The aim of this project is to realise a series of short animated documentaries on the holographic principle in theoretical physics. The holographic principle is a recent proposal which posits that any D-dimensional universe whose physical laws include a gravitational interaction can be equivalently described in terms of a physical system in D-1 dimensions without gravity. This latter system lives "on the boundary" of the larger universe, a bit like a hologram. In a three-part documentary we will explain how theoretical physicists came to formulate such a radical proposal, and its implications for foundations of Physics. The videos will be then distributed to Swiss high-schools and online worldwide.
The holographic principle which has been proposed in the 1990s is one of the most important ideas emerged in recent years in theoretical physics. It conjectures a duality between theories of gravity in D-dimensions and theories without gravity in one dimension fewer. This proposal has sparked a collective effort by theoretical physicists which resulted in tremendous advances in our understanding of gravity, black holes, quantum theories, and their mutual relations.
Despite its importance in research, the holographic principle is all but unknown by the general public. This is a pity, not only because such an amazing and thought-provoking idea is well worth communicating, but especially because this contributes to a distorted perception of the topics and methods of theoretical physics. It is sometimes believed that physics only advances through the intuitions of a few lone geniuses, while progress is really achieved through many small steps and some occasional leaps forward. Due to this unfortunate prejudice, many young students shun from theoretical physics, as they believe that they are not unique or competitive enough to succeed.
Exploring the winding path that led to the formulation of the holographic principle will help dispel this prejudice, and showcase an exciting topic of current research. We will realise a series of three animated videos in partnership with the YouTube channel Kurzgesagt. The video will be in English, French, German and Italian; they will be aimed at high-school students and distributed to Swiss high schools and online worldwide. Furthermore, we plan to organise special screenings of the videos at Swiss universities and to invite students and teachers to interact with researchers.