Author Topic: The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot  (Read 8102 times)

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Ivan Bevc

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The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot
« on: 18-09-2005, 21:55:33 »
Da li je neko cuo nesto o ovome? Drugar mi je skrenuo paznju na ovog lika i njegovu teoriju, cak mi je spomenuo da je Simmons pazljivo izucavao njegove radove kada je pisao Supljeg coveka.

Evo izvoda sa Amazona:
Despite its apparent materiality, the universe is actually a kind of 3-D projection and is ultimately no more real than a hologram, a 3-D image projected in space and made with the aid of a laser. Using this model, a world-renowned physicist and a Nobel prize winning neurophysiologist has developed a new description of reality. It encompasses not only reality as we know it, including hitherto unexplained phenomena of physics, but is capable of explaining such occurrences as telepathy, paranormal and out-of-the-body experiences, "lucid" dreaming and even mystical and religious traditions such as cosmic unity and miraculous healings. In part one, the author explains in simple prose the theory behind a holograph and its traditional applications to science. In part two, he shows the panoramic way in which the holographic model makes sense of the entire range of mystical, spiritual and psychic experience. Finally, in part three, he explores the implications for other universes beyond our own.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0586091718/qid=1127071972/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl/026-3754951-5250840
Teenage crime now fashion's dead
Shoot it up
There goes my love rocket red
Shoot it up

Meho Krljic

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Re: The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot
« Reply #1 on: 15-10-2012, 10:21:39 »
Nažalost, ne uspeva mi da nađem svežiji post na ovu temu koga je okačio mislim mac, pa moram da rezurektujem temu staru milijun godina. No. Naučnici traže način da razjasne da li živimo u stvarnom 3D svemiru ili u holografskoj projekciji dvodimenzionalnog kosmosa:
 
 Is it real? Physicists propose method to determine if the universe is a simulation 
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(Phys.org)—A common theme of science fiction movies and books is the idea that we're all living in a simulated universe—that nothing is actually real. This is no trivial pursuit: some of the greatest minds in history, from Plato, to Descartes, have pondered the possibility. Though, none were able to offer proof that such an idea is even possible. Now, a team of physicists working at the University of Bonn have come up with a possible means for providing us with the evidence we are looking for; namely, a measurable way to show that our universe is indeed simulated. They have written a paper describing their idea and have uploaded it to the preprint server arXiv.
 
 
The team's idea is based on work being done by other scientists who are actively engaged in trying to create simulations of our universe, at least as we understand it. Thus far, such work has shown that to create a simulation of reality, there has to be a three dimensional framework to represent real world objects and processes. With computerized simulations, it's necessary to create a lattice to account for the distances between virtual objects and to simulate the progression of time. The German team suggests such a lattice could be created based on quantum chromodynamics—theories that describe the nuclear forces that bind subatomic particles.
To find evidence that we exist in a simulated world would mean discovering the existence of an underlying lattice construct by finding its end points or edges. In a simulated universe a lattice would, by its nature, impose a limit on the amount of energy that could be represented by energy particles. This means that if our universe is indeed simulated, there ought to be a means of finding that limit. In the observable universe there is a way to measure the energy of quantum particles and to calculate their cutoff point as energy is dispersed due to interactions with microwaves and it could be calculated using current technology. Calculating the cutoff, the researchers suggest, could give credence to the idea that the universe is actually a simulation. Of course, any conclusions resulting from such work would be limited by the possibility that everything we think we understand about quantum chromodynamics, or simulations for that matter, could be flawed.
 More information: Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation, arXiv:1210.1847 [hep-ph] arxiv.org/abs/1210.1847
Abstract
Observable consequences of the hypothesis that the observed universe is a numerical simulation performed on a cubic space-time lattice or grid are explored. The simulation scenario is first motivated by extrapolating current trends in computational resource requirements for lattice QCD into the future. Using the historical development of lattice gauge theory technology as a guide, we assume that our universe is an early numerical simulation with unimproved Wilson fermion discretization and investigate potentially-observable consequences. Among the observables that are considered are the muon g-2 and the current differences between determinations of alpha, but the most stringent bound on the inverse lattice spacing of the universe, b^(-1) >~ 10^(11) GeV, is derived from the high-energy cut off of the cosmic ray spectrum. The numerical simulation scenario could reveal itself in the distributions of the highest energy cosmic rays exhibiting a degree of rotational symmetry breaking that reflects the structure of the underlying lattice.

Journal reference: arXiv search and more info website
© 2012 Phys.org

 

Edit: Slešdotovi čitaoci kao i obično imaju dovitljive komentare na ovu temu:
 
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   For all we know, we're all criminals and have been sentenced to a new life to give us a second chance at redemption. Maybe "going to heaven for being a good person" means we keep living once unplugged and "going to hell" means a real death sentence at the time we get unplugged from this virtual reality.
And let me add that some people are failing miserably at saving themselves. 

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   Of course it could also be that it is a program which is designed to make us as bad as possible, in order to be useful for a despot's secret army. Those who remain good will then be plugged into another world which is much worse, and so on until the limit is reached where they turn evil as well. 

Meho Krljic

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Re: The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot
« Reply #2 on: 18-02-2014, 10:01:33 »
I još malo špekulacija o tome je li naš univerzum zapravo kompjuterska simulacija:



Is the Universe a Simulation?


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IN Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel “The Master and Margarita,” the protagonist, a writer, burns a manuscript in a moment of despair, only to find out later from the Devil that “manuscripts don’t burn.” While you might appreciate this romantic sentiment, there is of course no reason to think that it is true. Nikolai Gogol apparently burned the second volume of “Dead Souls,” and it has been lost forever. Likewise, if Bulgakov had burned his manuscript, we would have never known “Master and Margarita.” No other author would have written the same novel.
But there is one area of human endeavor that comes close to exemplifying the maxim “manuscripts don’t burn.” That area is mathematics. If Pythagoras had not lived, or if his work had been destroyed, someone else eventually would have discovered the same Pythagorean theorem. Moreover, this theorem means the same thing to everyone today as it meant 2,500 years ago, and will mean the same thing to everyone a thousand years from now — no matter what advances occur in technology or what new evidence emerges. Mathematical knowledge is unlike any other knowledge. Its truths are objective, necessary and timeless.
What kinds of things are mathematical entities and theorems, that they are knowable in this way? Do they exist somewhere, a set of immaterial objects in the enchanted gardens of the Platonic world, waiting to be discovered? Or are they mere creations of the human mind?
This question has divided thinkers for centuries. It seems spooky to suggest that mathematical entities actually exist in and of themselves. But if math is only a product of the human imagination, how do we all end up agreeing on exactly the same math? Some might argue that mathematical entities are like chess pieces, elaborate fictions in a game invented by humans. But unlike chess, mathematics is indispensable to scientific theories describing our universe. And yet there are many mathematical concepts — from esoteric numerical systems to infinite-dimensional spaces — that we don’t currently find in the world around us. In what sense do they exist?
Many mathematicians, when pressed, admit to being Platonists. The great logician Kurt Gödel argued that mathematical concepts and ideas “form an objective reality of their own, which we cannot create or change, but only perceive and describe.” But if this is true, how do humans manage to access this hidden reality?
We don’t know. But one fanciful possibility is that we live in a computer simulation based on the laws of mathematics — not in what we commonly take to be the real world. According to this theory, some highly advanced computer programmer of the future has devised this simulation, and we are unknowingly part of it. Thus when we discover a mathematical truth, we are simply discovering aspects of the code that the programmer used.
This may strike you as very unlikely. But the Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom has argued that we are more likely to be in such a simulation than not. If such simulations are possible in theory, he reasons, then eventually humans will create them — presumably many of them. If this is so, in time there will be many more simulated worlds than nonsimulated ones. Statistically speaking, therefore, we are more likely to be living in a simulated world than the real one.


Very clever. But is there any way to empirically test this hypothesis?


Indeed, there may be. In a recent paper, “Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation,” the physicists Silas R. Beane, Zohreh Davoudi and Martin J. Savage outline a possible method for detecting that our world is actually a computer simulation. Physicists have been creating their own computer simulations of the forces of nature for years — on a tiny scale, the size of an atomic nucleus. They use a three-dimensional grid to model a little chunk of the universe; then they run the program to see what happens. This way, they have been able to simulate the motion and collisions of elementary particles.
But these computer simulations, Professor Beane and his colleagues observe, generate slight but distinctive anomalies — certain kinds of asymmetries. Might we be able to detect these same distinctive anomalies in the actual universe, they wondered? In their paper, they suggest that a closer look at cosmic rays, those high-energy particles coming to Earth’s atmosphere from outside the solar system, may reveal similar asymmetries. If so, this would indicate that we might — just might — ourselves be in someone else’s computer simulation.
Are we prepared to take the “red pill,” as Neo did in “The Matrix,” to see the truth behind the illusion — to see “how deep the rabbit hole goes”? Perhaps not yet. The jury is still out on the simulation hypothesis. But even if it proves too far-fetched, the possibility of the Platonic nature of mathematical ideas remains — and may hold the key to understanding our own reality.




  Edward Frenkel, a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of “Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality.”

Meho Krljic

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Re: The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot
« Reply #3 on: 07-08-2014, 08:42:59 »

The Man Who Invented the 26th Dimension

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How a scientist you never heard of made String Theory possible.

Meho Krljic

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Re: The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot
« Reply #4 on: 28-08-2014, 11:38:46 »
Dakle:


 We are about to find out if our universe really is a hologram



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What could be the most important scientific experiment of our lifetime is about to begin. The so-called Holometer Experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory aims to determine whether our perception of a three-dimensional universe is just an illusion. Do we actually live on a 2D plane, as a holographic projection? There is a well-established theory that states we are indeed living in a hologram, with a pixel size of about 10 trillion trillion times smaller than an atom. This has certain implications, some of which are quite sinister, even unspeakably horrific.
The argument about the nature of the universe hinges on something that 99.99% of people are not able to comprehend even on the most superficial level — namely, a comparison of the energy contained in a theoretical flat universe with no gravity and the internal energy of a black hole, and whether these two energy levels match or not.
Or whatever.
The point of the Holometer experiment is that it will be able to reveal via the pixelation effect if our universe is, indeed, a hologram. It will achieve this by putting two interferometers really close to each other, creating laser beams and observing possible jitters when they interact. If there are certain kinds of wobbles in the laser beams’ interaction, that means we actually live on a surface of a flat plain and only perceive our universe to be three-dimensional.
And this is where the cosmic horror seeps in. There was an influential piece published in Philosophical Quarterly in 2003, arguing that we probably are living in a computer simulation and this argument has nothing to do with the physical experiments now being carried out. The philosophical argument pivots on the point that if humanity continues surviving and computer technology continues advancing, we will inevitably reach a stage where it will be possible to simulate the entire planet and all of its living beings.
At some later stage, creating these simulacra of Earth will become cheap and common — just like building mobile apps. This means that ultimately there will be billions or trillions of simulations of the universe that offer nearly perfect fidelity. Nearly, but not quite, because at the heart of these fake universes there will be some pixelation if you burrow deep enough.
And those Fermi geeks are about to burrow deep. After we find out about whether we live in a hologram, we can all go back to focusing on Twitch’s valuation and whether the iPhone 6 will feature a sapphire screen. But deep inside, we will be shriveling in horror about the possibility that we live in a simulation and not knowing whether it’s some distant sequel to Sim City or Gears of War with a really long epilogue.

дејан

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Re: The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot
« Reply #5 on: 28-08-2014, 13:30:35 »
мислим да је ово мало сензационалистички написано
...barcode never lies
FLA

Meho Krljic

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Re: The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot
« Reply #6 on: 28-08-2014, 13:35:57 »
Svakako se ne radi o ozbiljnom naučnom članku  :lol: U njima nema ovakvih prelaza između pasusa:


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Or whatever.

Meho Krljic

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Re: The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot
« Reply #7 on: 29-08-2014, 09:00:24 »
Ali evo naučnijeg rada koji je vezan za ovo:


http://arxiv.org/pdf/1307.2283v1.pdf

Meho Krljic

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Re: The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot
« Reply #8 on: 06-12-2015, 08:50:47 »
E, prc:
 
 Controversial experiment sees no evidence that the universe is a hologram 
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It's a classic underdog story: Working in a disused tunnel with a couple of lasers and a few mirrors, a plucky band of physicists dreamed up a way to test one of the wildest ideas in theoretical physics—a notion from the nearly inscrutable realm of "string theory" that our universe may be like an enormous hologram. However, science doesn't indulge sentimental favorites. After years of probing the fabric of spacetime for a signal of the "holographic principle," researchers at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, have come up empty, as they will report tomorrow at the lab.
The null result won't surprise many people, as some of the inventors of the principle had complained that the experiment, the $2.5 million Fermilab Holometer, couldn't test it. But Yanbei Chen, a theorist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, says the experiment and its inventor, Fermilab theorist Craig Hogan, deserve some credit for trying. "At least he's making some effort to make an experimental test," Chen says. "I think we should do more of this, and if the string theorists complain that this is not testing what they're doing, well, they can come up with their own tests."
The holographic principle springs from the theoretical study of black holes, spherical regions where gravity is so intense that not even light can escape. Theorists realized that a black hole has an amount of disorder, or entropy, that is proportional to its surface area. As entropy is related to information content, some theorists suggested that an information-area connection might be extended to any properly defined volume of space and time, or spacetime. Thus, crudely speaking, the maximum amount of information contained in a 3D region of space would be proportional its 2D surface area. The universe would then work a bit like a hologram, in which a 2D pattern captures a 3D image.
If true, the principle might guide string theorists in their grand quest to meld the theories of gravity and quantum mechanics. And it would imply, rather astonishingly, that the total amount of information in the observable universe is finite.
In 2009 Hogan dreamed up a way to test the idea. One way the holographic principle might come about, he reasoned, is if coordinates in different directions—up-down, forward-backward, right-left—obey a quantum mechanical uncertainty relationship a bit like the famous Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which states that you cannot simultaneously know both the position and momentum of a particle such as an electron. If so, then it should be impossible to precisely define a 3D position, at least on very small scales of 10-35 meters.
Hogan figured he could spot the effect using L-shaped optical devices known as interferometers, in which laser light is used to measure the relative length of a device's two arms to within a fraction of an atom's width. If it were impossible to exactly define position, then "holographic noise" should cause the output of an interferometer to jiggle at a frequency of millions of cycles per second, he argued. If two interferometers were placed back to back, they would sample distinct volumes of spacetime, and their holographic noise would be uncorrelated. But if they were nestled one inside the other, the interferometers would probe the same volume of spacetime and the holographic noise would be correlated. And if the interferometers were big enough, that correlated holographic noise should be effectively amplified to observable scales.
Now, Hogan, Fermilab experimenter Aaron Chou, and colleagues have done the measurement with interferometers with 39-meter-long arms. Unfortunately for them, they find no evidence of holographic noise. "A correlation that you would attribute to novel physics effects is not seen," says Lee McCuller, a graduate student at the University of Chicago in Illinois, who will present the result in a talk at the lab.
Just what the null result means remains unclear, however. Chen says he has never fully understood neither exactly how the experiment works nor Hogan's theory of how the holographic principle originates. What's really needed is some sort of general analysis of what types of theories the experiment can and cannot test, he says.
For his part, Hogan says that the experiment reached the sensitivity it aimed for, showing that the technique has the potential to make further measurements. "For me, the big news is that we have a technique for measuring spacetime at this level," he says.
In fact, he says, the holometer can be reconfigured to look not for an inherent uncertainty in positions, but rather for a jitter in angular orientation in spacetime—in his view another possible sign of holographic noise. Maybe the underdogs still have a chance, after all.

Meho Krljic

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Re: The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot
« Reply #9 on: 24-03-2017, 08:59:30 »
Da li je ili nije naš univerzum digitalna simulacija? Kako smo već pominjali, Ilon Mask je ubeđen da jeste:

Tech billionaires are asking scientists for help breaking humans out of the computer simulation they think they might be trapped in



Ali onda, ima ljudi koji kažu: a kako onda ovo i ono:



Think We're Living in a Computer Simulation? Prove It

Meho Krljic

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Re: The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot
« Reply #10 on: 21-04-2017, 08:12:35 »
I onda:

No, we probably don’t live in a computer simulation



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According to Nick Bostrom of the Future of Humanity Institute, it is likely that we live in a computer simulation. And one of our biggest existential risks is that the superintelligence running our simulation shuts it down.
 
 The simulation hypothesis, as it’s called, enjoys a certain popularity among people who like to think of themselves as intellectual, believing it speaks for their mental flexibility. Unfortunately it primarily speaks for their lacking knowledge of physics.
 
 Among physicists, the simulation hypothesis is not popular and that’s for a good reason – we know that it is difficult to find consistent explanations for our observations. After all, finding consistent explanations is what we get paid to do.
 
 Proclaiming that “the programmer did it” doesn’t only not explain anything - it teleports us back to the age of mythology. The simulation hypothesis annoys me because it intrudes on the terrain of physicists. It’s a bold claim about the laws of nature that however doesn’t pay any attention to what we know about the laws of nature.
 
 First, to get it out of the way, there’s a trivial way in which the simulation hypothesis is correct: You could just interpret the presently accepted theories to mean that our universe computes the laws of nature. Then it’s tautologically true that we live in a computer simulation. It’s also a meaningless statement.
 
 A stricter way to speak of the computational universe is to make more precise what is meant by ‘computing.’ You could say, for example, that the universe is made of bits and an algorithm encodes an ordered time-series which is executed on these bits. Good - but already we’re deep in the realm of physics.
 
 If you try to build the universe from classical bits, you won’t get quantum effects, so forget about this  – it doesn’t work. This might be somebody’s universe, maybe, but not ours. You either have to overthrow quantum mechanics (good luck), or you have to use qubits. [Note added for clarity: You might be able to get quantum mechanics from a classical, nonlocal approach, but nobody knows how to get quantum field theory from that.]
 
 Even from qubits, however, nobody’s been able to recover the presently accepted fundamental theories – general relativity and the standard model of particle physics. The best attempt to date is that by Xiao-Gang Wen and collaborators, but they are still far away from getting back general relativity. It’s not easy.
 
 Indeed, there are good reasons to believe it’s not possible. The idea that our universe is discretized clashes with observations because it runs into conflict with special relativity. The effects of violating the symmetries of special relativity aren’t necessarily small and have been looked for – and nothing’s been found.
 
 For the purpose of this present post, the details don’t actually matter all that much. What’s more important is that these difficulties of getting the physics right are rarely even mentioned when it comes to the simulation hypothesis. Instead there’s some fog about how the programmer could prevent simulated brains from ever noticing contradictions, for example contradictions between discretization and special relativity.
 
 But how does the programmer notice a simulated mind is about to notice contradictions and how does he or she manage to quickly fix the problem? If the programmer could predict in advance what the brain will investigate next, it would be pointless to run the simulation to begin with. So how does he or she know what are the consistent data to feed the artificial brain with when it decides to probe a specific hypothesis? Where does the data come from? The programmer could presumably get consistent data from their own environment, but then the brain wouldn’t live in a simulation.
 
 It’s not that I believe it’s impossible to simulate a conscious mind with human-built ‘artificial’ networks – I don’t see why this should not be possible. I think, however, it is much harder than many future-optimists would like us to believe. Whatever the artificial brains will be made of, they won’t be any easier to copy and reproduce than human brains. They’ll be one-of-a-kind. They’ll be individuals.
 
 It therefore seems implausible to me that we will soon be outnumbered by artificial intelligences with cognitive skills exceeding ours. More likely, we will see a future in which rich nations can afford raising one or two artificial consciousnesses and then consult them on questions of importance.
 
 So, yes, I think artificial consciousness is on the horizon. I also think it’s possible to convince a mind with cognitive abilities comparable to that of humans that their environment is not what they believe it is. Easy enough to put the artificial brain in a metaphoric vat: If you don’t give it any input, it would never be any wiser. But that’s not the environment I experience and, if you read this, it’s not the environment you experience either. We have a lot of observations. And it’s not easy to consistently compute all the data we have.
 
 Besides, if the reason you build an artificial intelligences is consultation, making them believe reality is not what it seems is about the last thing you’d want.
 
 Hence, the first major problem with the simulation hypothesis is to consistently create all the data which we observe by any means other than the standard model and general relativity – because these are, for all we know, not compatible with the universe-as-a-computer.
 
 Maybe you want to argue it is only you alone who is being simulated, and I am merely another part of the simulation. I’m quite sympathetic to this reincarnation of solipsism, for sometimes my best attempt of explaining the world is that it’s all an artifact of my subconscious nightmares. But the one-brain-only idea doesn’t work if you want to claim that it is likely we live in a computer simulation. 
 
 To claim it is likely we are simulated, the number of simulated conscious minds must vastly outnumber those of non-simulated minds. This means the programmer will have to create a lot of brains. Now, they could separately simulate all these brains and try to fake an environment with other brains for each, but that would be nonsensical. The computationally more efficient way to convince one brain that the other brains are “real” is to combine them in one simulation.
 
 Then, however, you get simulated societies that, like ours, will set out to understand the laws that govern their environment to better use it. They will, in other words, do science. And now the programmer has a problem, because it must keep close track of exactly what all these artificial brains are trying to probe.
 
 The programmer could of course just simulate the whole universe (or multiverse?) but that again doesn’t work for the simulation argument. Problem is, in this case it would have to be possible to encode a whole universe in part of another universe, and parts of the simulation would attempt to run their own simulation, and so on. This has the effect of attempting to reproduce the laws on shorter and shorter distance scales. That, too, isn’t compatible with what we know about the laws of nature. Sorry.
  Stephen Wolfram (from Wolfram research) recently told John Horgan that:
 
  • “[Maybe] down at the Planck scale we’d find a whole civilization that’s setting things up so our universe works the way it does.”

 I cried a few tears over this.
 
 The idea that the universe is self-similar and repeats on small scales – so that elementary particles are built of universes which again contain atoms and so on – seems to hold a great appeal for many. It’s another one of these nice ideas that work badly. Nobody’s ever been able to write down a consistent theory that achieves this – consistent both internally and with our observations. The best attempt I know of are limit cycles in theory space but to my knowledge that too doesn’t really work.
 
 Again, however, the details don’t matter all that much – just take my word for it: It’s not easy to find a consistent theory for universes within atoms. What matters is the stunning display of ignorance – for not to mention arrogance –, demonstrated by the belief that for physics at the Planck scale anything goes. Hey, maybe there’s civilizations down there. Let’s make a TED talk about it next. For someone who, like me, actually works on Planck scale physics, this is pretty painful.
 
 To be fair, in the interview, Wolfram also explains that he doesn’t believe in the simulation hypothesis, in the sense that there’s no programmer and no superior intelligence laughing at our attempts to pin down evidence for their existence. I get the impression he just likes the idea that the universe is a computer. (Note added: As a commenter points out, he likes the idea that the universe can be described as a computer.)
 
 In summary, it isn’t easy to develop theories that explain the universe as we see it. Our presently best theories are the standard model and general relativity, and whatever other explanation you have for our observations must first be able to reproduce these theories’ achievements. “The programmer did it” isn’t science. It’s not even pseudoscience. It’s just words.
 
 All this talk about how we might be living in a computer simulation pisses me off not because I’m afraid people will actually believe it. No, I think most people are much smarter than many self-declared intellectuals like to admit. Most readers will instead correctly conclude that today’s intelligencia is full of shit. And I can’t even blame them for it.

Meho Krljic

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Re: The Holographic Universe - Michael Talbot
« Reply #11 on: 04-10-2017, 08:04:20 »
Još jedan čavao u kovčegu ove hipoteze:



  Physicists find we’re not living in a computer simulation



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Just in case it’s been weighing on your mind, you can relax now. A team of theoretical physicists from Oxford University in the UK has shown that life and reality cannot be merely simulations generated by a massive extraterrestrial computer.
The finding – an unexpectedly definite one – arose from the discovery of a novel link between gravitational anomalies and computational complexity.
In a paper published in the journal Science Advances, Zohar Ringel and Dmitry Kovrizhi show that constructing a computer simulation of a particular quantum phenomenon that occurs in metals is impossible – not just practically, but in principle.
The pair initially set out to see whether it was possible to use a technique known as quantum Monte Carlo to study the quantum Hall effect – a phenomenon in physical systems that exhibit strong magnetic fields and very low temperatures, and manifests as an energy current that runs across the temperature gradient. The phenomenon indicates an anomaly in the underlying space-time geometry.
Quantum Monte Carlo methods use random sampling to analyse many-body quantum problems where the equations involved cannot be solved directly.
Ringel and Kovrizhi showed that attempts to use quantum Monte Carlo to model systems exhibiting anomalies, such as the quantum Hall effect, will always become unworkable.
They discovered that the complexity of the simulation increased exponentially with the number of particles being simulated.
If the complexity grew linearly with the number of particles being simulated, then doubling the number of partices would mean doubling the computing power required. If, however, the complexity grows on an exponential scale – where the amount of computing power has to double every time a single particle is added – then the task quickly becomes impossible.
The researchers calculated that just storing information about a couple of hundred electrons would require a computer memory that would physically require more atoms than exist in the universe.
The researchers note that there are a number of other known quantum interactions for which predictive algorithms have not yet been found. They suggest that for some of these they may in fact never be found.
And given the physically impossible amount of computer grunt needed to store information for just one member of this subset, fears that we might be unknowingly living in some vast version of The Matrix can now be put to rest.