Elaborating on these two ill-understood phenomena, Verlinde claims in his research that the surface of the universe does not behave as a hologram towards the inside, as described in the previous paragraph, but as an abstract tissue completely made up of qubits. Verlinde calls it 'the dark universe'. On the one hand, this abstract tissue can be interpreted as the "fundamental layer" of the observable world, and on the other hand, this world can be conceived as an emergent property based on that abstract tissue. This applies to gravity just as much.

So in Verlinde’s research, emergence is not based on the information of atoms or molecules, as is conventional in thermodynamics, but on the information of countless of billions of qubits, the account of Western quantum mechanics.

Note 46 Emergent properties are always based on informative data of large amounts of units. The number of units itself is not relevant to the information.

By combining the two phenomena mentioned above, the earlier lack of understanding seems to be solved, but regarding Verlinde's research, account should be taken of the fact that there is an essential difference between the transfer of information in thermodynamics and in quantum mechanics.

  • In thermodynamics, a unit of information is always located in a single, clearly defined place: In the atoms or molecules separately. The information therefore is always local.
  • In quantum mechanics, a unit of information is both local and non-local. (Think again of superposition.) This means that the unit of information is both in one qubit and scattered over multiple qubits at possibly very large distances from each other. This quantum phenomenon is known as quantum entanglement.

This entanglement of information makes it possible to think of the abstract fundamental layer of the universe not only as 'granular', but also as the glue that holds all in the observable world together. This is the hypothesis of Van Raamsdonk, which in Verlinde’s research is an important hypothesis, and which is discussed in section 6.5.


Before continuing with Verlinde's research, I would first like to emphasize that from the above can be concluded that Verlinde's 'dark universe' seems to correspond to the earlier world of the Sphere Observer. Therefore, it will be determined point by point to what extent the abstract tissue of Verlinde's 'dark universe' corresponds to that of the earlier world.

  • Firstly, Verlinde’s abstract fundamental layer remains a kind of reflection of the 2D surface of the universe, which makes it possible to interpret it as being 2D, similar to the earlier world of the Sphere Observer.
  • Secondly, the spacetime shells, constituting the Sphere Observer’s earlier world, are 2D surfaces as well. The earlier world of the Sphere Observer can therefore be conceived of as consisting of countless of miniature reflections of the 2D surface of the universe.
  • Thirdly, Verlinde’s 'dark universe' consists of a countless number of qubits, which in my opnion surprisingly well match the 2D spacetime shells of the earlier world of the Sphere Observer. Qubits being the smallest units of information in quantum mechanics, the spacetime shells in section 4.3.2 were called the 'smallest units of spacetime'.The fact that the size of the spacetime shells is very disimilar and can even be infinitely large, does not seem to be consistent with qubits, because it is generally assumed that they are all equal in size (granular). Remember, however, that both cases deal with abstract greatnesses. In my opinion, these do not necessarily have to be small spheres, as is the case with physically similar atoms.
    By subsequently assuming that western qubits differ in size in the same way as the oriental spacetime atoms, one can
    probably explain the 'glue hypothesis' of Van Raamsdonk, and in fact quantum entanglement. This assumption is substantiated in section 6.5.
Two-level state space of a qubit
  • Lastly, the similarity of spacetime shells and qubits is also conspicuous, because qubits are described in a two-level state space with two basic states (or basic vectors), which is formally equivalent to a two-dimensional vector space over complex numbers (see adjoining image) (en.wikipedia).
    These two basic states (or basic vectors) are usually written as |0〉 and |1〉. A qubit can thus be seen as a quantum mechanical version of the classical data bit (0 and 1).

    Note 48 Computer bits can be in either of two states: 0 or 1. Qubits can store more information by remembering a both states at the same time (superposition). This theoretically results in an enormous computing power.

    Spacetime shells can be described as virtual spheres with two circular (= 2D) coordinates perpendicular to each other: One 2D coordinate for space and one 2D coordinate for time. (In my book, I explain how space and time are at right angles to each other in the earlier world.)

Therefore, my conclusion is that spacetime shells and qubits are synonymous: The 2D coordinate of space is equal to |0> and the 2D coordinate of time is equal to |1>. Assuming that quantum entanglement and the glue hypothesis are based on the possibility that qubits, just like spacetime shells, can be infinitely large, I presume that Verlinde's 'dark universe' corresponds to the earlier world of the Sphere Observer, and that the later world, with its 3D space, constant time and gravity, is an emergent phenomenon of that earlier world. In my opinion, the difference of insight depends solely on the probability that Western quantum mechanics, to say it proverbially, 'cannot see the wood for the trees': Approaching the dark universe or the earlier world from the ultramicroscopic level of quantum mechanics, description is in terms of qubits, which are all equal, but whose units of information can be entangled over infinitely large distances. When approaching the dark universe or the earlier world from a cosmic level, however, one would describe it in terms of spacetime shells, which can be very different in size and even infinitely large. 

In order to be able to recognize the similarity between the earlier world with its spacetime shells and the dark universe with its qubits in the remaining research of Verlinde, I subsequently will use the terms '2 + 2' and '3 + 1', introduced in §5.3.1, when dealing with the (western) dichotomy of the earlier world. The reason for this is neither that it is ‘eastern’ nor to frustrate Verlinde’s research. On the contrary, it is only due to Western physics, because of its paradigm, no longer understanding that the dichotomy of the abstract underlying tissue has become a concrete fact (§5.3). This division plays a role in Verlinde’s research as well, even though it is not mentioned explicitly. By emphasizing this dichotomy with the help of the keys '2 + 2' and '3 + 1', Verlinde's research will, in my opinion, become much more transparent, so that concepts like 'earlier world' and 'later world' become applicable.

This is what I hope to establish.

Continue to: 6.4 Consequences of Verlindes research