Exciting theory suggests black hole hologram on a graphene flake is possible

26 Jul 2018

Image: Rost9/Shutterstock

As if graphene didn’t have enough potential, it is now being proposed that a single flake can hold the power of a black hole hologram.

The weird power of graphene is about to get a whole lot stranger if a new paper published in Physical Review Letters is anything to go by.

According to Phys.org, a team from Canada, Israel, the UK and the US has theoretically shown that when a magnetic field is applied to an irregular-shaped flake of graphene, that flake transforms into a hologram of a black hole.

This includes the spatial structure and characteristic properties of the space phenomenon, potentially helping us better understand the fundamental questions of the cosmos.

This hologram is referred to as the Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev (SYK) model in which a higher-dimensional system – in this case, a black hole – can be represented in a lower-dimensional system such as graphene.

Call-out for scientists

“The SYK model is of great interest to physicists today because it is believed to contain a holographic description of a quantum black hole,” said Marcel Franz, co-author of the study and a physics professor at the University of Columbia.

“Some of the most enigmatic mysteries in modern physics lie at the interface between Einstein’s general relativity and quantum mechanics.”

While previous systems have been proposed to demonstrate the SYK model, the quantum phase of graphene doesn’t require advanced fabrication and can be replicated with relative ease.

All that’s needed is for the graphene flake to have an irregular boundary and a pristine interior in order for the black hole hologram to form.

The team is now in the process of trying to figure out the transport properties of the graphene flake in the SYK model.

“More generally, we are hoping that our theoretical results will motivate experimentalists to study graphene flakes of the type required to produce the SYK physics, and we are ready to provide theoretical support to any such efforts,” Franz said.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic