It also brought along a scientific theory that has, over-time, forged a vast following in the world of sci-fi theories and conspiracies. The theory that we might all be in a simulation and the world as we know it, is all a computer program. Scientists from the University of Oxford and the Hebrew University have published a paper in the Science Advances magazine that has proved that such a simulation is possible. They went one step further and addressed the complexity and feasibility of such a program existing. When studying computer simulations of quantum systems, the researchers Zohar Ringel and Dmitry Kovrizhin, found out that it might be possible for a computer program to simulate life and several quantum systems as we know it.
Kovrizhi and Ringel were trying to see if they could use a mathematical method to model systems that display anomalies (the stuff that always gets Star Trek ships into trouble) like those of the quantum Hall effect. But when you apply a magnetic field perpendicularly to the current, the Hall effect predicts that the electrons will turn and start moving perpendicularly to both the current's original direction and the magnetic field. The quantum Hall effect takes the standard Hall even further: when you take conductive material into an environment that's both very cold (near Absolute Zero, or -459.67 F), and has a strong magnetic field, particles behave even more oddly. So he and his colleague turned to quantum Monte Carlo, a family of computational methods that use random sampling to study complex quantum systems that can't be solved directly.
Last week, Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and other cutting-edge companies, took a surprising question at the Code Conference, a technology event in California. What, a man in the audience asked, did Musk make of the idea that we are living not in the real world, but in an elaborate computer simulation? Musk exhibited a surprising familiarity with this concept. "I've had so many simulation discussions it's crazy," Musk said. Citing the speed with which video games are improving, he suggested that the development of simulations "indistinguishable from reality" was inevitable.
It's a question that has persisted in science fiction and philosophical discussion alike: are we living in a computer simulation? Scientists have long argued both sides of the theory, with some even suggesting if we did live in a simulated reality, we'd never know the truth. But now, a new study could finally put the debate to rest. Theoretical physicists have discovered that it is impossible, by principle, to simulate a quantum phenomenon that occurs in metals – and, ultimately, something as complex as the entire universe. Scientists have long argued both sides of the theory, with some even suggesting if we did live in a simulated reality, we'd never know the truth anyway.
File photo: Chinese movie patrons wait in front of Hollywood star Keanu Reeves poster in the movie Matrix Reloaded showing at Paradise Warner Bros Cinema City in Shanghai July 18, 2003. Some people fear we humans are nothing more than pickled brains floating in a glass bowl as we're fed a false version of reality through a bundle of wires. Now a team of scientists at Oxford University has demolished the theory that we are all living in a computer simulation that's been masterminded by alien overlords. Science fiction fans and modern philosophers have long debated whether the world is actually the same as we percieve it to be. Following the popularity of 90s classic The Matrix, many have questioned whether the philosophical "Brain in a Vat" scenario may actually be our reality.