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If the universe is just a Matrix-like simulation, how could we ever know?

This is a sample from reading I have done.

All we have to do to identify what these constraints would be is to build our own simulation of the universe, which is close to what many researchers are trying to do on an incredibly miniscule scale.

Computer simulations have been run to recreate quantum chromodynamics - the theory that describes the nuclear forced that binds quarks and gluons into protons and neutrons, which then bind to form atomic nuclei.

It is believed that simulating physics on this fundamental level is equivalent, more or less, to simulating the workings of the universe itself.

Do we have an exact way to know whether it's a simulation or not?

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    Seems to be a philosophical question ... – bummi Mar 26 '13 at 12:12
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    this is one of the more common basic philosophy questions, we can't actually answer this question, because there really isn't an answer. – Ryathal Mar 26 '13 at 12:37
  • Voting to reopen: Although extraordinarily speculative, the nature of the Universe (bubble Universes, the possibility of being a simulation, Boltzmann Brains, etc.) is not outside the realm of scientific study. – Larry OBrien May 8 '13 at 18:56
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Here is a paper on that topic:

Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation http://arxiv.org/abs/1210.1847

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.

This is all bases on the assumption that mathematic is truly universal. Even outside our universe. This paper shows that we would live in a simulation IF there is a really special pattern in the "Four-momentum" of energy and impuls.

To the others. This is not a philosophical question per se. Research is going on. This paper is from 9 Nov 2012.

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    Do you agree that the statement that "The Universe as we know it is a simulation." is unfalsifiable? That is, no-one will ever be able to produce evidence to disprove the Universe is a simulation. If you agree with that statement, this is not a scientific hypothesis, it isn't subject to scientific skepticism, and is off-topic. – Oddthinking Mar 26 '13 at 13:47
  • No, I think there might be ways to show that this universe is a simulation. But you can not prove it is not a simulation. – Stephan Schielke Mar 26 '13 at 14:32
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    Research is going on into the question "Are we living in a simulated universe hosted in a universe similar to the one we believe we live in?", but it doesn't really shed light on the fully general version of the problem because we're not in a positions to do any experiments on the host universe and as such we can't constrain the physics at work out there. It's fun, but it's philosophy. Or theology. Believing that you can constrain the rules of the host universe without experimental results is a gob-stopping level of theoretical hubris. – dmckee Mar 26 '13 at 20:36
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    By agreeing it unfalsifiable, you are agreeing it is unscientific. Like a non-interventionist god or Russell's Teapot, there is little to discuss from an empirical evidence perspective. Voting to close. – Oddthinking Mar 27 '13 at 7:24
  • You are right. Better close this one. – Stephan Schielke Mar 27 '13 at 10:57

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