An expert suggests a way to find out if we’re all living in a computer program: ScienceAlert

Physicists have long struggled to explain why the universe began with conditions Suitable for life to evolve. Why physical laws and constants Take the very specific values that allow stars, planets, and ultimately life to evolve?

the extending force of the universe, dark energyfor example, is much weaker than theory suggests — allowing matter to clump together rather than tear apart.

The popular answer is that we live in an infinite multiverse, so we shouldn’t be surprised that at least one universe has morphed into ours. But the other thing is that our universe is a computer simulation, where someone (maybe an advanced alien species) is adjusting the conditions.

The last option is supported by a flag branch called Information physics, indicating that space-time and matter are not fundamental phenomena. Instead, physical reality consists mainly of bits of information, from which our experience of space-time emerges.

In comparison, temperature “pops” from the collective motion of atoms. There is no core temperature for a single atom.

This leads to the extraordinary possibility that our entire universe may, in fact, be a computer simulation.

The idea is not new. In 1989, the legendary physicist, John Archibald Wheeler, suggested that the universe is fundamentally mathematical and can be thought of as arising from information. He coined the famous aphorism “of bits“.

In 2003, Philosopher Nick Bostrom from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom simulation hypothesis. This argues that it is very likely in fact that we are living in a simulation.

That’s because an advanced civilization would have to reach a point where its technology would be so advanced that the simulation would be indistinguishable from reality, and the participants would not realize they were in a simulation.

physical Seth Lloyd of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States is taking the simulation hypothesis to the next level by proposing that the entire universe It could be a giant quantum computer.

Experimental evidence

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

Any virtual reality world will depend on information processing. This means that everything is eventually digitized or cut down to the minimum size that cannot be further divided into parts: bits.

This seems to simulate our reality according to the quantum mechanics theory that governs the world of atoms and particles. It states that there is a file The smallest separate unit of energy, length and time.

similarly, Elementary particles, which make up all visible matter in the universe, are the smallest units of matter. Simply put, our world is divided.

The laws of physics that govern everything in the universe are also similar to the lines of computer code that a simulation would follow in executing a program. Furthermore, mathematical equations, numbers, and geometric patterns They are everywhere – It seems that the whole mathematical world.

Another physics curiosity that supports the simulation hypothesis is the speed limit in our universe, which is the speed of light. In virtual reality, this limit corresponds to the processor speed limit, or processing power limit.

We know that an overloaded processor slows down computer processing in a simulation. Likewise, Albert Einstein The general theory of relativity It appears that time slows down in the vicinity of A Black hole.

Perhaps the most supportive evidence for the simulation hypothesis comes from quantum mechanics. This indicates that nature is not “real”: particles are in specific states, such as specific locations, It doesn’t seem to exist Unless you actually notice or measure them. Instead, they are in a mixture of different states simultaneously. Likewise, virtual reality needs an observer or programmer for things to happen.

Quantum tangleIt also allows two particles to connect eerily so that if you manipulate one, you also automatically and instantly manipulate the other, no matter how far apart they are – though the effect appears to be faster than the speed of light, which should be impossible.

However, this can also be explained by the fact that within a VR code, all “locations” (points) must be approximately equally far from the central processor. So while we think two particles are millions of light-years apart, they wouldn’t be if they were created in a simulation.

possible experiments

Assuming that the universe is indeed a simulation, what kind of experiments can we deploy from within the simulation to prove it?

It is reasonable to assume that the simulated universe contains a lot of information all around us. These bits of information represent the code itself. Hence, detecting these bits of information will prove the simulation hypothesis.

recently proposed Principle of mass-energy information equivalence (M/E/I) – suggest mass can be expressed as energy or information, or vice versa – states that information bits must have a small mass. This gives us something to look for.

I assumed that information is actually the fifth form of matter in the universe. I’m even Calculates the expected information content for each elementary particle. These studies have led to the publication, in 2022, of Experimental protocol to test these predictions.

The experiment involves erasing the information inside elementary particles by allowing them and their antiparticles (all particles have identical “anti” copies but opposite charges) to perish in a flash of energy—they emit “photons,” or particles of light.

It predicted the exact range of expected frequencies for the resulting photons based on information physics. The experiment is highly achievable with our current tools, and we They launched a crowdfunding site to achieve that.

There are other ways too. The late physicist John Barrow He argued that simulation would introduce minor computational errors which the programmer would need to fix in order for it to continue.

suggest it to us Try such a fix As contradictory experimental results suddenly appear like constants of changing 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 the simulation hypothesis, the greater the chances that it will be proven or disproved one day.Conversation

Melvin MSenior Lecturer in Physics, University of Portsmouth.

This article has been republished from Conversation Under Creative Commons Licence. Read the The original article.

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