Are we living inside an enormous computer simulation – unaware that our lives are basically someone else’s video game?
Tech visionary Elon Musk claimed last year that there is only a ‘one in billions’ chance that our reality is actually real.
But theoretical physicists have shown what might be proof that we are not inside a Matrix-style simulation – by discovering a phenomenon which is impossible to simulate.
Researchers from Oxford University, writing in Science Advances, say that simulations are unable to replicate systems with gravitational anomalies, such as the thermal Hall conductance effect.
To storee information about the movement of just a few hundred electrons would require a computer built from more atoms than there are in the universe, researchers say.
‘Our work provides an intriguing link between two seemingly unrelated topics: gravitational anomalies and computational complexity,’ said co-author Zohar Ringel, a professor at Hebrew University.
‘It also shows that the thermal Hall conductance is a genuine quantum effect: one for which no local classical analogue exists.’
Elon Musk, speaking last year, said that the proof that we might be living in the Matrix came from videogames.
He said that given how quickly games were evolving, that at some point in the future, there would be billions of simulated worlds running at once.
That means there will be so many simulations that the odds of being in the one, real reality are extremely low, Musk said.