method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Anyone can post and discuss breaking science news or science-related public policy, that interests them (please respect posting guidelines and be sure to reference properly).
Forum rules
Please be sure to check our forum's Rules & Guidelines

method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby Sisyphus on October 15th, 2012, 7:15 pm 

A common theme of science fiction movies and books is the idea that we're all living in a simulated universe—that nothing is actually real. This is no trivial pursuit: some of the greatest minds in history, from Plato, to Descartes, have pondered the possibility. Though, none were able to offer proof that such an idea is even possible. Now, a team of physicists working at the University of Bonn have come up with a possible means for providing us with the evidence we are looking for; namely, a measurable way to show that our universe is indeed simulated. They have written a paper describing their idea and have uploaded it to the preprint server arXiv.

Source: http://phys.org/news/2012-10-real-physi ... ation.html
Attachments
600px-hubbleultradeepfieldwithscalecomparison.jpg
Image credit: Hubble/NASA
User avatar
Sisyphus
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4151
Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Blog: View Blog (60)


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby BioWizard on October 16th, 2012, 1:26 pm 

I have no idea what that said.
User avatar
BioWizard
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 12071
Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Location: United States
Blog: View Blog (3)


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby weakmagneto on October 16th, 2012, 3:13 pm 

haha At least I am not the only one. I have a similar thread "Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation" in the Astrology and Cosmology forum where I posted the study. I was wondering if the research was indeed suggesting that the universe could potentially be a computer simulation.
User avatar
weakmagneto
Active Member
 
Posts: 1380
Joined: 23 Feb 2012
Blog: View Blog (6)


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby sponge on October 16th, 2012, 4:52 pm 

Yeah, but hang on. If it’s all a simulation how are we expected to believe these simulated scientists conducting their simulated exploration to see if it’s a simulation?

The only way I’m gonna believe it is if they find a way to switch it off.

Er, no, hang on a minute…
sponge
Member
 
Posts: 834
Joined: 17 Mar 2012


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby mtbturtle on October 16th, 2012, 5:47 pm 

BioWizard wrote:I have no idea what that said.


Did you take the red pill or the blue pill?
User avatar
mtbturtle
Banned User
 
Posts: 9742
Joined: 16 Dec 2005


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby Watson on October 16th, 2012, 6:58 pm 

With time on my hands and some professionally administered pharmacuticul derivatives I feel well qualified to comment on this amazing and thought provoking insight. While not dispelling the notion of a real Universe all together, and by cleverly using a weeker area of knowledge, they were able to prove, maybe that we aren't even real and the questionable logic getting to this point is not real
Blue pill. Isn't this the kind of thing scientist would avoid having any name attachement to? I could see using some strained logic to prove the Universe is real, to prove otherwise is just a circular aurguement......I my opinion.
User avatar
Watson
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4609
Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Location: Earth, middle of the top half, but only briefly each 24 hours.


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby Natural ChemE on October 25th, 2012, 5:54 am 

I just peeked at it for about a minute, but this seems to be the gist seems to be that:
  1. we may live in a simulated world (think The Sims);
  2. simulations aren’t perfect;
  3. if the world is in a simulation, we may be able to observe some of the flaws.
For the simulation errors, I’d suggest checking out some of the pictures in “Finite element method”, Wikipedia. You can see that solutions which should be smooth and such can have jagged distributions when you zoom in on the grid far enough. Presumably if we made a simulated world, like a more robust version of The Sims, someone living in a world could try to zoom in on the discretization and notice that something’s fishy, suggesting to them that they’re living in a simulated world.

Again, I just peeked at the abstract, but it says
To find evidence that we exist in a simulated world would mean discovering the existence of an underlying lattice construct by finding its end points or edges. In a simulated universe a lattice would, by its nature, impose a limit on the amount of energy that could be represented by energy particles.
This makes me think of a photon’s energy, , where is a constant and is the wavelength. If the universe is discretized, then that means that there’s a minimum length, and that’d suggest that there’s a maximum energy . If they can find such a limit on such a particle’s energy, it may support the notion that the world is on a finite grid, and that in turn may support the notion that the world is a simulation.

This sort of study sounds like it’s a lot of fun, playing with such ideas, but I’m not sure how serious they might be about the possibility of actually finding something any time soon.
Natural ChemE
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 2744
Joined: 28 Dec 2009


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby BadgerJelly on October 25th, 2012, 6:27 am 

This theory is pretty close to what I believe.

I think projection would be a better word though not simulation because time does not exist in total reality.
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5606
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby BadgerJelly on October 25th, 2012, 10:10 am 

The Quantum Conspiracy: What Popularizers of QM Don't Want You to Know

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEaecUuEqfc&feature=BFa&list=PL74UA--N1SL6o8UJFrMjoXPvdZ-UD25ba
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5606
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby Dave_Oblad on October 25th, 2012, 7:25 pm 

Hi all,

A computer simulation is a bit unclear by definition. A simulation by definition is a creation that copies/emulates something that is real. A computer might be employed to produce this simulation. Under that definition it would be a computerized simulation. There are other types of simulations.

Having made many simulations myself, I have to deal with flaws. The biggest flaw I've had to deal with is a discrepancy in simultaneous events.

For example: In a simulation two people shoot at each other. Both are dead on target. Both fired at the same time. Both dodged the enemy's shot at them and survived.. but killed the enemy with their shot.

From each point of view, locally they survived and remotely the enemy was killed. This situation exists until the program realizes a paradox now exists. It has to quickly make a decision to correct this flaw and cheats one of the players. This happens so quickly that neither player is aware of this. Flip a coin and decide which one died and which one survived. The simulation moves on with the paradox dealt with.

To prove a Simulation, one must prove the Simulation has cheated.

A computerized simulation requires a computer with a program sophisticated enough to detect what level of realness is required for any given situation and the information is processed sequentially. This is what produces the flaws.

Otherwise.. it would have to be massively paralleled processing with a resolution finer than the Planck Length and sufficient memory to store the volume of the Universe. This would need a computer larger than the Universe executing program code stored elsewhere besides the volume of space being simulated.

A logic defined simulation is better than any computerized simulation. It becomes the exact size of the Universe and the logic is cellular down to the Planck Length and is Paralleled processing by nature. It wouldn't have the flaws found in a sequential computer or any computer using coded program execution. In fact, it actually is the Universe itself.

So folks asking this kind of question are on the right track, but they still persist in accepting what their senses tell them.. that something must be "Real" in some "Material" form for existence. But the final explanation of reality/existence gets metaphysical and is outside the scope of this OP.

Best wishes,
Dave :^)
Last edited by Dave_Oblad on October 25th, 2012, 7:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
Dave_Oblad
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3228
Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Blog: View Blog (2)


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby DragonFly on October 25th, 2012, 7:36 pm 

In a night dream, which is simulation of reality, I became lucid and looked closely at a porch railing, trying to note its resolution. It was perfect, but it had to be, for its representation was modeled the same as when I am awake. Then three green triangles pretending to be bugs walked by, which was quite an obvious flaw. I had to laugh at this (still within in my dream).

In film-making, one tries not to introduces flaws, for the audience will have great fun pointing them out.
User avatar
DragonFly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2386
Joined: 04 Aug 2012


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby Nikkie Sam on January 14th, 2013, 4:22 am 

The idea of universe being simulated is very interesting. Physicists state that the world is a Holograhic one which is controlled by some other superior creatures. This notion is based on quantum chromodynamics, which is the idea that describes how the strong nuclear force binds quarks and gluons together into protons and neutrons--and thus binds everything else together.
Nikkie Sam
 


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby toucana on January 14th, 2013, 3:28 pm 

Back in 2003, an Oxford University based philosopher called Nick Bostrom published a paper called "Are You Living In a Computer Simulation ?" (Philosophical Quarterly (2003) Vol. 53, No. 211, pp. 243-255.)

http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html

Approaching the topic from the perspective of philosophy of the mind on the one hand, and speculative thinking about the possible future development of computational power available to humans on the other, he examines the implications of the possible development of "posthuman" societies, and offers the following provocative conclusions:

"at least one of the following propositions is true:
(1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage;
(2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof);
(3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.
It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation."

There appears to be a hidden kicker in his discussion of the third proposition which would imply that if we are living in a simulation, then it is also just as likely to be a nested simulation with an arbitrary and unknown iteration depth of nested levels of simulations running within simulations. This was also the thesis of an interesting Sc-Fi film called "The Thirteenth Floor" released in 1999.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0139809/
User avatar
toucana
Chatroom Operator
 
Posts: 1413
Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Location: Bristol UK
Blog: View Blog (10)


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby moranity on January 14th, 2013, 4:30 pm 

i've done abit of simulation programming, and, as Dave said, concurency(things happenig simultaniously) is a major problem. In reality things happen simultaniously, the only way this can be simulated successfully is to have a single core for each seperate actor, which, in the case of the universe is each seperate particle, including virtual particles. Thats one big computer.
as an aside, when i've been lucid dreaming and examined the quality of the rendering i've noticed that what is directly looked at is well rendered, but it gets abit vague around the edges.
moranity
 


Re: method to determine if the universe is a simulation

Postby vivian maxine on September 5th, 2016, 9:30 am 

Mis-posted. Sorry.
vivian maxine
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2823
Joined: 01 Aug 2014



Return to Science News Discussion Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Kennethanaky and 9 guests