Holographic Dark Information Energy gets my vote for the best mix of arcane theoretical concepts expressed in the shortest number of words – and just to keep it interesting, it’s mostly about entropy.

The second law of thermodynamics requires that the entropy of a closed system cannot decrease. So drop a chunk of ice in a hot bath and the second law requires that the ice melts and the bath water cools – moving the system from a state of thermal disequilibrium (low entropy) towards a state of thermal equilibrium (high entropy). In an isolated system (or an isolated bath) this process can only move in one direction and is irreversible.

A similar idea exists within information theory. Landauer’s principle has it that any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as erasing one bit of information, equates to an increase in entropy.

So for example, if you keep photocopying the photocopy you just made of an image, the information in that image degrades and is eventually lost. But Landauer’s principle has it that the information is not so much lost, as converted into energy that is dissipated away by the irreversible act of copying a copy.

Translating this thinking into a cosmology, Gough proposes that as the universe expands and density declines, information-rich processes like star formation also decline. Or to put it in more conventional terms – as the universe expands, entropy increases since the energy density of the universe is being steadily dissipated across a greater volume. Also, there are less opportunities for gravity to generate low entropy processes like star formation.

So in an expanding universe there is a loss of information – and by Landauer’s principle this loss of information should release dissipated energy – and Gough claims that this dissipated energy accounts for the dark energy component of the current standard model of universe.

There are rational objections to this proposal. Landauer’s principle is really an expression of entropy in information systems – which can be mathematically modeled as though they were thermodynamic systems. It’s a bold claim to say this has a physical reality and a loss of information actually does release energy – and since Landauer’s principle expresses this as heat energy, wouldn’t it then be detectable (i.e. not dark)?

There is some experimental evidence of information loss releasing energy, but arguably it is just conversion of one form of energy to another – the information loss aspect of it just representing the transition from low to high entropy, as required by the second law of thermodynamics. Gough’s proposal requires that ‘new’ energy is introduced into the universe out of nowhere – although to be fair, that is pretty much what the current mainstream dark energy hypothesis requires as well.

Nonetheless, Gough alleges that the math of information energy does a much better job of accounting for dark energy than the traditional quantum vacuum energy hypothesis which predicts that there should be 120 orders of magnitude more dark energy in the universe than there apparently is.

Gough calculates that the information energy in the current era of the universe should be about 3 times its current mass-energy contents – which closely aligns with the current standard model of 74% dark energy + 26% everything else.

Invoking the holographic principle doesn’t add a lot to the physics of Gough’s argument – presumably it’s in there to make the math easier to manage by removing one dimension. The holographic principle has it that all the information about physical phenomena taking place within a 3D region of space can be contained on a 2D surface bounding that region of space. This, like information theory and entropy, is something that string theorists spend a lot of time grappling with – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

**Explore further:**
Could Maxwell's Demon Exist in Nanoscale Systems?

## Skultch

HAHAHHAA WHAT??? Nicely done.

## Pyle

## Skultch

## Fig1024

## RobertKarlStonjek

DNA is copied, so I suppose in the last few billion years bacteria DNA has degraded into human form...

## RobertKarlStonjek

This is not true and can be trivially demonstrated using the second law:

1) A closed system will tend toward and remain at equilibrium;

2) The equilibrious point will remain within some range (because molecules move about);

3) The maximum instantaneous entropy is always higher than the average entropy defined by the equilibrious state;

4) Any initial condition can be arbitrarily selected;

5) An initial condition or maximum entropy can be selected after which the system will tend toward equilibrium which is exactly equal to the average entropy of the system.

6) The average entropy of the same system in an ever larger spatial and/or temporal extension is ever lower;

7) From (3) we note that for the given initial condition in (5), entropy always falls, and considering (7) this interval in an infinite universe would tend toward infinity...

## RobertKarlStonjek

And the truth is that entropy always rises if the entropy at the initial condition is lower than the average entropy at equilibrium and will always fall if the entropy at the initial condition is higher than the average entropy at equilibrium.

And the second law agrees with me...where science has blundered is to always choose a low entropy initial condition to demonstrate the inevitable rise. It is like selecting a mass at zero Kelvin as the initial condition so that we can boldly claim that temperature always rises. In reality, temperatures always equalise regardless of the initial condition and it is the same for entropy ~ indeed, it was from the observation of heat that the second law and all the thermodynamic laws are deduced.

## TabulaMentis

## FrankHerbert

## Royale

I think that some of these entropy arguments are silly to begin with, as we're not even sure if we'll have a 'Big Chill' a 'Big Crunch' or in M-theory we just bounce into another brane. There's not really any way to say whether entropy can be lost or not because we can't see the whole system.

## RobertKarlStonjek

One can arbitrarily set any initial condition one likes; there are initial conditions which have a higher entropy than the final condition which is not static but where an average entropy can be observed.

Thus making the statement that entropy always rises (or stays the same) in a closed system is incorrect. If the system is always closed, average entropy never changes.

Regarding the entire universe: did the BB occur within a larger universe, are there other universes and is there no period before the BB where events can occur in some spatial extension? If so, then the observable universe is not a closed system.

So in making my statement and drawing my conclusions I remained faithful to the laws of thermodynamics throughout.

## RobertKarlStonjek

Consider a whirlpool in a stream where some water appears to be going upstream. This can only occur if some water is going downstream faster than the average flow.

Maximum entropy is a particular set of configurations which are just as unlikely to be maintained as lower entropy configurations because particles move about and matter clumps for no other reason than it is statistically possible. Thus choosing a maximum entropy condition insures that entropy will fall to the average entropy level because, unless the configuration of atoms is frozen, the atoms are compelled to move about.

Feynman called this effect something like "the drunk's walk" whereby if there is a limiting factor, say a wall, the drunk's average path will be away from the wall. The wall, in this case, is maximum entropy.

## hush1

Sounds likes mapping. Mapping out a one to one correspondence.

A one to one correspondence. Regardless of concept.

Everything mapped to one to one correspondence to Everything.

Anything mapped to a one to one correspondence to Anything.

Nothing mapped to a one to one correspondence to Nothing.

Each concentric circle centrally lying within the next 'larger' concentric circle and all the circles having the same shared point of origin.

And no way to establish a one to one correspondence to the points lying on the circumferences of each circle.

That is sad. Very sad. The maps of energy, entropy, space, and information.

All at a loss, for a lack of a one to one correspondence.

Or do you want me to solve this one for you too?

Sincerely yours,

God

## CaptBarbados

If you stop a photon and observe it, will it to continue shed light for an unspecified period of time?

## hush1

This is directly proportional to the rate of blinking.

## Walter_Mrak

## jjoensuu

By the way, may be a dumb idea but isn't that 'cosmic background radiation' like a standing wave that could be like an energy field? [I am not claiming that I know anything here, this is just a question that came to mind]

## hush1

This is not religion. Scientific concepts defend themselves. Against all discourse, rational or otherwise. Your concern is insincere.

@jjoensuu

There is only ONE dumb idea. That is the idea of NOT asking a question or posing an idea.

My opinion: Yes. CMB IS a standing wave. If I knew the Fourier composition of this standing wave, then a reconstruction of the Universe is child's play.

@CaptBarbados

Photons 'stop' and 'start' all the time. Absorption and emission. Actually your question is a trick question. There is no such word as "stop" for a continuous wave. Not even for a discrete description of a wave is there such a word as "stop". You are not going to be able to tell if the photon is coherent or "background"(noise). Yes. Theoretically, it will continue to shed light forever.

@Walter Mrak

Get off your horse. The article is foremost mathematics frontier. Tell us what exactly separates the Fock states from coherent states. Serious enough?

## astro_optics