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Is the Universe just a computer simulation? Researchers find out

December 18, 2012 5:30pm
Is the universe just a big computer and all of us are living in one huge machine?
Physicists are trying to find out the answer by designing a new experiment to test if the universe itself is a computer, The Huffington Post reported.
"The theory basically goes that any civilization which could evolve to a 'post-human' stage would almost certainly learn to run simulations on the scale of a universe. And that given the size of reality - billions of worlds, around billions of suns - it is fairly likely that if this is possible, it has already happened," it said.
And if it has indeed happened, the report said it is likely we are somewhere in a chain of "simulations within simulations."
It added the theory that we are the first civilization, in the first universe - is "virtually absurd."
The Huffington Post also noted researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany had found evidence the Matrix was less than fiction.
Designing the test
Professor Martin Savage at the University of Washington said that while our own computer simulations can only model a universe on the scale of an atom's nucleus, there are already "signatures of resource constraints" which could tell us if larger models are possible.
Savage said computers used to build simulations perform "lattice quantum chromodynamics calculations."
This means they divide space into a four-dimensional grid and let researchers examine the force which binds subatomic particles together into neutrons and protons.
However, it also allows things to happen in the simulation, including the development of complex physical "signatures" that researchers do not program directly into the computer.
"In looking for these signatures, such as limitations on the energy held by cosmic rays, they hope to find similarities within our own universe," the Huffington Post said.
If such signatures do appear in both, it suggests we are inside a computer.
"If you make the simulations big enough, something like our universe should emerge," Savage was quoted as telling the University of Washington news service.
One of his students, Zohreh Davoudi, went further, asking, "Can you communicate with those other universes if they are running on the same platform?" — TJD, GMA News
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