Universe exists within a computer simulation from the future?
Melbourne: Scientists are conducting experiments to discover whether the universe exists within a Matrix-style computer simulation created by super computers of the future.
The experiments being conducted by University of Washington could prove that we are merely pawns in some kind of larger computer game.
However, it is unclear who created these super computers that may hypothetically power our existence.
"Imagine the situation where we get a big enough computer to simulate our universe, and we start such a simulation on our computers," said Professor Martin Savage, one of the physicists working on the project.
"If that simulation runs long enough, and have the same laws as our universe, then something like our universe will emerge within that simulations, and the situation will repeat itself within each simulation," said Savage.
The current understanding of string theory indicates that there are 10500 universes with different laws that determine the behaviour of particles within them, Savage said, News.Com.Au reported.
"So it is certainly true, that with enough computer resources, theorists would like to explore these universes," Savage added.
Explaining how the experiment works, physicists claim that finite computer resources mean that space time is not continuous but set on a grid with a finite volume, designed to create maximum energy subatomic particles.
The direction these particles flow in will depend on how they are ordered on the grid (which may or may not be cubic, but could itself have some sort of non-continuous structure).
The physicists will be looking at the distribution of the highest energy cosmic rays in order to try and detect patterns that could suggest that the universe is the creation of some futuristic computer technology.
And if it does turns out that we are mere players in some sort of computer programme, the physicist suggested that there may be a way to mess with the programme, and play with the minds of our creators.
"One could imagine trying to figure out how to manipulate the code, communicate with the code by moving information around, and questions that appear weird to consider today," he said.
It will be years before we see any sort of definitive data proving, or disproving the team's theory and Savage said that the possibility that you are just a piece of data in a computer simulation may be disturbing, but it doesn't nullify your existence.
"I am sure you are real!. You are as real as I am. I see no reason to think that computers cannot exist within simulations," Savage said.