MIND BLOWING: Is the Universe a Computer Simulation? Like the plot in the Matrix? Are we actually living in a highly advanced computer program and we just don’t know it? Some version of this thinking Just as Plato first wondered if the world as we perceive it is an illusion, modern mathematicians grapple with the thought that the that the universe is observationally indistinguishable from a giant quantum computer. And they wonder it the reason math is universal—why is it that no matter when or where you look, 2 + 2 must always equal 4 is because that is a fundamental part of the way the universe was coded.
In a paper called “The Universe as Quantum Computer” by Seth Lloyd Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and later by physicists at the University of Washington in Seattle said that if we do live in a digital simulation, there might be a way to find out. The 2013 paper by MIT engineer Seth Lloyd builds the ask a question: If space-time is made of quantum bits, the universe must be one giant quantum computer. And that, of course, raises the BIG QUESTION: If the universe is a computer program, who or what wrote the code?
Standard computer models are based on a 3D grid, and sometimes the grid itself generates specific anomalies in the data. If the universe is a vast grid, the motions, and distributions of high-energy particles called cosmic rays may reveal similar anomalies—a glitch in the Matrix—and give us a peek at the grid’s structure.
Here is the Abstract from”The Universe as Quantum Computer”:
Does the fact that the universe is observationally indistinguishable from a giant quantum computer tell us anything new or interesting about its behavior? The answer to this question is a resounding ‘Yes!’ In particular, the quantum computational model of the universe answers a question that has plagued human beings ever since they first began to wonder about the origins of the universe, namely, Why is the universe so ordered and yet so complex ? The ordinary laws of physics tell us nothing about why the universe is so complex. Indeed, the complexity of the universe is quite mysterious in ordinary physics. The reason is that the laws of physics are apparently quite simple. The known ones can be written down on the back of a tee shirt. Moreover, the initial state of the universe appears also to have been simple. Just before the big bang, the universe was highly flat, homogeneous, isotropic, and almost entirely lacking in detail. Simple laws and simple initial conditions should lead to states that are, in principle, themselves very simple. But that is not what we see when we look out the window. Instead we see vast variety and detail – animals and plants, houses and humans, and overhead, at 13 night, stars and planets wheeling by. Highly complex systems and behaviors abound. The quantum computational model of the universe not only explains this complexity: it requires it to exist. To understand why the quantum computational model necessarily gives rise to complexity, consider the old story of monkeys typing on typewriters. The original version of this story was proposed by the French probabilist Emile Borel, at the beginning of the twentieth century (for a detailed ´ account of the history of typing monkeys see ). Borel imagined a million typing monkeys (singes dactylography) and pointed out that over the course of a single year, the monkeys had a finite chance of producing all the texts in all the libraries in the world. He then immediately noted that with very high probability, they would produce nothing but gibberish. Consider, by contrast, the same monkeys typing into computers. Rather than regarding the monkey’s random scripts as mere texts, the computers interpret them as programs, sets of instructions to perform logical operations. At first, it might seem that the computers would also produce mere gibberish – ‘garbage in, garbage out,’ as the programmer’s maxim goes. While it is true that many of the programs might result in garbage or error messages, it can be shown mathematically that the monkeys have a relatively high chance of producing complex, ordered structures. The reason is that many complex, ordered structures can be produced from short computer programs, albeit after lengthy calculations. Some short program will instruct the computer to calculate the digits of π, for example, while another will cause it to produce intricate fractals. Another will instruct the computer to evaluate the consequences of the standard model of elementary particles, interacting with gravity, starting from the big bang. A particularly brief program instructs the computer to prove all possible theorems. Moreover, the shortest programs to produce these complex structures are necessarily random. If they were not, then there would be an even shorter program that could produce the same structure. So the monkeys, by generating random programs, are producing exactly the right conditions to generate structures of arbitrarily great complexity. For this argument to apply to the universe itself, two ingredients are necessary – first, a computer, and second, monkeys. But as shown above, the universe itself is indistinguishable from a quantum computer. In addition, quantum fluctuations – e.g., primordial fluctuations in energy density – automatically provide the random bits that are necessary to seed the quantum computer with a random program. That is, quantum fluctuations are the 14 monkeys that program the quantum computer that is the universe. Such a quantum computing universe necessarily generates complex, ordered structures with high probability.