For decades now, scientists have been investigating the possibility that our Universe is, or once was, a giant hologram, where the laws of physics require just two dimensions, but everything appears three-dimensional to us. It sounds far-fetched, but if true, it would actually solve some pretty hefty questions in physics, and recent research has dished up some tantalising evidence that suggests the hologram principle works just as well as the standard Big Bang model in explaining the early Universe.
First proposed in the 1990s, the hologram principle is an attempt to unify the two major arms of thought in modern physics – quantum mechanics and general relativity.
As the Life Noggin video below explains, the idea is that all the information about a volume of space can be thought of as encoded on a two-dimensional boundary to that region. Think of a black hole – some physicists think that information about all the stuff that falls into a black hole is actually retained (or encoded) on its boundary, the event horizon.