View Full Version : Physicists say there may be a way to prove that we live in a computer simulation

13th October 2012, 16:03
Physicists say there may be a way to prove that we live in a computer simulation
George Dvorsky

Back in 2003, Oxford professor Nick Bostrom suggested that we may be living in a computer simulation. In his paper, Bostrom offered very little science to support his hypothesis — though he did calculate the computational requirements needed to pull off such a feat. And indeed, a philosophical claim is one thing, actually proving it is quite another. But now, a team of physicists say proof might be possible, and that it's a matter of finding a cosmological signature that would serve as the proverbial Red Pill from the Matrix. And they think they know what it is.

According to Silas Beane and his team at the University of Bonn in Germany, a simulation of the universe should still have constraints, no matter how powerful. These limitations, they argue, would be observed by the people within the simulation as a kind of constraint on physical processes.

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So, how could we ever hope to identify these constraints? Easy: We just need build our own simulation of the universe and find out. And in fact, this is fairly close to what the physicists are actually trying to do. To that end, they've created an ultra-small version of the universe that's down to the femto-scale (which is even smaller than the nano-scale).

And to help isolate the sought-after signature, the physicists are simulating quantum chromodynamics (QCD), which is the fundamental force in nature that gives rise to the strong nuclear force among protons and neutrons, and to nuclei and their interactions. To replace the space-time continuum, they are computing tiny, tightly spaced cubic "lattices." They call this "lattice gauge theory" and it is subsequently providing new insights into the nature of matter itself.

Interestingly, the researchers consider their simulation to be a forerunner to more powerful versions in which molecules, cells, and even humans themselves might someday be generated. But for now, they're interested in creating accurate models of cosmological processes — and finding out which ones might represent hard limits for simulations.

To that end, they have investigated the Greisen–Zatsepin–Kuzmin limit (or GZK cut-off) as a candidate — a cut-off in the spectrum of high energy particles. The GZK cut-off is particularly promising because it behaves quite interestingly within the QCD model.

According to the Physics arXiv blog, this cut-off is well known and comes about when high energy particles interact with the cosmic microwave background, thus losing energy as they travel long distances. The researchers have calculated that the lattice spacing imposes some additional features on the spectrum, namely that the angular distribution of the highest energy components should exhibit cubic symmetry in the rest of the lattice (causing it to deviate significantly from isotropy).

"In other words," write the arXiv bloggers, "the cosmic rays would travel preferentially along the axes of the lattice, so we wouldn't see them equally in all directions."

And that would be the kind of reveal the physicists are looking for — an indication that there is indeed a man hiding behind the curtain.

And what's particularly fascinating about this is that we can make this measurement now with our current level of technology. As the researchers point out, finding this effect would be the same as 'seeing' the orientation of the lattice on which our own universe is simulated.

That said, the researchers caution that future computer models may utilize completely different paradigms, ones that are outside of our comprehension. Moreover, this will only work if the lattice cut-off remains consistent with what we see in nature.

At any rate, it's a remarkable suggestion — one that could serve as an important forerunner to further research and insights into this fasinating possibility.

The entire study can be found at Physics arXiv.

meat suit
13th October 2012, 19:07
this is interesting stuff...
what has always been assumed is that the proccessing power required for all the random non repetitive stuff would be huge. but here is an example from 3 years ago that uses the non repetitive approach in computer gaming..it looks really life like...
also, Tom Campbell is making a very convincing case that this is a digital , virtual reality we are in....

Ernie Nemeth
13th October 2012, 21:30
Actually, this premise is surprisingly ridiculous. But so is most of so-called "white science". "Computer simulation" is more comforting than understanding we live in an illusion of our own design. But with this and other such speculation hiding under the umbrella of "science", people can continue to deny the truth of their existence.
A computer simulation to reveal the "computer simulation? Really? Come on...

13th October 2012, 23:47
"reality" is a simulation. It's not a computer simulation, I agree with Ernie's post the notion is a bit silly and is just a comfort thing.

It's a bit like saying, "I simulated weather on my computer therefore weather might be computer simulation."

Although, the plus side is it does provoke thought in the right direction of those seeking to answer their "knowing" that this reality is indeed an illusion.

14th October 2012, 00:05
is this other way of saying we live in holographic universe where everything is illusion that on Non-mainstream have talked about for a long time?

14th October 2012, 01:25
We live in a simulation in that it is self willed and self organizing according to what the given 'protruding' knot of energy ,the 'intelligence' can and does will it to be. for example, a thing can happen on mundane levels and appear as coincidence, or appear as a fateful situation,and it can also operate and does operate on other levels, outside of 3d mundane concerns. Before it is that, in time and space, it is potential, that can be seen as such.

I've explained quite a bit of this before, in various places on this forum.

Time and space are local, the local fabric is held in the shape it occupies right now, via our grouped will, or our autonomous (body) functions. In the very close and personal will part, that can be broken, by the individual.

This is a huge area of discussion.

Which is why the CIA hangs out with the Dali Lama.

Fred Ryan
14th October 2012, 03:16
I don't need proof that we're living in some sort of a simulation, I already know it's true. What I really need are the instructions to the game. Anyone know where I could get them?

14th October 2012, 04:53
To a certain extent, it is 'make it up as you go along'.

David Trd1
14th October 2012, 09:11
Most interesting...........It seems the scientists always slowly catch up with Icke in the end one way or another......Its his favorite analogy for the hologram we experience...

14th October 2012, 09:20
Ecnal 61 a member on here told me this story in work yesterday , which we joked about !
I said it was bad enough telling some of our workmakes what goes on behind the scenes,
telling them they are not real, will be fun...LOL..

Of course this is sentance 1 so to speak ,of the Ion material we the wonderful human creators
(gods) have created every thing in our reality and when we pass over to the 'guf' we take all
unrealised creations with us and when we come back, they come with us potentially to be realised...
Ion exlpained it on a clip in last weeks show from a personal reading with Chad in 2009/10...
It reminded me of the great link from Deep space nine.

It goes some thing like this imagine an ocean , when we are born a cup of water is taken
from it , and when we pass over the cup of water is poured back into the ocean.
When we come back ( reincarnatoin) another cup of water is taken out and put into
a new human creator. Thus its the from the same Source ,so we are all connected
but we are not individually the same. So in non physical we have access to everything.

Some thing like that !! I find it interresting ..

Mail On Line

Do we live in the Matrix? Researchers say they have found a way to find out

Any simulation of the universe must have limits, and finding these would prove we live in an artificial reality, physicists claim

By Damien Gayle

PUBLISHED:14:15, 11 October 2012| UPDATED:14:28, 11 October 2012

If the Matrix left you with the niggling fear that we might indeed be living in a computer generated universe staged by a malevolent artificial intelligence using the human race as an energy farm, help is at hand.

A team of physicists have come up with a test which they say could prove whether or not the universe as we know it is a virtual reality simulation - a kind of theoretical red pill, as it were.

Silas Beane of the University of Bonn, Germany, and his colleagues contend that a simulation of the universe, no matter how complex, would still have constraints which would reveal it.


All we have to do to identify what these constraints would be is to build our own simulation of the universe, which is close to what many researchers are trying to do on an incredibly miniscule scale.

Computer simulations have been run to recreate quantum chromodynamics - the theory that describes the nuclear forced that binds quarks and gluons into protons and neutrons, which then bind to form atomic nuclei.

It is believed that simulating physics on this fundamental level is equivalent, more or less, to simulating the workings of the universe itself.

Even operating on this vanishingly small scale, the maths is pretty difficult so, despite using the world's most powerful supercomputers, physicists as yet have only managed to simulate regions of space on the femto-scale.

To put that in context, a femtometre is 10^-15 metres - that's a quadrillionth of a metre or 0.000000000001mm.

However, the main problem with all such simulations is that the law of physics have to be superimposed onto a discrete three-dimensional lattice which advances in time. And that's where the test comes in.

Professor Beane and his colleagues say this lattice spacing imposes a limit on the energy that particles can have, because nothing can exist that is smaller than the lattice itself.

This means that if the universe as we know it is actually a computer simulation, there ought to be a cut off in the spectrum of high energy particles. And it just happens that there is exactly this kind of cut off in the energy of cosmic rays, a limit known as the Greisen–Zatsepin–Kuzmin (GZK) cut off.

As the Physics arXiv blogexplains, this cut off is well-studied and happend because high energy particles interacting with the cosmic microwave background lose energy as they travel across long distances.

The researchers calculate that the lattice spacing forces additional features on the spectrum, most strikingly that the cosmic rays would prefer to travel along the axes of the lattice. This means they wouldn't observed equally in all directions.

That would the acid test that the researchers are searching for - an indication that all is not at it seems with the universe. Excitingly, it's also a measurement we could do now with our current levels of technology.

That said, the finding is not without its caveats. One problem Professor Beane identifies is that the simulated universe could be constructed in an entirely different way to how they have envisaged it.

Moreover, the effect is only measurable if the lattice cutoff is the same as the GZK cutoff, any smaller than that and the observations will draw a blank.

Professor Beane and his colleagues' findings are reported in Cornell University's arXiv journal.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2216189/Do-live-Matrix-researchers-say-way-prove-do.html#ixzz29GRDJjyd
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The question of whether we are actually aware of the real world is one which has been continually asked by philosophers.

One of the earliest articulations of the conundrum occurs in Plato's Republic, where the Allegory of the Cave attempts to describe the illusory existence led by most unthinking people.

Plato, regarded by many as the father of Western philosophy, suggested that the only way to come to a realisation of the real world was an in-depth study of maths and geometry, which would give students an inkling of the real nature of the world.

French philosopher Rene Descartes, pictured above right, whose works are often used as a general introduction to metaphysics, raises the problem again as a thought experiment to lead readers to a position of radical doubt.

By postulating a malicious demon who can keep us trapped in an illusory world, Descartes asks readers to cast aside all the evidence of their sensory experiences in a search for one certain premise.

He famously comes up with the argument 'cogito ergo sum', or rather 'I think therefore I am', which he uses as a indubitable bedrock from which to reconstruct a certain picture of reality.

Subsequent critics of his work, however, say that just because there are thoughts, there is no guarantee there is really a thinker.

14th October 2012, 14:00
I don't need proof that we're living in some sort of a simulation, I already know it's true. What I really need are the instructions to the game. Anyone know where I could get them?

This is the best you can get:

ET 101,The Cosmic Instruction Manual, An Emergency Remedial Earth Edition

14th October 2012, 22:35
Here's an interesting article that is loosely related:


CIA invests in "quantum computer"

What’s the big deal? Well, a working quantum computer would, seemingly, have the potential to answer questions that current computers cannot. When asked by Popular Science about the problems a quantum computer could tackle, Seth Lloyd, director of the Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory at MIT, said,

"Where the universe came from and where it’s going in the far distant future. We can try to answer these questions because the universe is a quantum computer. Think about it in terms of information instead of energy. It’s made of bits — elementary particles — and how they interact are operations. You can calculate how many bits are in the universe, how much energy it takes to flip them, how much energy exists, and use that to rule out lots of things about the universe’s history. Anything that takes more bit flips couldn’t have happened."