Home » Is our universe one big virtual reality? How to test if we’re really living in a computer simulation

Is our universe one big virtual reality? How to test if we’re really living in a computer simulation

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To Melvin M. Vopson, University of Portsmouth

Physicists have long struggled to explain why the universe began conditionally suitable for the evolution of lifeWhy are the laws of physics and constants take very specific values Does it allow the development of stars, planets, and ultimately life? For example, dark energy, the expansion force of the universe, is much weaker than theory suggests, causing matter to clump together rather than tear apart. make it possible.

The common answer is that we live in an infinite multiverse of universes. Therefore, it should not be surprising that at least one universe turned out to be ours.but the other is that our universe is a computer simulation, and someone (probably a highly alien species) is fine-tuning the conditions.

The latter option is supported by a scientific field called Information physics, which suggests that space-time and matter are not fundamental phenomena. Instead, physical reality is basically made up of bits of information, from which our experience of spacetime is born. By comparison, temperature “generates” from the collective motion of atoms. A single atom essentially has no temperature.

This leads to the very possibility that our entire universe is actually a computer simulation. 1989, Legendary Physicist, John Archibald Wheeler, suggested that the universe is fundamentally mathematical and can be viewed as emerging from information. He famously said, “from bit”.

2003, Philosopher Nick Bostrom from the University of Oxford, UK, simulation hypothesisThis shows that it’s actually very likely that we’re living in a simulation. That’s because advanced civilizations must reach a point where their technology is so sophisticated that the simulation becomes indistinguishable from reality, and participants are unaware that they are participating in the simulation. .

physicist Seth Lloyd A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States says that the entire universe It could become a giant quantum computerAnd in 2016, Elon Musk concluded that “we are most likely in simulation” (see video above).

empirical evidence

There is some evidence to suggest that our physical reality may be a simulated virtual reality rather than an objective world that exists independently of the observer.

Virtual reality worlds are all based on information processing. This means that everything will eventually be digitized or pixelated to the smallest size (bit) that cannot be further subdivided. This appears to mimic our reality, according to the theories of quantum mechanics that govern the world of atoms and particles.it says it is smallest discrete unit energy, length and time. Similarly, elementary particles, is the smallest unit of matter that makes up all visible matter in the universe. Simply put, our world is pixelated.

The laws of physics that govern everything in the universe are also analogous to the lines of computer code that a simulation follows as a program runs.In addition, formulas, numbers, geometric patterns exist everywhere – The world looks completely mathematical.

Another curiosity in physics that supports the simulation hypothesis is the maximum velocity limit in the universe, which is the speed of light. In virtual reality, this limit corresponds to a processor speed limit or processing power limit. Simulations have shown that when the processor is overloaded, the computer slows down.Similarly, Albert Einstein’s general relativity It shows that time slows down near black holes.

Perhaps the most supporting evidence for the simulation hypothesis comes from quantum mechanics. This suggests that nature is not “real”: particles in a determined state, such as specific locations, doesn’t seem to exist Unless you actually observe or measure it. Instead, they are a mixture of different states at the same time. Similarly, virtual reality needs observers or programmers for things to happen.

Quantum ‘entanglement’ also allows two particles to be eerily connected, so that manipulating one automatically and instantly manipulates the other, no matter how far apart they are. The effect is seemingly faster than the speed of light. become impossible.

However, this can also be explained by the fact that within the virtual reality code, all “places” (points) should be approximately equally distant from the central processor. So you might think that the two particles are millions of light-years apart, but that’s not the case when created in a simulation.

possible experiments

Assuming the universe is indeed a simulation, what kind of experiments can be deployed from within the simulation to prove this?

It is reasonable to assume that the simulated universe contains many bits of information everywhere around us.These bits of information represent the code itself. Therefore, detecting these information bits proves the simulation hypothesis.recently proposed Mass-energy information (M/E/I) equivalence principle – suggests that mass can be expressed as energy or information, or vice versa – states that information bits must have small mass. This will give you what you are looking for.

I hypothesized that information is actually the fifth form of matter in the universe.Me too Computed expected information content per elementary particle. In 2022, these studies will Experimental protocol Test these predictions. In this experiment, an elementary particle and its antiparticle (all particles have an “anti” version with the same but opposite charge) are annihilated in a flash of energy, emitting a “photon” or light particle. The information contained in the elementary particles is erased by letting

Based on informatics physics, we predicted the exact range of expected frequencies of the resulting photons. This experiment is highly achievable with existing tools, Launched a crowdfunding site) to achieve that.

There are other approaches as well.late physicist John Burrow It argues that the simulation accumulates small computational errors that must be corrected by the programmer to continue.he suggested that we might experience such a fix Contradictory experimental results suddenly appear, such as changes in the constants of nature. So monitoring the values ​​of these constants is another option.

The nature of our reality is one of the greatest mysteries out there. The more seriously we take a simulation hypothesis, the more likely we are to prove or disprove it one day.

Melvin M. Vopson I am a senior lecturer in physics at University of Portsmouth. This article is reprinted from conversation Under Creative Commons License.read Original work.

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