The U. S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory device called the Holometer began collecting data that may prove that the universe and space-time are a quantum system that is two-dimensional according to an Aug. 26, 2014, report at the Fermilab website. The experiments are based on holographic noise theory that was developed by Craig Hogan, director of Fermilab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics. No conclusions have been reached but the research may completely change how time and space are viewed.
Space is a physical reality. Space can be considered as distance. Time is a construct that only has relevance to a particular distance. A day on Earth is the distance that a given point on Earth revolves to that same point. Time and distance are not capable of being separated. Space-time theory attempts to combine space and time into a continuum that incorporates all the known aspects of both quantities. If you are confused do not worry, even Einstein did not get this absolutely right.
The Fermilab experiments are based on the idea that space-time can be quantified into a single particle that obeys the known laws of quantum mechanics. The smallest particle of space is 10 trillion, trillion times smaller than an atom. Quantum mechanics as we presently know it dictates that space would have to be two-dimensional at the smallest particle level.
The Holometer consists of two interferometers placed close to one another. Each interferometer sends a one-kilowatt laser beam to a beam splitter. The two laser beams are returned to the beam splitter after traveling about 40 feet and recombined. Even the most minuscule change in the laser frequency is detectable. The researchers are looking for frequencies of vibration that are so much higher than any other vibrations that anything that may produce interference is considered to be minimal. Detection of any change would indicate the discovery of at least one of the basic elements or particles that compose space-time.
The experiment will collect data for the next year. The results if any particles are detected may show that the universe is composed of two-dimensional particles at the smallest level. The results could explain how the limits of light speed could be overcome for very long-distance space travel. The behavior of space and matter at the event-horizon of black holes may also be explained. Sheldon Cooper should really be this smart.