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Monday, December 17, 2012

'Master Computer Controls Universe?'

I can't resist this one (via Boing Boing):
Master computer controls universe?, The Times of India: Scientists are conducting experiments to discover whether the universe exists within a Matrixstyle computer simulation created by super computers of the future.
The experiments being conducted by University of Washington could prove that we are merely pawns in some kind of larger computer game. However, it is unclear who created these super computers that may hypothetically power our existence.
"Imagine the situation where we get a big enough computer to simulate our universe, and we start such a simulation on our computers," said professor Martin Savage, a physicists working on the project. "If that simulation runs long enough, and have same laws as our universe, then something like our universe will emerge within that simulations, and the situation will repeat itself within each simulation," he said. ...
Explaining how the experiment works, physicists claim that finite computer resources mean that space time is not continuous but set on a grid with a finite volume, designed to create maximum energy subatomic particles. The direction these particles flow in will depend on how they are ordered on the grid. They will be looking at the distribution of the highest energy cosmic rays in order to detect patterns that could suggest that universe is the creation of some futuristic computer technology. And if it does turns out that we are mere players in some sort of computer program, they suggested that there may be a way to mess with the program, and play with the minds of our creators. "One could imagine trying to figure out how to manipulate the code, communicate with the code and questions that appear weird to consider today," he said.

If you like this stuff, you might enjoy The hidden reality: parallel universes and the deep laws of the cosmos by Brian Greene. One of the chapters (which explore different ways a multiverse might arise) is on this topic. A big problem in this literature is finding ways to test these various theories empirically, so this is interesting from that perspective as well.

    Posted by on Monday, December 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM in Economics, Science | Permalink  Comments (28)


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