The Simulation Theory
October 17, 2012 1 Comment
The Measurement That Would Reveal The Universe As A Computer Simulation
If the cosmos is a numerical simulation, there ought to be clues in the spectrum of high energy cosmic rays, say theorists
One of modern physics’ most cherished ideas is quantum chromodynamics, the theory that describes the strong nuclear force, how it binds quarks and gluons into protons and neutrons, how these form nuclei that themselves interact. This is the universe at its most fundamental.
So an interesting pursuit is to simulate quantum chromodynamics on a computer to see what kind of complexity arises. The promise is that simulating physics on such a fundamental level is more or less equivalent to simulating the universe itself.
There are one or two challenges of course. The physics is mind-bogglingly complex and operates on a vanishingly small scale. So even using the world’s most powerful supercomputers, physicists have only managed to simulate tiny corners of the cosmos just a few femtometers across. (A femtometer is 10^-15 metres.)
That may not sound like much but the significant point is that the simulation is essentially indistinguishable from the real thing (at least as far as we understand it).
It’s not hard to imagine that Moore’s Law-type progress will allow physicists to simulate significantly larger regions of space. A region just a few micrometres across could encapsulate the entire workings of a human cell.
Again, the behaviour of this human cell would be indistinguishable from the real thing.
It’s this kind of thinking that forces physicists to consider the possibility that our entire cosmos could be running on a vastly powerful computer. If so, is there any way we could ever know?
- The Measurement That Would Reveal The Universe As A Computer Simulation – Technology Review (technologyreview.com)
- Physicists Say There May Be a Way to Prove That We Live in a Matrix (zen-haven.com)
- Physicists say there may be a way to prove that we live in a computer simulation (hangthebankers.com)
- Science Suggests We’re Living in the Matrix (escapistmagazine.com)
- Cosmic rays offer clue our universe could be a computer simulation (wired.co.uk)
- Red Pill or Blue Pill: Do we live in the Matrix? Researchers say they have found a way to find out (sott.net)
- Testing if the universe is particular type of computer simulation (nextbigfuture.com)
- Physicists Say We May Be Living in a Computer Simulation (wariscrime.com)
- Bonn Scientists Can Test If We Live in The Matrix or Not (news.softpedia.com)
- Is it real? Physicists propose method to determine if universe is a simulation (bitcointalk.org)