"cool lol" tHEYRE ACTUALLY TESTING TO FIND OUT IF WE’RE LIVING INSIDE A COMPUTER SIMULATION AND YOUR RESPONSE TO THAT IS
They’ve done the tests, and have evidence that our universe may actually be a simulation: http://www.nature.com/news/simulations-back-up-theory-that-universe-is-a-hologram-1.14328
It’s less that we may be living within a computer simulation, but more like the foundations of our universe ( the laws of physics) are written on a lower dimensional plane, and the observable universe that we see is a projection (simulation) up onto a higher dimension.
Here’s some background: http://www.technologyreview.com/view/429561/the-measurement-that-would-reveal-the-universe-as-a-computer-simulation/#comments
A few caveats about the last comment:
So the Nature article is about string theory, which is a different research question and not fully related to the other articles. In the Nature article, the research team was testing whether string theory might be plausible by making computational simulations and seeing whether the results of the simulation are the same as what we observe in our own universe. In a lot of cases, scientific theories might have some rules where we can’t figure out the resulting interactions without actually playing out the scenarios on computational models. This happens in fields outside of physics, like in the case of bird or fish flocking, where each individual has a set of rules that make up group patterns (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8IA_NjgEXs). Even when a model might only have a few rules (for instance, one flocking model I’ve made had 3 rules in total), it might not be possible to figure out the ways that all the individuals as a group interact and what dynamics there might be, so you model it and can get all of these complex patterns that wouldn’t be obvious otherwise. So the Nature article is taking a theory they think applies to our universe and modeling it (by making a computer simulation) to see if the rules in the theory create the same patterns we see in our universe.
But all of that is separate from whether our own universe is a simulation. The other articles are looking for limits in our universe that indicate it might be a simulation too. So basically, simulations are dependent upon a machine computing in discrete steps (noncontinuous). That means that there are limitations on simulations because measurements aren’t continuous. For instance, think of a ruler and how it’s divided into little tick marks. If your ruler is divided up into 16ths, you can measure up to 1/16th of an inch and even though you know smaller increments are there between the tick marks, you can still only measure 16ths. Computers don’t work on continuous numbers, so when a computer simulates time, for instance, it can advance time only by each “tick mark”. If a program’s “tick marks” are seconds, the simulation can advance 1 second to 2 seconds, but never to 1.5 seconds. This is all on a much smaller scale, but simulations would have similar limits on measurements or units of energy. So that’s basically what the research team is looking for in our own universe (just at much, much smaller increments). There seem to be a few other things that the team is looking for, but that’s one simplification of an aspect of the problem they’re looking at.
So basically, the Nature article asks, “Can we figure out if string theory is plausible by simulating it?” and the other article asks “Does our universe have similar limits to what we’ve seen in computer simulations we’ve made and does that mean our universe is also a simulation?”
Anyway, oversimplification of stuff, plus I’m not a physics major and probably don’t have everything quite right, but computational models are cool :D
(Source: fencehopping, via ordon-village)