[EAS] Is the Universe a Simulation?
Peter J. Kindlmann
peter.kindlmann at yale.edu
Sun Oct 14 01:06:36 EDT 2012
Dear Friends and Colleagues -
In an age when out-of-the-box thinking is often encouraged, here is
the most encompassing instance -- the pursuit to see if we, and the
entire universe, are in a box.
Prompted by investigations of computer simulations of the
quantumdynamics of cosmological processes, researchers from the
University of Bonn in Germany have launched a project that aims to
discover whether the universe itself is a simulation -- at least in
some ways. After they examined the nature of high energy processes,
they discovered that a simulation's lattice spacing establishes a
fundamental cut-off energy that particles can possess. And there is
indeed such a cut-off in the energy of cosmic ray particles, the
Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuzmin or GZK cut off.
This article in MIT's Technlogy Review references further source
material on arxiv.org
It isn't often that scientists and mathematicians propose to probe
whether we are living in a giant "Truman Show" (Peter Weir's 1998
movie about a man who discovers his entire life is actually a TV
show). The only related instance I can think of, in the last 30
years, is Prof. Steven Bram's 1983 book, more recently re-issued in
"This book examines theology and the idea of a superior being in the
context of game theory. The central question posed in this book is:
If there existed a superior being who possessed the supernatural
qualities of omniscience, omnipotence, immortality, and
incomprehensibility, how would he/she act differently from us? The
mathematical theory of games is used to define each of these
qualities, and different assumptions about the rules of play in
several theological games that might be played between ordinary human
beings and superior beings like God are posited."
(See impressive comments from eminent people further down the page.)
Some things to think about on a fall Sunday.
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