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A simulverse test

Look for frame rate changes in the universe
  [vote for,

Computer games can sometimes stutter or slow when system resources are not, for whatever reason, up to the task. If the universe we experience is a simulation it may be possible to force such a slow-down, and the change may be measurable. This laboratory would be set up in a large city. Since the human mind is the most data-processing-intensive thing we have, it's what we'll use to measure any processing delay in the universe. Fluctuations in city population would be measured against an atomic clock and an extremely high resolution ruler. If the size of the universe or time change against each-other in a way that correlates with the city's population, it can be reasoned the universe experiences some local slow-down with more local processing requirements.This would be especially true if any correlations go back to normal shortly after the population change. That would represent re-allocation of system resources to other places.
Voice, Dec 14 2015

well, we know it's not this http://news.science...e-universe-hologram
[zeno, Dec 15 2015]

Physicists find we’re not living in a computer simulation https://cosmosmagaz...computer-simulation
[Voice, Oct 02 2017]


       this be like the cat in the Matrix?
theircompetitor, Dec 15 2015

       with what, intend you, the ruler, to measure?
pocmloc, Dec 15 2015

       If the universe is running in a cosmic virtual machine, there is no way to know such fluctuations. Anyway I don't care, this OS is well designed, even comfortable sometimes.
piluso, Dec 15 2015

       Aw, how adorable, this little dude on the screen (not that one, next to him) thinks he can context switch the kernel enough times to induce lag.
the porpoise, Dec 15 2015

       Time's flow is usually measured in terms of "changing events". I've noticed something of a monkey wrench in the works. This is related to something from General Relativity, that time passes more slowly inside a gravitational field.   

       One way to interpret that statement is to rephrase it as "Compared to the exterior of a gravitational field, fewer change-events-per-second happen, inside the field." --and that leads to a sort-of loophole.   

       In terms of Quantum Mechanics, all events involve particles interacting. Each interaction takes time to happen. Some interactions might be called "higher priority" than others. More on that in a moment. For now, consider that if time is quantized, then theorists compute that the fundamental unit of time's passage is so small that there are something like 10-to-the-33 units in one second.   

       Particles are constantly interacting with other particles, such as virtual photons of electromagnetic fields, virtual gravitons in gravitational fields, and so on. At the Earth's surface a given particle needs to interact with virtual gravitons at some particular rate to experience 1G of force. At the "surface" of the Sun a rather higher rate of interaction is needed, so that the particle could experience about 27Gs of force.   

       Well, if each one of those interaction-events requires some number of time-quanta per second, then the more gravitational interactions per second (such as occurs in stronger gravitational fields), the fewer time- quanta per second are left over for OTHER interactions to happen. It is precisely those OTHER interactions that we observe, when we measure changing events, as an indicator of time's flow. The net effect is that time appears to pass more slowly in an intense gravitational field. Even though, overall, there are always the same total number of time-quanta per second!   

       You may assume this phenomenon will seriously interfere with the Idea in the main text here.
Vernon, Dec 15 2015

       The point is that even the "real" spacetime that we think we know about is effectively running a simulation. The only reason things obey physical laws is because of the underlying computational capacity of the universe.   

       This is why quantum stuff is weird. Spacetime lacks the computational power to micromanage things down at that level, so it uses approximations and averages. The weirdness arises when you ask spacetime for a precise answer about one particular particle, and it has to improvise and come up with something on the spur of the moment, without any apparent cause.   

       So, adding complexity beyond some point will indeed slow everything down, but it will do so in a universe as "real" as we imagine this one to be. The real universe _is_ simulated.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 15 2015

       I disagree, a simulation steps through a magic mirror of definition. The computation hardware gives the laws, the programmed definition can disobey those laws. The real universe, although we can't yet see the logical interactions, I believe, must obey a physical process.   

       ...unless, the universe can randomly come up with its own definition/program . But this program would again be locked to the hardware's intrinsic structure.
wjt, Dec 19 2015

       //The real universe, although we can't yet see the logical interactions, I believe, must obey a physical process.//   

       Yes, it does. However, fundamentally computation still has to take place. Otherwise the particles, photons and whatnot just wouldn't know what to do. That's why mathematics is so good at describing the universe.   

       Just because spacetime computes, it doesn't mean you can arbitrarily change the software. That's why physical laws hold.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 19 2015

       If it computes it can be hacked.
Voice, Dec 19 2015

       There's computing as in gears on gears and there's computing simulation/virtualisation where 1010101110011010011(random) means the pointiness of the elf ears.
wjt, Dec 20 2015

       // it doesn't mean you can arbitrarily change the software. That's why physical laws hold. //   

       That's the sort of statement that makes Q laugh like a drain ... then start tinkering with Planck's constant and the value of G ...
8th of 7, Dec 20 2015

       Being a topology of the universe's fabric, anything is possible.
wjt, Dec 21 2015

       Improbability may be common but impossibility is impossible.   

       If there are an infinite number of universes in one of them everyone has always happened to fly when they tried, and therefore people believe in telekinesis. Which makes me wonder if any phenomena we witness is merely the product of extremely improbable happenstances.
Voice, Dec 21 2015

       That's my best guess so far.   

       If there are an infinite number of universes, we are a very very shallow thing.
wjt, Dec 23 2015

       //infinite number of universes//   

       Now there's an interesting (if extreme) thought experiment that might prove that to be true (or not) called the Quantum Suicide experiment. It's essentially a twist on Schrodinger's Cat where you get to play the cat. If there are infinitely many universes, and if the probability of you existing is not zero, then it holds that there are infinitely many 'yous' out there who are currently indistinguishable from the 'you' that is reading this. If you all climb into some quantum triggered apparatus that will, based on some quantum business, give you a 50-50 chance of survival vs instant death, and cheerfully pull the lever - two outcomes are possible - a) you are instantly vaporised and the technicians in the lab start wondering how exactly they're going to write this one up, or b) you emerge, smiling, having cheated death. Since there are an infinite number of yous, despite having halved them in one go, there are still infinitely many left. Repeat this experiment say, 10000 times, and any surviving yous will be safe in the knowledge that the infinitely many worlds theory is, probably, very likely, within a measurably tiny fraction of error, publishably correct - at least in the remaining universes your yous continue to inhabit. To the rest of the worlds where you didn't make it, it's still anyone's guess.   

       The problem with the idea is that if Super Mario gets paused mid jump, he's unable to sense anything, including the passage of time. So as soon as he is unpaused, he continues in the same trajectory- from his perspective nothing has changed. Similarly if the simulated universe slows down, we as simulated entities within that universe will also slow our physically simulated perceptions and be none the wiser. If between reading X and a little bit later Y, the universe had been on pause for a million billion zillion years, we'd have absolutely zero perception of that. I suppose there might be some glitch ing and memory loss since it'd be difficult to keep backups for that long without some degradation but that's splitting hairs.
zen_tom, Dec 23 2015

       We don't need God, but if I don't miss my guess, he/she/it needs us to understand itself.   

       What else could we be here for if not for our perception? It's what we do, we perceive, we feel, we create, on whatever our scale might be.   

       We are... therefore we think.   

       //The problem with the idea...//

...is that it's hard enough to organise half a dozen people in your immediate circle of friends to go on a night out, let alone try to organise thousands of yous across multiple universes to simultaneously commit suicide for the sake of scientific interest. It flies in the face of practical reality. Happily, this also proves that there are not an infinite number of universes because if there were, then everything would be possible & we know that this feat of organisation is not possible. QED.
DrBob, Dec 24 2015

       A bit like the ufo spotter system by observing disturbances in the Force, sorry, in the gps satellites' signal.   

       Turns out the clocks get rejiggered every once in a while, so no useful data is ever kept.   

       NB I wonder if the borg version of the matrix manage to balance the perpetual bugbear of if it's a long shot, sure the steamroller looks great, but the cat is too small to see, whereas a close up..
not_morrison_rm, Dec 24 2015

       Maybe the everything state did have infinite universes with the one proviso that there was no communication between universes until one little universe broke that law and collapsed the whole lot.
wjt, Jan 03 2016

       Why collapsed? Why not bridged?   

       Possible, but the Universes would have to be very different, for a bridge, to create large energetic flows between. Not just a shadow of the previous to the next.
wjt, Oct 04 2017

       [Ian], is that just a crafty attempt to get out of paying your electricity bill for the last quarter?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 04 2017

       //Quantum Suicide experiment//   

       If I'm under an age where I perceive others to be commonly dying of old age, it seems much less likely that I'm living in such circumstances. If I were 300 years old and somehow still alive while everyone else is either dead or much younger that would provide strong evidence.
Voice, Jan 14 2021

       Can code wreck bare metal? Theoretically, that would mean a specific action or actions, if found, could tear the fabric of the universe.
wjt, Jan 15 2021


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