Recent claims to have created a wormhole and a blackhole in a lab are actually based on simulations of each instead of real world experiments. This follows other theories that everything is happening all at once and we are all one with the universe, but where is the evidence and why do physicists refuse to accept the world as it is?
According to physicists, breakthroughs in the field have been coming fast and furious, pushing the limits of science and reality itself. Last year, researchers claimed to have created a wormhole and teleported information through it, which would be a stunning achievement that opened the door to technology straight out of Star Trek. Another group is said to have created a blackhole which immediately began to glow at the event horizon, the point at which no matter or even light can escape, another incredible feat that would usher in a new age of limitless carbon free energy. Beyond the potential technological leaps, these achievements would support highly speculative theories about the nature of space, time, and reality itself, theories which to date have no experimental, real world evidence. For example, is the universe actually a hologram, where we perceive the projection, but the actual substrate is radically different? If you are unfamiliar, holograms have a unique property where every piece includes the whole. If you take a holographic slide and slice it in half, you do not have half an image as you would with ordinary, two-dimensional film. The whole three-dimensional picture would still appear, only at a lower fidelity. The same occurs when you halve it again, and again. The smallest part contains the whole. If we could demonstrate that the universe works like this on a fundamental level, it would radically alter all of physics and our own place in it. It would mean that the same is true of you and me: We exist as we are, but also spread across the entire universe. In that regard, radical is an understatement. It would be hard to even conceive, much less actually understand.
Fortunately or unfortunately, neither of these experiments and the resulting breakthroughs actually occurred in the real world. They were both simulations, essentially highly sophisticated models programmed with incredibly complex math. The wormhole was created entirely inside a quantum computer, Google’s Sycamore processor. Even the researchers themselves described it as an “approximation” that interrogated a “a two-dimensional gravity dual system” which does not exist in nature. Quantum computers leverage data points known as qubits as opposed to the traditional digital bit that allows you to read this article. Qubits take advantage of a special property of quantum mechanics which enables them to exist in more than the basic on and off state of a regular computer. They have those two states, but can also take a superposition of both states, encoding more information than simply 1s and 0s. For this experiment, the researchers used seven qubits to encode 14 matter particles, essentially a model of what a real particle might do in the same situation. These simulated particles were set up to be entangled on a quantum level, meaning certain aspects of their physical state are connected independent of time and space. This is a confusing, but well established phenomenon observed in the real world. When quantum particles are entangled, a measurement of one affects a measurement of the other, no matter how far removed. The researchers then swapped one of the qubits with a replacement in a random state. This qubit represented one of the particles on the left hand side of the model, and it quickly became entangled with the other seven particles, affecting their states as per well-established physics.
As Quantum Magazine described it, “information [spread] evenly among them like a drop of ink in water. This is holographically dual to the qubit entering the left mouth of a one-dimensional wormhole in AdS space.” How they arrive at this conclusion is difficult to say given the qubits were set up specifically to represent the particles, and the particles arose by programming, not naturally as they would have to in nature. We cannot say with any certainty that the real world uses this multi-tiered approach as it has never been observed, but that did not stop them from going further. The qubits were then rotated, which they claim is equivalent to a negative pulse of energy moving through a wormhole. This causes the newly introduced particle to move to the right hand side of the model, where it spreads information about its state there, while the particles on the left reset themselves to the original state. This is seen as the qubit teleporting from left to right through the wormhole. They compared this to a rotation in the opposite direction, which they believe represents positive energy through the wormhole, and found that the qubit doesn’t migrate. Instead, the wormhole collapses, a supposition that was further supported when the results returned a second signature that is supposedly unique to wormholes, what is known as “side-winding,” referring to the pattern of the spread or unspread of the quantum information. According to Quantum Magazine, “They hadn’t trained their neural network to preserve this signal as it sparsified the SYK model, so the fact that size-winding shows up anyway is an experimental discovery about holography.”
Perhaps needless to say, I am a lot more skeptical. I readily admit to not having the mathematical expertise to fully understand or comment on some of the finer details, but it certainly seems to me that we could just as easily be observing some other effect. The experiment or simulation, if you prefer, was designed with the dual-layer attributes of a hologram, meaning it should not be that surprising that it yielded results in line with how we expect a hologram to behave. The result did not take place in the real world. It was an abstraction in two dimensions, using math that is already an abstraction of reality, a model on top of a model. The model itself was so far removed from our universe that the duality it’s based upon doesn’t actually exist. In a remarkable understatement, Quantum Magazine noted, “Some physicists will say the experiment tells us nothing about our universe, since it realizes a duality between quantum mechanics and anti-de Sitter space, which our universe is not.” “It is rather tempting to get entangled in the intricacies of the 2D toy models while losing sight of the different and bigger challenges that await us in 4D quantum gravity,” explained Renate Loll, a quantum gravity theorist. “For that theory, I cannot see how quantum computers with their current capabilities can be of much help … but I will happily stand corrected.” Ultimately, Quantum Magazine concluded in yet another understatement, “Opinions will differ about the fundamental implications of the result. Crucially, the holographic wormhole in the experiment consists of a different kind of space-time than the space-time of our own universe. It’s debatable whether the experiment furthers the hypothesis that the space-time we inhabit is also holographic, patterned by quantum bits.”
Similar problems plague the so-called “creation” of a black hole in a lab. Once again, the researchers did no such thing and the end result is yet another simulation. In this case, a one-dimensional chain of atoms was used, where certain properties were removed somehow, creating what they claim is a simulated event horizon, the point at which no light can escape from a black hole. The removal of these properties caused a rise in temperature, which produced a glow that researchers saw as analogous to the way a black hole would tear spacetime and emit Hawking radiation. As Greek Reporter described it late last year, “Scientists created a lab-grown black hole that began glowing after simulating an event horizon to test a Stephen Hawking theory.” Nor are these the only recent instances where models are substituted for reality, models that happen to bake in the prevailing theory however untested, and then assume the results validate that theory somehow. There was the claim that we might be living in an anti-universe where time is really running backward. This was based on the notion that we can simply flip certain well established symmetries, and that the Big Bang, which is suspect in and of itself, serves as a transformation point between two universes, an idea even far more radical and unproven. “The universe before the bang and the universe after the bang may be viewed as a universe/anti-universe pair, emerging directly into the hot, radiation-dominated era we observe in our past,” the researchers asserted without any evidence. Another theorist, Max Tegmark, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology proposed that time happens all at once, and there is no past, present, or future, the so-called “block universe.” “We can portray our reality as either a three-dimensional place where stuff happens over time, or as a four-dimensional place where nothing happens— and if it really is the second picture, then change really is an illusion, because there’s nothing that’s changing; it’s all just there — past, present, future. We have the illusion, at any given moment, that the past already happened and the future doesn’t yet exist, and that things are changing. But all I’m ever aware of is my brain state right now. The only reason I feel like I have a past is that my brain contains memories.”
Of course, nothing like this phenomena has ever been observed. In fact, all observations run completely counter to it, but Professor Tegmark is not alone. A growing number of physicists have convinced themselves that time and space are entirely an illusion driven by quantum entanglement. Heinrich Pas, a professor of theoretical physics, attempted to answer “Why More Physicists Are Starting to Think Space and Time are ‘Illusions’” in an article for The Daily Beast. He too takes the view that everything is happening, everywhere, at once. “Properly understood, entanglement implies that the universe is ‘monistic,’ as philosophers call it, that on the most fundamental level, everything in the universe is part of a single, unified whole.” He continued, “in a quantum universe, there are no individual objects. All that exists is merged into a single ‘One.’” Professor Pas admits that it remains unclear which “theory” will prevail, but the trend is obvious. “A common thread seems to be that space and time are not considered fundamental anymore. Contemporary physics doesn’t start with space and time to continue with things placed in this preexisting background. Instead, space and time themselves are considered products of a more fundamental projector reality…Thus, when space and time disappear, a unified One emerges.” Here we move from experiments that are models on top of models to theories that are speculation on top of speculation, all of it in direct contradiction with the way the universe is actually observed. Space and time are not “considered” fundamental anymore, merely products of some projected reality that has never been identified, and that we know nothing about.
From there, we are to believe unified “One” emerges, once again with no known process, theory, or any evidence to support it. As I have argued, this is science as religion. Theories, which were once understood to be provisional until something superior came along, are now taken as fact. From that shaky edifice, suppositions and assumptions emerge with no evidence. The same way the bible says nothing about the wine and the wafer actually being the body and blood of Christ as Catholics believe through transubstantiation, suppositions and assumptions are then fed back into the system in an essentially circular argument. Throughout it all, no one actually acknowledges the classic elephant in the room: The universe, space, and time do not conform to our beliefs. For all of these claims, no one has ever come close to observing time doing anything except marching forward outside of carefully controlled experiments on subatomic particles that do not freely exist that way in the real world. No experiment has allowed us to peek into the future, or travel into the past. No object has ever traveled through time, or suddenly appeared somewhere else without traversing the distance between. Likewise, we have never observed an effect without a cause, nor have we seen an effect miraculously unwind itself. We have absolutely no reason to believe any of these things are possible outside incredibly sophisticated and controlled experiments that simply do not seem to repeat themselves outside of a particle accelerator. This is not to undercut the importance of these experiments or the fact that there is likely some more fundamental aspect of reality that we have yet to discover or explain. It stands to reason, however, that any explanation must take the universe as we experience it, complete with a fundamental forward arrow of time, into account, or provide a reason as to why our experience is so radically different from what they are proposing as reality. Putting this another way, what mechanism could there be that would result in a universe we observe governed by time, space, and the motion of distinct objects, arising from a universe where these things do not exist in the first place and are somehow all merged into one? Philosophers used to use the phrase “ghost in the machine” to criticize the notion that the mind and body were two distinct and separate things. Physicists have gone one step further, claiming we and everything we can see, touch, and measure either with our own faculties or high powered telescopes, is a ghost in some universal machine. Time will tell, but this strikes me as an obvious fantasy, albeit one we are spending millions upon millions of research dollars to dream up, and one backed by an academic establishment that increasingly prefers this fantasy and wokeness to the real world.