity theory, i.e. close to what we are studying. It seems that we do not have a quantum theory framework for describing physics for these reference frames. The authors of this paper explore this idea as they answer the question: how can we describe the quantum physics for an internal reference frame?

For classical physics, the usual observer is a probe particle. Since the authors want to understand the quantum aspects of the observer, they choose to have the observer be made up of a black hole that is entangled with a reference system. One way to see that black holes have quantum behavior is by studying Stephen Hawking’s work. Particularly, he showed that black hole can emit thermal radiation. This prediction is now known as Hawking radiation.

The authors proceed to measure the proper time between and energy distribution of the observer. Moreover, the researchers propose a new perspective on “time,” relating the notion of time in General Relativity to the notion of time in the quantum mechanics point of view, which may be valid outside the scope of holography.

The results have proven to be quite novel as it fills some of the gaps we have about our knowledge of holography. It is also a step towards understanding what the notion of time means in holographic gravitational systems.

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Marina David

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