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Do we live in a simulation?  A Physicist Explains What Science Says - Revista Galileu

Do we live in a simulation? A Physicist Explains What Science Says – Revista Galileu

Do we live in a simulation? A physicist explains what science says (Photo: Darlene Alderson/Pixels)

After a long walk on a sunny day, Mr. Zhuangzi fell into a deep sleep lying under a mulberry tree. As soon as he fell asleep, he began to dream that he was a butterfly flying across the fields he had just traveled minutes before falling asleep and seeing the same things he had seen.

When he suddenly awoke, he said to himself, a little frightened: “I am facing the most complex philosophical problem of my life. Who am I? Am I a man who dreams that he is a butterfly? Or am I a butterfly that dreams that it has turned into a man?”
Provocatively, the question began, in the fourth century, the branch of philosophy that science adopted many years later: skepticism.

The story of the Chinese sage inspired the film among many things matrixperhaps the largest exponent in popular culture for the “mimicry hypothesis”.

Pause for a moment. See the time and date there on your cell phone or computer. right. I don’t know what day in the future you might read this text. Perhaps this place and time you are in is just a simulation. Is this really happening? Is it a dream? These are questions we always ask when we’re going through something great (or bad), or even when we’re reading the news of the day.

This question has surrounded us for thousands of years, and as crazy as it sounds, it still raises doubts whether the universe we live in with our five senses may not be real.

Ancient traditions and millenarian religions have already spoken of our world being nothing more than an illusion. In the early days of Western philosophy, with the Greeks, many were asked whether we humans would be able to answer this question—with evidence, of course. Plato said that behind our physical reality, there is an abstract and more perfect reality, the “world of ideas.”

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One of the central ideas of Buddhism is that everything we experience is nothing but a dream, from which we must awaken to a real reality, Nirvana. “I am awake and everyone is asleep” is the most famous of the many Buddha sayings.

Coming out of the religious realm, it is surprising that the question of whether or not our universe is real is something that modern physics is now beginning to ask itself. Does the universe really exist, and do all things really happen? For the first time in history, we are beginning to think seriously, from a scientific point of view, whether there is any possibility that what we are experiencing is just an elaborate simulation of a universe built on an impossibly powerful computer. How do we know?

At first glance, it seems impossible. A world with as many details as ours, with many physical laws that apply throughout the universe, a wealth of information and details contained, for example, in a single flower… Is it all built from a huge computer program? Not impossible, but unlikely, perhaps.

For most radical advocates of the idea of ​​simulation, all we experience is nothing but computer code made by an intelligent object, organic or not. We live and are part of this symbol without having any awareness of our “higher level”, the “true” reality, as in the Triad matrix. However, such an idea is widely rejected as it descends more into faith than evidence-based science.

pixel reality

As with everything in science, we need to discover some direct or indirect evidence for the “simulation hypothesis”. And we already have some evidence to develop this knowledge. As gravitational theory in “lgirl face‘, in English, file Quantum Gravity Ring. The theory is considered one of the most successful models in providing a quantitative model for the force of gravity. Gravity is one of the four fundamental forces of nature, and is described in the general theory of relativity, established by Einstein in 1917. Since it is a classical theory, there is no agreement with quantum theory, which successfully describes the other three forces (they are electromagnetism, weak nuclear and strong nuclear), through the Standard Particle Model.

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Among other solutions to the problem of uniting forces, Quantum Gravity Ring It gives us an insignificant volume, based on Planck’s constant, one of the fundamental constants of nature. From Planck’s constant, quantum mechanics develops. For example, energy levels in the subatomic world are no longer continuous, but appear as multiples of Planck’s constant – a very small number, with about 34 zeros after the decimal point. This volume constitutes the fabric of space-time.

If we can deduce the minimum size of space and everything that is in it, then we can say in general terms that it is as if everything were made up of “pixels” from reality, making it parallel to the computer pixel – the smallest unit in a computerized image.

To give you an idea, a plank’s volume in cubic meters is about 4.224 x 10-105. Unimaginably small, undetectable, but mathematically possible.

The other big question is whether time can be divided indefinitely or if it is quantized from multiples of Planck’s constant. ok if Quantum Gravity Ringin this formulation, correct, space-time itself is a quantum thing, which refers, then, to the smallest units of which the sizes and times of everything that exists are its multiples.

And if everything, every structure in our universe is manifested by the Planck scale, then it is quite possible to think that this could be an argument in favor of the hypothesis that we live in a simulation, but nothing conclusive. There are researchers working on this topic and others sparking heated debates about whether it is really worth investing time, intelligence, and money into projects trying to prove this hypothesis. There are many other hypotheses and models besides the idea of ​​the Planck scale to address the question. And new ones are popping up so that, who knows, we might have a definitive answer soon.

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Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says the odds that the universe is just a simulation might be very high and that he “would not be surprised if he found out that someone else was responsible for creating it”.

Tyson states that it is very common for humans to think of themselves as superior as the intelligent species. But, in reality, “no one guarantees that there are not infinitely superior entities on other worlds, which could have created our universe even as a form of entertainment,” says the astrophysicist.

Perhaps it would be possible to simulate the universe through a supercomputer, for example, especially if physics developed to the point of knowing all the functions and all the laws that govern us. It seems unlikely, but perhaps not impossible.

Many scientific discoveries arise from children’s questions. This is amazing. Those are the questions we are constantly asking in front of an unprecedented world. Scientific work often maintains this sense of the world as a novelty, and only then do we see the difference where it is apparent. And who will know if this is clearly not just a dream of something greater yet to be discovered. it will be?

* Marcelo Lapola is a researcher and doctoral candidate in physics at the Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA)