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By Sunil Kumar

Will you take the red pill or the blue pill?

Some physicists and university researchers say it’s possible to test the theory that our entire universe exists inside a computer simulation, like in the 1999 film “The Matrix.”

In 2003, University of Oxford philosophy professor Nick Bostron published a paper, The Simulation Agreement,” which argued that, “we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.” Now, a team at Cornell University says it has come up with a viable method for testing.

Researchers at the University of Washington agree with the testing method, saying it can be done. A similar proposal was put by German physicists earlier this year.


Professor Martin Savage, one of the physicists working on the project says it’s unclear.

“Imagine the situation where we get a big enough computer to simulate our universe, and we start such a simulation on our computers. If that simulation runs long enough, and have the 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.

The current understanding of string theory indicates that there are 10^500 universes with different laws that determine the behaviour of particles within them, the professor of physics said.

“So it is certainly true, that with enough computer resources, theorists would like to explore these universes.”

How the experiment works is a little tricky to understand, but 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 (which may or may not be cubic, but could itself have some sort of non-continuous structure).

Still with me?

In a nutshell the physicists will be looking at the distribution of the highest energy cosmic rays in order to try and detect patterns that could suggest that the universe is the creation of some futuristic computer technology.

If it turns out that we are bit players in some sort of computer program, the physicist suggested that there may be a way to mess with the program, and play with the minds of our creators – all in the name of science, you understand.

“One could imagine trying to figure out how to manipulate the code, communicate with the code by moving information around, and questions that appear weird to consider today,” he said.

It will be years before we see any sort of definitive data proving, or disproving the team’s theory, so before you throw in your job, tell your loved ones what you have always thought of them, Professor Savage says that the possibility that you are just a piece of data in a computer simulation may be disturbing, but it doesn’t nullify your existence.





 We Are All Living in A Computer Simulation
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