Ask Ethan: What if gravity isn’t really fundamental?
Ethan Siegel

The Holographic Principle (and specific examples like AdS/CFT duality) immediately implies that spacetime has many, but finite, microscopic degrees of freedom. The work by numerous researchers on the thermodynamics of black holes, and more recently the thermodynamics of cosmology, also indicates that GR, and extensions of it, are simply ‘long-wavelength’ approximations to a theory of spacetime with many quantum degrees of freedom. See work by Jacobson, Padmanabhan, Cai, Smoot and others in this regard. (Crank Alert) I, too, have some heuristic analyses that indicate that this is so. My work suggests that, in deSitter-like spacetime, but with ‘mass’, Dark Energy is associated with information encoded on the area of the Horizon, and matter (Dark & Baryonic) and radiation information is encoded in the volume. (Verlinde’s latest work also suggests that at least Dark Matter information is encoded in the volume!)

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