Lesson 28: Time Dilation, Black Holes, And Holograms

Time Dilation, Black Holes, And Holograms

Time dilation tells us that in places where gravity is strong, time slows down.  But haven’t we already said Einstein said there is no such thing as gravity?  Ok.  Let’s put it in General Relativity terms that we learned in the last lesson.  The bigger an object is, the more it curves space.  So gravity is curved space.  Stronger gravity means a larger curve in space. The more space is curved, the slower time moves.

Another way to put this is the higher you are, the faster time moves. We mentioned GPS last time. GPS calculations also have to take into account time slowing where “gravity” is stronger, or GPS could miscalculate your location as much as a mile.   That would not be good for your next road trip.

We said before, sometimes gravity is described as what goes up must come down.  We know that is not always the case. The farther away you get from gravity, the weaker it becomes.  This is why we can launch rockets into space.  But it takes a lot of force to escape gravity and not come back down.  An object needs to move about 7 miles a second to escape earth’s gravity.  This is called escape speed. The sun’s escape speed is 400 miles per second.  It has a bigger mass than the earth.

Look again at the picture above. Space-time is curved the most next to the earth.  As you move away from the earth, the curve gets smaller and smaller.  Soon you find yourself out of the curve, and space-time is flat.  You are no longer feeling the “pull” of earth’s gravity.

Now picture taking the earth and squishing it smaller and smaller.  You discover two very interesting things. First, this won’t change the earth’s mass. It will just be more compact.  Second, it will increase the escape speed you need to escape the earth’s gravity.   If you squish the earth down to the size of a golf ball, there is no escape speed.  The speed required would be greater than the speed of light, and there is nothing that can move faster than the speed of light.

The earth would become a black hole.  Any object whose escape speed is greater than the speed of light is a black hole.  Nothing can escape a black hole, not even light; therefore, the term – Black Hole.

Look at the image above.  The black hole has an event horizon.  It is like a point of no return.  Consider an imaginary border around the black hole, and once you cross that borderline, you are stuck. There is no speed at which you can move to turn around and go back to where you came from.

As we discussed above, the stronger the gravity, the more space is curved, and the slower time moves.  The closer you get to a black hole, the more space is curved. The slower time is going to move for you.  This is similar to the twin paradox. Time will be moving slower for you than it is for people on earth. So if you are in a spaceship and near a black hole, as long as you don’t cross the event horizon, you can turn around and come back home.  But when you get back, as with the twin paradox, you will find everyone has aged at a faster rate than you.  If you were a twin, he or she would be older than you.  This time it was caused by gravity and not speed.

Now, what happens if you do cross the horizon of a black hole?  First, let’s say you could be observed by somebody from the earth.  They would see you moving slower and slower as you get closer to the horizon.  Then at the horizon point, you would be obliterated.

So the next question you hopefully are asking is what is happening from your point of view when you enter the black hole?  Everything seems normal to you.  Unfortunately, eventually, you are going to be drawn to the center of the black hole and crushed.

Physicist Stephen Hawking saw a paradox with black holes.  Anything that falls into a black hole is lost.  We can consider this losing information.  Quantum Physics says information can be lost.  

Here is an example.  If you pull a dollar out of your pocket and burn it, the dollar is lost, but the particles that make the dollar are not lost.  It is theoretically possible to put the atoms back together and reform the dollar.  However, that is way beyond our capabilities at this time.  But if the dollar is put into a black hole, the information is lost, and we can never get it back.  Hawking believed this to be true.

However, another physicist, Leonard Susskind, said that is not possible. You can’t lose information.  Losing information violates Quantum Physics. 

Susskind said what was happening in the horizon of a black hole is like a two-dimensional holographic film, and any information that crosses the horizon is preserved on that 2D holographic film.  Now, this is just an analogy.  It is not really holographic film.

Earlier, we said. If you cross the event horizon, a viewer from earth would see you obliterated, but you would feel fine.  How is that possible?  Here is how…

You would be obliterated, but your information would be stored on the 2D event horizon.  Inside the black hole, this 2D horizon would reproduce you in all your 3D glory. 

So who turned out to be right, Hawking or Susskind? 

Well, of course, no one knows the answer for sure, but the scientific community now agrees with Susskind.

Take a look at the image above, and we will see how a hologram is made.  A laser is sent through a beam splitter.  Half of the laser goes through a lens to a mirror where it is reflected off the mirror and onto the object which you want to make a 3D hologram.  The image is then reflected to the 2D holographic film. The half of the laser, known as the reference beam, is reflected through another lens and sent directly to the film.

Here is where it gets interesting.  A laser is an electromagnetic wave.  When the two laser waves meet, they interact, as we discussed in the Quantum Physics double slit experiment.

Look at the image above.  This is an interference pattern formed on 2D film by the combining of the laser beams.  The film is then developed to make the 3D hologram.  

Are you seeing the connection between this and what we discussed in Quantum Physics?  We said the universe is nothing more than waves that show up as interference patterns until they collapse into our physical reality by consciousness.  Just like a hologram is created from waves to form a 3D image, our universe is created from waves to form our 3D reality.

Scientists are now starting to believe that the entire 3D universe could be a projection of a 2D horizon surrounding the universe.  We are on the inside of the horizon.  We are a 3D projection of this horizon. 

So what is real?  Is the projection real, or is that making the projection real?  Actually, you could consider yourself to be both the projection and the projector.  According to Susskind, it doesn’t matter which one you choose.  Both are correct.

So we are projections of something that happens on the outside of our universe.  You are here and there.  How is that possible?   

Here is one explanation.  We can be considered to be similar to a holographic projection of our higher self.  Now, remember the hologram is just an analogy so let’s take that word away.  We are a projection of our higher self.