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Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

Unknown Lamer posted about three weeks ago | from the warp-life-0.1 dept.

Science 247

Back in 2009, researchers theorized that space could be a hologram. Four years ago, Fermilab proposed testing the theory, and the experiment is finally going online. Jason Koebler writes Operating with cutting-edge technology out of a trailer in rural Illinois, government researchers started today on a set of experiments that they say will help them determine whether or not you and me and everything that exists are living in a two-dimensional holographic universe. In a paper explaining the theory, Craig Hogan, director of the Department of Energy's Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics writes that "some properties of space and time that seem fundamental, including localization [where things are], may actually emerge only as a macroscopic approximation from the flow of information in a quantum system." In other words, the location of places in space may constantly fluctuate ever so slightly, which would suggest we're living in a hologram.

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Flip the switch (5, Funny)

rfengr (910026) | about three weeks ago | (#47763915)

The instant we realize it's all an experiment or simulation, the flip will be switched off.

Re:Flip the switch (3, Insightful)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | about three weeks ago | (#47763957)

That's what we got religion for:
No matter what 'we' realize, there will alwas be enough people wo believe something completely different for no reason, to keep the system going.

Re:Flip the switch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47763977)

Amen, Brother!

Re:Flip the switch (4, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about three weeks ago | (#47764185)

It'd be funny if a bearded man in white robes showed up in the sky and said "Wait! Before you turn if off I want to take a picture of Norway for posterity!"

Re:Flip the switch (5, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about three weeks ago | (#47764301)

It'd be funny if a bearded man in white robes showed up in the sky and said "Wait! Before you turn if off I want to take a picture of Norway for posterity!"

"Pity. That was one of mine. Won an award, you know. Lovely crinkly edges."

Flip the switch (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47763981)

Why? I guess at that point observing us will get actually interesting. Assuming there is an observer. Even if this is all a simulation there might, or might not be an observer. Also, if you assume a simulation, is everyone else also simulated as having a "free will". Does "I think, therefore I am" actually mean anything? If this is all a simulation, how do I know if the people around me are simulated as their own entities or as part of the background? Does it even matter? Am I part of the background for observing someone else? Is life and planet earth just an anomaly in some holographic "heu lets invent some basic rules and see what happens" experiment? What if they are actually observing blackholes, and life just keeps popping out in every damn simulation, like some bacteria on a dirty petri dish?

Re:Flip the switch (4, Insightful)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about three weeks ago | (#47764075)

If it is a simulation you could argue that it is almost certainly optimized for sentient beings.

Based on what we know about simulators, they are inherently slower and smaller in scope than the system they run on. You're never going to have a virtual machine that is more powerful than the metal that it runs on. Similarly, you're probably not going to have a simulated universe be more powerful than the universe that is hosting the simulated universe.

Think about it this way: if you're going to build models of 2x4 Lego bricks using 2x4 Lego bricks, the models will be much fewer in number than the actual Lego bricks. If you find yourself being a Lego brick, odds are you are an actual Lego brick and not a model Lego brick.

Also, tightly packed systems where the components of the systems are small and close to one another in space are faster than systems where the components are large and far from one another in space, because communication happens at the speed of light, which is constant (as far as we know).

On the other hand, if we build a model that focuses on modelling one particular thing and neglects a bunch of other stuff then the probabilities change. Perhaps we live in a simulator hosted by a much larger universe where there is virtually no life except for the being that built the simulator, whereas our simulation is optimized to be relatively packed with life.

Re:Flip the switch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764165)

Based on what we know about simulators, they are inherently slower and smaller in scope than the system they run on. You're never going to have a virtual machine that is more powerful than the metal that it runs on. Similarly, you're probably not going to have a simulated universe be more powerful than the universe that is hosting the simulated universe.

Think about it this way: if you're going to build models of 2x4 Lego bricks using 2x4 Lego bricks, the models will be much fewer in number than the actual Lego bricks. If you find yourself being a Lego brick, odds are you are an actual Lego brick and not a model Lego brick.

Have you ever played the video game "Portal"?

Watched a superhero movie?

Used a numbering system that can be used to conceive of numbers that are higher than the number of atoms in the known universe?

Computer simulations of systems are rarely capable of simulating the entire systems they're copies of, but it's also completely possible for simulations to have features the original lacks.

Re:Flip the switch (1, Insightful)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about three weeks ago | (#47764283)

When people say "maybe we're living in a simulation" they mean a simulation created by sentient beings. If we live in a simulation then the host universe has sentient beings in it by definition. So that's a given.

Re:Flip the switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764325)

You'd only be able to verify if the Universe we live in were a simulation, if you could witness/observe something _outside_ of that Universe / simulation. Otherwise, it doesn't matter if the simulation were running one-billionth the speed of the 'bare metal', you'd never be able to realize it. The simulation speed has no affect at all on the outcome of the experiment.

A "nice -n 19" process is completely unaware he is throttled and kicked off the CPU for long periods of time, unless it is interacting with something _else_ (a resource) outside of his own process.

Re:Flip the switch (2)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about three weeks ago | (#47764377)

Well, these sort of arguments depends on the assumption that we exist as so-called observer-moments and that your current experience is a randomly selected observer-moment out of all the observer-moments in all of time and space in all of the universes in the cosmos. This may be total BS, but several real philosophers seem to take it seriously.

Re:Flip the switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764667)

My point is: if we can't observe anything outside of the Universe to confirm whether we are a simulation or not, then the point it moot -- There is nothing that we can do "inside the simulator" to confirm whether we are, in fact, inside a simulator.

Anyhow, the absurdity of the simulator philosophy could go on for forever (turtles all the way down). If one were to postulate that we all live inside a Universe Simulator created by some outside divine being, then I'd just claim that he, the divine being, is also just a simulation living inside a larger simulator that encompasses us as well. Ad infinitum.

Re:Flip the switch (4, Funny)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | about three weeks ago | (#47764551)

You'd only be able to verify if the Universe we live in were a simulation, if you could witness/observe something _outside_ of that Universe / simulation.

Not necessarily. If I wanted to find out if I were living in a computer simulation, I would start looking for an exploit. Hack the universe!

Re: Flip the switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764725)

Buggy Universe 1.0, hope there is an upgrade path...

Re:Flip the switch (1)

TWX (665546) | about three weeks ago | (#47764769)

A "nice -n 19" process is completely unaware he is throttled and kicked off the CPU for long periods of time, unless it is interacting with something _else_ (a resource) outside of his own process.

Like the observation that space is expanding at ever greater rates of speed, without explanation?

Is that so? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about three weeks ago | (#47764691)

Since the idea is that this universe is a simulation, who says it is a simulation of reality? Maybe we are some kids crazy fantasy world in which the container has to be larger then its contents! FREAKY!

The trick to thinking outside the box, is to stop thinking the box is real.

IF this is a simulated world, there is no reason to assume the rules in the simulation are the same as the ones of the world in which the simulation is running.

Re:Flip the switch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764113)

Does it matter to my 'existence''? No not in the sightliest because (depending on your religious belief etc.) it is still the only one I have )or perceive to have) at this moment.

Re:Flip the switch (1)

swb (14022) | about three weeks ago | (#47764655)

I was riding the bus home from the University about 20 years ago and this guy in front of me was going on and on to this girl sitting next to him, sprouting some Philosophy 101 nonsense about how "How do I know you're real, and not just a figment of my imagination?"

After about 15 minutes of this I couldn't take it anymore and I looked at the girl and said "Go ahead and punch this guy in the nose, and then ask him whether he still wonders whether you're a figment of your imagination."

Re:Flip the switch (2)

timeOday (582209) | about three weeks ago | (#47764745)

But he was right of course. There is no way to prove ground truth, such as the continuity of existence - it's just assumptions. Some people never grasp that, most others tire of thinking about it and move on. But not because they solved or proved anything.

Butting into somebody else's conversation just to blurt out that you don't understand it is silly.

Re:Flip the switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764007)

The instant we realize it's all an experiment or simulation, the flip will be switched off.

Just a blatant copy of a top comment from the article "Fermilab proposed testing the theory" (linked in this article). I really don't understand you ... Why ?

Re: Flip the switch (0)

rfengr (910026) | about three weeks ago | (#47764045)

Then I must be pretty good considering I didn't RTFA! I actually read another article last night.

Re:Flip the switch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764025)

Turtles all the way down.

Re:Flip the switch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764089)

Pam: And then, out of that cake, pops another stripper holding a smaller cake. And then an even smaller stripper pops out of that one.
Michael: What is that smaller stripper holding?
Pam: A cupcake! It's cupcakes and strippers all the way down.

Re:Flip the switch (2)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about three weeks ago | (#47764067)

Hang on. I'll find out.

Computer, end program....

Nope.

Re:Flip the switch (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about three weeks ago | (#47764395)

Hang on. I'll find out.

Computer, end program....

Nope.

You first need to get the 'arch' to show itself. ;^)

Re:Flip the switch (1)

Bazman (4849) | about three weeks ago | (#47764535)

You mean:

Computer, sudo end program.

Re:Flip the switch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764825)

Bazman is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported.

Re:Flip the switch (2)

Mr0bvious (968303) | about three weeks ago | (#47764133)

I've always found this interesting: http://www.simulation-argument... [simulation-argument.com]

ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.

Re:Flip the switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764149)

At least it's better than literally every other way you could possibly experience dying (assuming it's instantanious - none of that get shot in the head and neurons not impacted continue to fire for a bit or similar - can't imagine that as anything other than a few seconds of conscious hell trapped with no senses and only a partially functioning brain).

Re:Flip the switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764161)

The instant we realize it's all an experiment or simulation, the flip will be switched off.

Some people believe this has already happened.

Re:Flip the switch (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about three weeks ago | (#47764189)

I thought the saying was as soon as we figure everything out, the current universe will be destroyed and a new and crazier one will be created.

Re:Flip the switch (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about three weeks ago | (#47764425)

Of course, and what are we a holographic simulation of?

Re:Flip the switch (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about three weeks ago | (#47764487)

Wait til the mods get installed. Oh god, wait til the mods get installed.

Universe is a hologram.... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | about three weeks ago | (#47763997)

So if we're all photonic organisms who think we are biological carbon based then I'm going to get ready for the invasion by Chaotica's forces.

Here's to you Captain Proton. *Raises a beer*

Re:Universe is a hologram.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764123)

Why photonic? In our simulations of things we usually simulate on an abstracted level. The way information is stored is vastly different from what is simulated.
If we are a simulation I find it unlikely that things in this universe correlates perfectly with things outside. Photons, or matter as we know it might just be an undesirable artifact of the simulation model.

End Program. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764001)

End program.

Re:End Program. (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about three weeks ago | (#47764035)

What if we're a simulation being run on a really advanced iPhone?

Siri, end program.

Re:End Program. (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about three weeks ago | (#47764063)

Siri, end program.

"Sorry, I didn't get that."

"Did you say, "Delete program"?"

"No Siri! Do NOT DELETE PROGRAM!!"

"Thank you. You will be deleted from the hologram."

"NO-O-ooo...."

Re:End Program. (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about three weeks ago | (#47764081)

The pogroms were a series of attacks against the Jewish population in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. Can I help you with anything else?

Re:End Program. (2)

Flavianoep (1404029) | about three weeks ago | (#47764573)

The pogroms were a series of attacks against the Jewish population in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. Can I help you with anything else?

They didn't end in the Middle Ages, although. The last pogroms in Russia happened during the war that followed the October Revolution. Lenin even decommissioned a entire regiment whose officials toke part in a pogrom.

Are we, America, butthurt? (0)

bazmail (764941) | about three weeks ago | (#47764003)

Wow the Europeans confirming the existence of the Higgs Boson and then ramping up the LHC power output has really stung the American Physics community into action. First they put on a dog and pony show about "Hints of Physics beyond the Standard Model" last week, and now this crap? Why is it that we feel we must hold up fanciful speculation as some sort of achievement? In Europe they get results, here we just publish fantasy and partial fact dressed up as wondrous discovery and pat ourselves on the back and hey we might even get on CNN if its "Star Trek" enough.

How about doing real some science guys, like the egg-heads in Europe do?

So who's going to give them the money they need? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764037)

You?
Somehow I doubt that.

Tell your congresscritter that they need to improve science funding. Oh, I forgot, taxes are bad and we need to eliminate "big Goverment", not that it does anything now anyway. God forbid that education and infrastructure get what they need to work properly, much less "hard science". Go ahead, flame away if you want. Doesn't mean you're any less selfish. "I want to keep mine and you can go pound sand".

Idiots.

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (1, Troll)

KillAllNazis (1904010) | about three weeks ago | (#47764043)

I suppose nationalism will be the last religion to die.

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (3, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | about three weeks ago | (#47764051)

This might be part of an answer to your question: "Ohio lawmakers want to limit the teaching of the scientific process" [arstechnica.com] .

In other words, you live in a country where being an ''egghead'' (your term - not mine) is not respected. As a matter of fact, you live in a country where a large percentage of the population still thinks some invisble man in the sky has created the entire Uinverse in 6 days, and the Earth itself might well be 6000+ years old (instead of 4+ billion years old).

Need I say more? Case closed.

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about three weeks ago | (#47764543)

You know I don't think I've ever heard anyone being called a "geek" or a "nerd" outside of the US.

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764735)

Really? I'll need to change my dating site profile then.

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764065)

Why even be butthurt in the first place?
CERN is not 'European' per se - it is a cooperation between 21 nations all over the world, INCLUDING the USA.
What CERN does is so hideous expensive that no single nation should have to lift this cost on its own.

- http://home.web.cern.ch/about/member-states

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (1)

605dave (722736) | about three weeks ago | (#47764093)

Yeah? Well you guys may have the LHC, but our cutting edge tech is run out of a trailer!

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about three weeks ago | (#47764663)

Yeah? Well you guys may have the LHC, but our cutting edge tech is run out of a trailer!

And it may turn out to be a simulated trailer.

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764163)

How about doing real some science guys, like the egg-heads in Europe do?

CERN isn't filled with scientists, it's filled with retards that can't think of a better way to probe the universe than to smash stuff and see how it breaks apart. It's the physics equivalent of a "doctor" trying to model the inside of the nose throat and lungs by looking at the pattern produced when someone sneezes. It's tard-science, plain and simple.

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (1)

Dins (2538550) | about three weeks ago | (#47764329)

CERN isn't filled with scientists, it's filled with retards that can't think of a better way to probe the universe than to smash stuff and see how it breaks apart. It's the physics equivalent of a "doctor" trying to model the inside of the nose throat and lungs by looking at the pattern produced when someone sneezes. It's tard-science, plain and simple.

Alright, I'll bite: How would you do it, then?

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (1)

habig (12787) | about three weeks ago | (#47764255)

On the contrary, it's a well thought out experiment using some clever and not terribly expensive techniques. The "holographic universe" thing is a flashy attention grabbing headline, but if you bothered to go read up on the details, you'd see that it's simply a good way to look at the consistency of spacetime on scales people haven't yet explored. I, for one, would love to know if spacetime is lumpier than expected, regardless of what you care to call it.

Also, last week's "hints beyond the standard model" article was slashdot clickbait, not actual science news.

So, worthy reader, "how about doing some actual article reading, like the guys on Slashdot do?" Oh, wait, I see....

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about three weeks ago | (#47764453)

I, for one, would love to know if spacetime is lumpier than expected, regardless of what you care to call it.

LOL .... lumpy? Why am I suddenly hearing "timey wimey" and a Cup O Soup metaphor from the Doctor?

But, thanks for putting more context to this ... because my initial response was "really? We're taking that seriously now?"

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about three weeks ago | (#47764277)

Wars cost money. So when you have a bunch of Islamic assholes wanting to destroy western civilization and replace it with a caliphate, who you gonna call?! Rather than bust ghosts, we send teams of them. Meanwhile, Europe (hanging on by a thread due to Islamic immigration) enjoys all the cost savings by dumping funds into healthcare and science.

Someone has to do the dirty work around here, and that's America. And we get shit on by Europe for doing it.

Protect your own, I'm fucking done support the military. We have ICBMs, just glass the fucking place. I'm all about that whole passive/aggressive thing these days.

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764381)

Wow, you're just completely off your rocker.

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764581)

Europe's too busy importing their own future Caliphate into local gettos to care.

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | about three weeks ago | (#47764627)

Europe has a lot of spies and assets doing dirty work too. They also let USA troops setup bases in far eastern europe, and let usa 'hide' nukes and keep it secret, oh shhh.. yeah no they have no nukes in EU.

Re:Are we, America, butthurt? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about three weeks ago | (#47764289)

Wow the Europeans confirming the existence of the Higgs Boson and then ramping up the LHC power output has really stung the American Physics community into action. First they put on a dog and pony show about "Hints of Physics beyond the Standard Model" last week, and now this crap? Why is it that we feel we must hold up fanciful speculation as some sort of achievement? In Europe they get results, here we just publish fantasy and partial fact dressed up as wondrous discovery and pat ourselves on the back and hey we might even get on CNN if its "Star Trek" enough.

How about doing real some science guys, like the egg-heads in Europe do?

Uh... Holography is the cutting edge of particle physics right now. There is very strong evidence supporting this idea, and it may very well be true. This isn't crap at all. I suspect people like you said the same thing about a variable time rate back in the day.

Research pork (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764019)

Oh good can we all play this game? I theorise the answer to life, the universe and everything might be 42, but I need an enormous amount of public money to build the computer to simulate it properly. Anyone else?

What next (2)

qbast (1265706) | about three weeks ago | (#47764039)

Ok, so let's say experiment confirms that we live in holographic universe. And then what?

Re:What next (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764097)

So let's say experiment confirms that light speed is constant but time varies. And then what ?

What next (4, Insightful)

bazmail (764941) | about three weeks ago | (#47764105)

Document its API, what else?

Re:What next (4, Funny)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about three weeks ago | (#47764107)

Ok, so let's say experiment confirms that we live in holographic universe. And then what?

Apple will instantly begin legal proceedings against God for copyright infringement.

Re:What next (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764823)

Ok, so let's say experiment confirms that we live in holographic universe. And then what?

Apple will instantly begin legal proceedings against God for copyright infringement.

Great. At least someone is doing something.

Re:What next (1)

andyjb (1625561) | about three weeks ago | (#47764119)

once we find whoever started it all, we can complain in person!

Re:What next (3, Informative)

mAineAc (580334) | about three weeks ago | (#47764223)

Perhaps the holograph is a side affect of quantum relationships. Just because we are a holograph doesn't mean that someone made it.

Let me try... (5, Funny)

jd2112 (1535857) | about three weeks ago | (#47764055)

"Computer, End program."

Re:Let me try... (2)

Stardner (3660081) | about three weeks ago | (#47764125)

It doesn't seem to be working... maybe if we can get the universe to throw an exception...

Re:Let me try... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764417)

Well dividing by zero won' do the trick, that's how we get black holes.

Re:Let me try... (2)

Pinkfud (781828) | about three weeks ago | (#47764143)

The universe is a sphere only 20 meters across. It looks bigger, but that's an illusion. It's done with mirrors. Large objects like the Earth fit in it because the universe is bigger inside than it is outside.

Re:Let me try... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764705)

The galaxy is on Orion's belt.

Re:Let me try... (1)

sinij (911942) | about three weeks ago | (#47764303)

They have patched all input field sanitization bugs after some smartass called Merlin exploited the heck out of it.

Re:Let me try... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764363)

Looks like someone started it back up.

That's always been a useful detail of simulations, if the clock is inside the simulation, nothing else inside ever learns how long you had it turned off.

Re:Let me try... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764593)

Unless you are Moriarty.

Always finish on the BACH not DE BUSSY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764115)

NT

places in space. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764135)

"The location of places in space", that's a funny sentence.

This just in.... (5, Funny)

mitcheli (894743) | about three weeks ago | (#47764139)

Scientists in a trailer in rural Illinois have just discovered that the world is indeed flat. Thus bringing an end to the several hundred year old scientific debate.

Re:This just in.... (2)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about three weeks ago | (#47764661)

Can you just imagine the apology letters the scientific community would have to send out?

"Dear Zeke Zebidia,

We apologize for not accepting your theory on 'Modification to Pants Suspenders to prevent falling off edge of space' that you sent to us in 2009 written on the back of a cereal box. It appears that you were correct and that your studies on the 'crazy behaviors of bugs and stuff'' to arrive and this solution was indeed valid.

If it would not be too impertinent, we would like to recommend you as head of faculty for Berkely and to run a graduate research program for 'weather modification via adjustments to trick knee.'

Yours,
Dean of Flatt Stuff Investigations, Berkley University CA"

Hitch hikers guide .... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764141)

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another theory, which states that this has already happened.

Brownian Motion (1)

xdor (1218206) | about three weeks ago | (#47764191)

So are they postulating that even non-matter has motion?

A simulation, hey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764193)

They better find the bugzilla, there are graphics issues in the production release and a series of UI changes need to be made.

More importantly, what do we do if we're written in a programming language we don't like? Maybe we get cancer because the universe was written in PHP.

This is what happens (3, Funny)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about three weeks ago | (#47764205)

This is what happens when physicists come up with ideas when they're high, and remember to write them down before coming down.

.

Rural Illinois???? (2)

stox (131684) | about three weeks ago | (#47764229)

The area around Fermilab hasn't been rural for at least 20 years, suburbia crept up and surrounded it. It was a rural area, when first built.

Re:Rural Illinois???? (2)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about three weeks ago | (#47764429)

>> area around Fermilab hasn't been rural for at least 20 years

I'd say "at least 40." 20 years ago I attended a high school program there - an hour away using mostly four-lane, stop-lighted streets.

The "rural" part's just part of a decades-long marketing campaign to avoid alarming the millions of semi-illiterate residents nearby. E.g., "if cows can live on top of a nuclear accelerator, then you can too."

if I'm a program what language was used? (1)

smylingsam (312959) | about three weeks ago | (#47764257)

IF I'm Virtual, what language am I? What os? Pray tell that I'm not a visual basic program running on windows. But then that would explain allot!

Re:if I'm a program what language was used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764563)

IF I'm Virtual, what language am I? What os? Pray tell that I'm not a visual basic program running on windows. But then that would explain allot!

I'll put it this way: when the Cylons invade, the search for COBOL suddenly makes sense.

Is it just me.... (1)

Ronin Developer (67677) | about three weeks ago | (#47764315)

Operating with cutting-edge technology out of a trailer in rural Illinois....Me and Dr. Bubba J will test ... whether the Universe is a flat course and always turning to the left.

Out of a TRAILER????

I think they should have just left it as "Operating with cutting-edge technology...." and left out the "trailer" part.

I humbly believe the experiment is flawed (1)

youn (1516637) | about three weeks ago | (#47764327)

1) even assuming we are holograms, how do they know the imperfections are not simulated
2) even if the experiment comes with results that confirm it, an irregularity does not mean we are holograms, it could simply mean some theories about the universe are adjusted
3) Even supposing for a moment that we live in a simulated universe, what the heck are you going to do about it? ask for a refund? ask for a change in the simulation?

Re:I humbly believe the experiment is flawed (5, Insightful)

Megol (3135005) | about three weeks ago | (#47764431)

You are mixing two orthogonal concepts: that we are perhaps living in a simulation and that the 3D/4D world we live in are actually a flat holographic universe. Don't do that.

Help me Obiwan Kenobi (1)

Teresita (982888) | about three weeks ago | (#47764389)

You're my only hope.

Particle state stored in fixed total # of bits? (1)

Theovon (109752) | about three weeks ago | (#47764449)

In special relativity, we find out that our velocity through spacetime is actually constant. If you move though space faster, you necessarily move through time more slowly.

So I'm wondering if information about particles is somehow limited to a specific amount of information. If you have more bits of precision about one thing, then the certainty about some other property is necessarily weaker because it doesn't get as many of the total number of bits something can have. Can we work out the number of bits? We need bits for position, bits for momentum, bits for other quantum mechanical properties, etc.

I'm wondering if perhaps superposition is a result of the number of bits for a given property (like spin) going to zero because they were required to increase the precision of something else. For that matter, I wonder if particles can share/trade bits, so that sometimes particles have no bits (like when they get absorbed). And maybe a body made up of particles has bits shared kinda like how a metal's conduction band is shared among all the atoms. Maybe that is the way force carriers act... trading bits. MAYBE the whole universe simply has a total number of bits, which are divided up as necessarily among the particles. And really particle interactions are just bits (and their values) being traded around within a vast amorphous ocean of bits. In that case, particles are an illusion; they're an emergent property (from our perspective) of the varying association among bits.

Re:Particle state stored in fixed total # of bits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764685)

I've considered this too. One implication is that the 'real world' my not have relativity and may have different physics. They may have easy paths to space travel and communications between planets. I wish we could talk to someone in the 'real world', it would be intensely interesting.

Re:Particle state stored in fixed total # of bits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764837)

I always found that "moving through time more slowly at relativistic speeds" actually means "my clock moves more slowly because of the way it operates". That is, if your clock uses tachyons instead of photons to run its cycle, your clock will measure time differently. Solution? Compensate for distortions.

Just a thought (5, Informative)

alaskana98 (1509139) | about three weeks ago | (#47764471)

Upon reading the research summary, I don't see anywhere where it implies that we are in a simulation. I think they are just proposing that the fundamental construction of reality is 2D but is ultimately 'projected' as 3D due to quantum effect. At least that is the way I interpret this, I could be wrong though.

Not a hologram universe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47764481)

out of a trailer in rural Illinois

the location of places in space may constantly fluctuate ever so slightly, which would suggest we're living in a hologram.

I present a new theory: It is actually the graymatter between the ears that is constantly fluctuating in space and time.

Isn't this obvious? (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about three weeks ago | (#47764629)

Ok, I don't have the time to RTFA right now but isn't this completely obvious? Nuclei, atoms, molecules all vibrate (if not more) all the time. From the macroscopic point of view these all are so tiny as to be an insignificant error in any measurement of location but none the less, the "error" does exist.

Breaking Bad (1)

tommeke100 (755660) | about three weeks ago | (#47764649)

In the mean time, they managed to cook the purest batch of meth yet known to men.

I think they will find that there are fluctions. (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about three weeks ago | (#47764707)

I do believe this research may actually yield some surprises, but it doesn't necessarily mean that "location fluctuations" would mean we are living in a 2D holographic projection. I believe it is the opposite of that; we are living in a 12 dimensional universe that we experience as 4 Dimensional (time is the 4th property). The Higgs Boson and Dark matter are artifacts of space/time itself existing in a 4 Dimensional space we don't directly interact with.

Location can be manipulated and is influenced by a higher dimension -- so there will be measurable uncertainty, but it can prove the INVERSE of this hypothesis; we are the result of a higher dimension experienced as 4.

We aren't (1)

koan (80826) | about three weeks ago | (#47764759)

And it's a waste.

There is no sanctuary... (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about three weeks ago | (#47764811)

All frozen...

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