How Space and Time Could Be a Quantum Error-Correcting Code
Three young quantum gravity researchers came to an astonishing realization. They were working in physicists’ theoretical playground of choice: a toy universe called “anti-de Sitter space” that works like a hologram. The bendy fabric of space-time in the interior of the universe is a projection that emerges from entangled quantum particles living on its outer boundary. Ahmed Almheiri, Xi Dong, and Daniel Harlow did calculations suggesting that this holographic “emergence” of space-time works just like a quantum error-correcting code. They conjectured in the Journal of High Energy Physics that space-time itself is a code — in anti-de Sitter (AdS) universes, at least. The paper has triggered a wave of activity in the quantum gravity community, and new quantum error-correcting codes have been discovered that capture more properties of space-time.