If you read the recent articles [1][2][3][4] you will realize that more and more physicists are thinking of space-time and gravity as emergent phenomena. These days it is fashionable to think of the primordial fabric of the universe as a network of qubits connected to each other by quantum entanglement. I call this the “primordial qubit network” perspective.

Notice that the “primordial qubit network” perspective is not the same as the “simulation in a quantum computer” perspective even though both assume qubit to be the most fundamental element. In the “primordial qubit network” perspective physicists are talking about the emergence of space-time-matter from the primordial qubits. Once the emergence takes place (as in the Big Bang) space-time-matter evolves according to its own laws. In the “simulation in a quantum computer” perspective the idea of evolution is meaningless because everything happens according to the rules of the simulation code.

In describing the “primordial qubit network” perspective, I avoided the term “holographic” deliberately. Other people use the term “hologram” to emphasize the “projection” aspect. “Hologram” and “projection” are limiting concepts. We are talking about the emergence of space-time-matter. There is a huge difference between the concepts of “emergence” and “projection.” In parenthesis, I would like to remind you that my preferred term is “emanation” which is a better alternative.

In the perspectives mentioned above the ontological status of the primordial qubit is not resolved. Primordial qubits are thought of as more abstract compared to the “physical” as we define “physical” today.

I also would like to remind you that we don’t know much about the “quantum entanglement” that connects these primordial qubits together. Physics experiments have demonstrated the existence of quantum entanglement. Most recent work on quantum computers demonstrated that we can actually use quantum entanglement to connect qubits to achieve computation. In fact, the inspiration for the “primordial qubit network” perspective comes from the progress on quantum computers.

There is a common trick philosophers and physicists employ. To make progress, we replace one set of unknowns with another (hopefully, smaller set) of unknowns. In this case, some theoretical physicists are replacing the unknowns of the physical universe (space, time, matter, gravity, electric charge, spin, gluon, and many more) with “quantum superposition”, “quantum entanglement” and qubit network properties, entropies, etc. But, they are doing this “replacement” in a very sketchy way with lots of hand-waving. At this point there is no concrete theory explaining how the emergence (emanation) happens in detail but progress is being made. Do not underestimate the zeal of these physicists!

In the “primordial qubit network” perspective, quantum entanglement is more fundamental than time. Remember we are talking about the emergence of what I call space-time-matter which emphasizes the simultaneous emergence of matter, space and time together. Quantum entanglement being more fundamental than space-time-matter is a radical hypothesis. As we gain more understanding of quantum entanglement these discussions will become more interesting.

At first glance, the idea of physical universe being a geometrical representation of a network of primordial qubits seems to be consistent with the Eastern philosophy’s concept of space-time-matter emerging from the Cosmic Citta. Both perspectives envision an earlier more fundamental stage (primordial fabric). In the Eastern philosophy the primordial fabric is known as the Cosmic Citta. Modern theoretical physicists are theorizing that the primordial fabric is a network of qubits. This gives the primordial fabric a mathematical character. The literal meaning of Cosmic Citta is cosmic mind-stuff. There is a similarity here.

The “primordial qubit network” approach may also shed some light on the discussions of “locality” and the related subject of “subspace.”

Let me mention another aspect. In the article titled “Proposals for space-time extensions” I made the point that **there is no experimental evidence** **for extra spatial dimensions** (curled-up or otherwise). If space-time-matter is emergent from a network of primordial qubits then it is futile to invent extra spatial dimensions as an explanatory device. The degrees of freedom that we need to explain the physical attributes can be taken from the possibilities of primordial qubit networks. In that article I mentioned that we need additional degrees-of-freedom to explain the observed physics from first principles. The question is: are those additional degrees-of-freedom geometric or algebraic? If not geometric or algebraic what then? Algorithmic? Rule-based reactionary? Fundamental-DNA type design to physics perhaps? Now, theoretical physicists are adding the “primordial qubit network” perspective to the list of possibilities.

[1] https://www.quantamagazine.org/20161129-verlinde-gravity-dark-matter/

[2] https://www.quantamagazine.org/20161201-quantum-gravitys-time-problem/

[3] https://arxiv.org/abs/1611.02269

[4] https://www.quantamagazine.org/20150428-how-quantum-pairs-stitch-space-time/