The GZK Test of Whether We Are In a Simulation

The world of Digital Physics is generally immune from appearing in mainstream media. But some nights ago, during an insomnia induced late night TV viewing, on a mainstream news source (either BBC or Al Jazeera English, can’t remember which) I saw a piece on Are We In a Computer Simulation? And the term Digital Physics was bandied about.

A google search showed activity in various mainstream news websites that appeared to feed off an article at the MIT Technology Review website that you can find here, which talks about an arXiv technical article that you can find here.

Interlaced tracks at Amsterdam Centraal

Interlaced tracks at Amsterdam Centraal (Photo credit: Daniel Sparing)

It talks about the universe being a regular cubic lattice of points, with an observable effect occurring when light travels parallel to the lines of the lattice, sort of like getting your car tyres stuck in tram tracks.

So what can we make of this? Continue reading

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Higgs and the Luminiferous Aether

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

– J R R Tolkien

Peter Higgs (* 1929)

Peter Higgs (* 1929) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The recent release of conclusive evidence of the existence of a Higgs(-like) particle is truly a significant step in the development of human knowledge. So as an adherent of digital physics (DP) it is natural for me to consider whether that fits well with DP or if it’s problematic. Well the good news is that I think it fits very nicely indeed and I’d like to weave a tale that tries to explain why. It will touch on various things such as special relativity, wave-particle duality, and other details of particle physics. But most importantly of all, it will be presented with graphics vastly improved on my previous pathetic effort.

When I started mulling over DP, I was interested in thinking through any and all of the known facts of particle physics and see how they stand up to digital models. I wanted to see if I could identify some fact that was unambiguously at odds with DP, so that I could stop wasting my time and move on with my life. I often thought I’d come up against one, but by perseverance it was always possible to see that you couldn’t actually completely rule out DP on the grounds of any known fact. Of which I was aware.

Except for one…. Continue reading

Why The Big Bang? Part 3: Networks

“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”       –     Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

In the previous two parts I discussed two ideas:

                That the universe is finite.

                That any computable mathematical structure exists in the same sense as our universe exists.

I would now like to suggest the general form of structure our universe takes: that of a network or graph. I’ll be considering a network to be a finite number of points, some of which are connected and some are not. That’s it. For example:

Network

Clunky graphics I know, but I’m working on it. Continue reading

Why The Big Bang? Part 2: Existence

“All is number”       –        Pythagorean School

In Part 1 I attempted to present some of the philosophical reasons why we may think infinity is a pretty dodgy concept. I now want to address the second and third questions I posed

What do we mean when we say mathematics exists?

What do we mean when we say the universe exists?

Much has been said about reality and existence, probably way too much. I’m not trying to introduce new ground here, just present a view that I think goes nicely with the idea that everything is finite. That view is known as the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH) an idea originated by Max Tegmark. It states that our universe is nothing more nor less than a mathematical structure. It implies that any mathematical structure exists in the same sense that our universe exists. I won’t elaborate on this in great detail (I hope to in a later post) but I’d like to give some brief motivation to this idea. Continue reading

Hello

Hello. This blog is about digital physics (DP), a fringe-but-not-fringe view of the fundamental physics of the universe that considers the physics of the very small to be ultimately discrete – both with respect to distance and time. My aim is to present some readable, understandable commentary on issues around DP for anyone interested and prepared to listen. While I may present some mathematics, I’ll attempt to keep the wordy parts comprehensible on their own.

I also plan to create some simulations (with movies) but alas, I may well be confusing Ambition with Ability. Continue reading