By Jamie Busby
Zuse Z1 was the world's first programmable computer. Modern computers operate 27 TRILLION times faster than it, this progress being achieved in just 80 years.
This growth is exponential, meaning that the progress is becoming more and more rapid, the acceleration of computer development is increasing all the time. And this relates just to OUR computers, made by us.
Virtual worlds already exist, the computer game "Grand Theft Auto 5" (GTAV) is a great example. This game is nothing short of shocking in it's detail; it begs the question of how far we can go with this kind of technology. Given enough time, it's clear that at some point these games will become almost indistinguishable from what we know as "reality".
Many people, myself included, have been wondering if what we see all around us is some sort of virtual reality.
Whether it be a more advanced civilisation, aliens or what we may personally think of as "God", it's highly likely that the capability exists for something to create simulations much like the example of GTAV; just millions of times more advanced than our own current technology. It's dangerous and dismissive to assume the human race are the pinnacle of anything.
Therefore, it's possible that any or all of us could simply be an NPC (non-playing character) in an alien sandbox "game" right now. This is not crazy or delusional, many people in the world of science and leaders of industry are taking this very seriously.
Elon Musk in 2016 - "There is only 1 chance in a billion that our reality is NOT a simulation".
When someone of Musk's stature in the field of technology says something so radical, people take notice and are compelled to attempt to find answers. What follows is how that search is going and what we have discovered so far.
Evidence of a Simulation
Going back to the game GTAV, it is a fine example of how a virtual world is created.
In the sandbox of GTAV, basically the large but limited area in which you play, you see a virtual world all around you. Cars, roads, people (NPCs), buildings, everything we would see if it were real life.
However, everything presented to you as you play is simply an illusion; a very personal illusion just for you, depending on your location in the game. When you are in one place, every other place ceases to exist, until you go to them. Then they are rendered, just for you.
All that you experience in GTAV only exists because of your observation of it.
This allows the computer to focus on making what you ARE seeing as realistic as possible. Observation making things exist is a well known train of thought that I myself have discussed in other articles, but we are going to go much deeper into this.
The double-slit experiment
This was and still is one of the most famous and groundbreaking experiments ever undertaken in the field of physics. It was to draw many scientists deeper into the study of quantum mechanics which relates to the elementary particles that make up everything in the universe.
If balls are fired through a barrier with 1 slit, a single strip will be formed on the screen behind the barrier designating the strike points. If there are 2 slits in the barrier, then 2 strips will form on the screen.
In the case of waves, things start to get more interesting. When ripples of water are created and go through a barrier with 1 slit, they behave like when balls go through, forming 1 strip.
However, when you add the 2nd slit, things change. The ripples go through the strips and then interfere with each other before hitting the screen. This will be displayed on the strike screen as several interference strips.
When light is shined through the 2 slits, the exact same thing happens; multiple interference strips. This was how light was proved to be a wave as opposed to a particle, as seen in the same experiment using balls (particles).
Electrons and protons were known to behave in the same way as light, as waves. Scientists did an experiment where they fired individual electrons at the double-slit barrier; this is where things start to get very strange.
2 interference strips appeared on the strike screen instead of what they assumed would be 1 strip of hit points; 2 strips from 1 electron...
It seemed that each single electron somehow divided into 2 waves, passed through the slits and then these 2 parts interfered with each other on the other side before creating the interference strips that were seen. This was thought to be impossible.
So, they decided to perform further detailed experiments to try and work out what was happening. Using various measuring devices to "observe", another apparent impossibility occurred...
The electrons literally stopped behaving like waves and started to behave like particles, leaving 2 distinct strips on the strike screen, but this time with NO interference. They were "choosing" a slit to go through and hitting the screen in a position dependent on the slit they had chosen to go through.
The scientists came to the very uneasy conclusion that it was our very observation via measuring devices that literally caused the destruction of the wave "function" of the electrons. This caused them to act instead like a particle, going through 1 of the slits and not through both, as a wave naturally should.
"OUR" OBSERVATION ALTERED THE BEHAVIOUR OF ELECTRONS.
This strange behaviour can be seen elsewhere, in a game engine, like that of GTAV.
In a game, the computer doesn't have enough power to determine the action of every single particle. To counter this, it uses a simplified model to create the virtual world. It only uses precise calculations when an "observer", in this case the player, is looking at part of the virtual world. In other words, only when necessary.
This is done in order to not break the immersion of the player. Examples where that immersion is broken in a game is when the computer processor lags or fails to render scenery fast enough.
This has a huge bearing on the hypothesis that we may be living in a matrix.
Double-slit experiment revisited
Disputes surrounding this theory are still ongoing, it seems physicists cannot agree on any single interpretation of the results of the experiments.
In 2006, scientists conducted a more sophisticated version of the double-slit experiment.
Basically, an electron was again fired at a barrier with 2 slits. However, this time, the observation of which slit they passed through was made AFTER they had passed through the slit of their choice, but before they hit the strike screen.
The results were remarkable. In the gap between the barrier and the screen, the electrons behaved like particles. As if nothing had happened between being fired from the electron gun and arriving there. It was as if they had not passed through both slits and did not represent a wave, but a particle.
This suggests that somehow, the electrons "knew" they were going to be measured before the experiment even happened...
More evidence that we are indeed living in a matrix simulation can be taken from the speed of light.
Einstein concluded that nothing could move faster than light photons in a vacuum. The speed of light is both a limit and a constant. Further to that, he stated that the faster an object moved, the more time slows down for that particular object. And at the speed of light, 300 million metres per second, time will stop altogether.
What this means is that if you could attain the speed of light, a journey of 1 billion light years would be instantaneous. Only for you. For everyone else observing, it would take 1 billion years.
This theory demonstrates that light cannot go any faster. To do this, light would have to slow down time even further which is not possible; time has already STOPPED.
Simulation theory proposes that the processing speed of the technology that creates it is the speed of light. The universe is being updated and "rendered" at this speed.
This is the most conclusive evidence that we are living in a simulation.
Photons of light are known to have what is called "spin". They do not actually rotate but have the property of spin, when OBSERVED. Until someone or something looks at the photon, it does not know what to do, it is in a state of uncertainty.
"Nature" in a matrix appears to have great difficulty in calculating the rotation and spin of every single particle. Thus, it uses a simplified method for this. However, when something is "observed", it instantly becomes more complex and more real.
Albert Einstein conducted an experiment into one of the interpretations of how this may be as it seems. Below is the interpretation he researched;
If an atom emits 2 photons, the state of the 2 photons will be interconnected. If one rotates from the bottom up, then the other must rotate from the top down. They will ALWAYS spin in opposite directions; This is Quantum Entanglement.
However, remember that the photons do not know which way to spin until they are observed. Therefore, upon observation of just one of the photons, it chooses a direction to spin and it's partner must, by default, immediately spin in the opposite direction.
This occurs even though the 2nd photon has not been observed in any way. The 2nd unobserved photon is not only required to spin, it must do so instantly as a reaction, even if the 2 photons are separated by the entirety of the universe.
This of course violates the laws of physics as we know them; they state nothing can move faster than the speed of light, yet the 2nd photon always receives the information of the observed 1st photon in ZERO time...
Einstein concluded that this was impossible. After his death, the above was proved to be correct; Einstein had been wrong.
The study that proved Einstein wrong was first published in 1964 by Irish Physicist John Bell. "Bell's Theorem", based on his experiments, is still to this day considered the foundation of quantum mechanics.
His experiment was both complex and ingenious in equal measure and the results were breathtaking.
Bell proved that the entangled particle has no idea in which direction to spin, until it is observed. The observed photon chooses the direction AFTER measurement. This also proved that entangled elementary particles can transmit information to each other much faster than the speed of light...
In 2008, scientists conducted an experiment with 2 photons to record the speed at which information was exchanged between them. The results showed that this happened at least 100,000 times faster than the speed of light and may have actually been instant, even modern equipment has limits to what it can measure.
How this relates to our "reality"
Quantum physicists will be the first to tell you that nobody really understands quantum mechanics/physics! If you have struggled with the concepts so far you are not alone.
However, if we transfer the theory and conclusions from these experiments into what could possibly be a matrix or simulation, it all becomes much clearer. And further proof.
When our 2 photons are entangled, their "programs" will combine to include both photons. These programs will respond to BOTH photons regardless of where they are in relation to each other. I'm still calling them photons, should we perhaps call them "pixels"?
As one of the photons is observed, it is programmed to randomly choose a direction in which to spin. The program of the 2nd photon immediately reacts simply because it is programmed to.
This would explain why the "processor" of the simulation does not need to go to the 2nd photon to make it react, everything is pre-programmed. And the scale doesn't matter either, even if it is the size of, say, our universe... What seems enormous to us is what the characters in GTAV may think of that particular man-made sandbox. It's all relative.
Quantum mechanics CAN make sense
Quantum mechanics is the study of elementary particles, the study of everything beyond them uses Einstein's general theory of relativity.
If these two worlds, the tiny and the large, exist simultaneously in nature, then a unified theory must indeed exist that includes both. "The theory of everything"; the holy grail that physicists have been striving for since the birth of science.
The theory of a virtual reality explains all of this perfectly and it has no competition. From the curvature of space to dark energy and dark matter, all can be explained by the assumption of the universe being a programmed simulation. Nothing is forced, it just works.
The universe works quite beautifully regardless of our understanding of it. And even better upon our observation of it; just like "Grand Theft Auto V".
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