Last year, scientists modeled our expanding universe using an 8,000 CPU computer system. “Until now, no single simulation was able to reproduce the universe on both large and small scales simultaneously,” said Mark Vogelsberger of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and lead scientist of the study.
The simulation created a cube 350 million light-years across and over 13 billion years of simulated time at an unprecedented resolution.
Considering Moore’s Law, and the exponential growth of information technology, It will not be long before we can create computer simulations of the universe that are accurate down to the atom. Shortly after that, we will be able to make many of these simulations. Hundreds, perhaps even millions.
This creates an interesting dilemma. You see, statistically speaking, The chances that we live in the real universe that is about to accurately simulate itself is far lower then the chances that we are actually one of the millions of simulations that was created by the real universe.
This may seem like the plot of a Hollywood summer film, but scientists are currently searching for proof that we are currently living inside a computer simulation. One team at the University of Bonn in Germany believes that if this is a simulation, then that simulation would have limitations that would be observed by the people within the simulation as a constraint on physical processes. They are currently looking for those constraints.
University of Washington Physics Professor Martin Savage has a different idea of how to find proof that the universe we live in is a computer simulation. He believes that a limitation in the energy of cosmic rays would be a “signature” of the simulation. Read more about his search for proof we live in a computer simulation here.
The theory that we are indeed living within a computer simulation created by other beings brings up a great many questions, and answers a great many other questions. Much has already been written about the subject. For a taste, check out these 10 reasons we may be in a simulation.