"Anti-de Sitter space is not directly relevant to our universe, but it allows us to perform calculations that would otherwise be very difficult if not impossible," Grumiller said.Within this theoretical space, Maldacena showed that two sets of physical equations mapped perfectly onto each other: The equations of gravitational theory, and those of quantum field theory. This correspondence was totally unexpected, because while gravity is described in three spatial dimensions, quantum field theory requires only two. That the laws of physics produced identical results two or three dimensions pointed to anti-de Sitter-space's holographic nature."This was the first instance where somebody explicitly showed how holography works," Grumiller told me. "But given that our universe is not anti-de Sitter space—it's approximately flat at large scales—it's interesting to ask whether the holographic principle applies to flat space, as well."
If this depiction of space is correct, then like any computer, there is an inherent limit to the universe's data storage and processing capacity.
Reality's bandwidth fuzz, if you will, is exactly what Hogan's lab is now trying to measure, using an instrument called the Holometer, which is basically a really big and powerful laser pointer."We are specifically trying to determine if there is a limit to the precision with which we can measure the relative positions of large objects," postdoctoral researcher Robert Lanza told me in an email. "This would represent a fundamental limit in the actual information that the universe stores."