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Southampton scientist Kostas Skenderis to investigate theory about dimensions
IT is a question that has been debated in pubs across the land and taxed the world’s greatest minds for as long as anyone can remember – where did it all begin?
While many believe the universe started with a big bang billions of years ago, or perhaps was created by a god, one Hampshire scientist believes the answer may be that we are living in a giant hologram.
University of Southampton mathematical physics professor Kostas Skenderis has been given $175,000 (£110,000) to launch a new study into exactly what happened at the dawn of time based on his radical theories.
The senior academic believes the universe may have one fewer dimensions than previously thought, like a hologram printed on a flat surface.
And he hopes the ground-breaking ideas will help shed light on the first nanoseconds of existence – or even if there was such a moment.
His award, from the New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology international grant competition, will fund a two-year study to explore the question: “Was there a beginning of time and space?”
Professor Skenderis, the only British recipient of the award given to 19 other scientists around the world, said he hopes to be able to go beyond even Albert Einstein’s theories in explaining the universe around us. He said: “There is currently available evidence that the universe expanded from an extremely hot and dense initial state.
“Einstein’s theory of gravity explains very well the universe after it became sufficiently large, but we do not know what happened before then.
“Was there a beginning of time and space? What were the laws of physics then and can we test them today? In order to answer these questions we need to combine Einstein’s theory with quantum physics.”