Are we living in a computer simulation right now? If so, the human race would be completely oblivious to a programmed existence. That is until now, as University of Bonn nuclear physicist Silas Beane and his colleagues have devised a test that exploits a key feature of simulations; the existence of an underlying lattice construct by finding its end points or edges.
It's this need to be discretized that will prove the virtually imposed constraints of a computer-made world. In the real world, distances can be infinitely long or short; but computers have a limited set of values, presenting virtual limits which these researchers are going to investigate and see if they exist.
Bringing a whole new meaning to Freddie Mercury's famous lyrics: "Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?"
The test that Beane and his team are planning to do will surround looking at the work of other researchers who have attempted to create a computer simulation of a universe in their own labs. They will take a look into what will exactly make up such a forged existence, focussing upon the lattice that would support energy particles that make up the simulation. These particles, by theoretical definition are finite (a scientific phenomenon called the Greisen-Zatsepin-Zuzmin (GZK) limit), so if a limit is found that contradicts what research has been done into this area, it could be taken as a strong hint that we’re all living in a computer simulation.
Can we revert back to a previous save?
One possible fallacy of this study could revolve around the team's assumption that this very simulation that we live in is constructed in exactly the same way as we build our own. If this has been built in a different way, our existence as Sims for our robot overlords will go unnoticed. To be fair, letting us live the live could be somewhat better for the mass hysteria, as to not find ourselves tumbling down the rabbit hole.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.