Emergence in holographic scenarios for gravity

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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, ISSN: 1355-2198, Vol: 52, Page: 203-216

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Dennis Dieks, Jeroen van Dongen, Sebastian de Haro
Elsevier BV, Elsevier
Arts and Humanities, Physics and Astronomy
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‘Holographic’ relations between theories have become an important theme in quantum gravity research. These relations entail that a theory without gravity is equivalent to a gravitational theory with an extra spatial dimension. The idea of holography was first proposed in 1993 by Gerard ׳t Hooft on the basis of his studies of evaporating black holes. Soon afterwards the holographic ‘AdS/CFT’ duality was introduced, which since has been intensively studied in the string theory community and beyond. Recently, Erik Verlinde has proposed that even Newton׳s law of gravitation can be related holographically to the ‘thermodynamics of information’ on screens. We discuss these scenarios, with special attention to the status of the holographic relation in them and to the question of whether they make gravity and spacetime emergent. We conclude that only Verlinde׳s scheme straightforwardly instantiates emergence. However, assuming a non-standard interpretation of AdS/CFT may create room for the emergence of spacetime and gravity there as well.

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