German scientists say they've found a way to tell whether or not our universe is a giant computer simulation - and that there's evidence to suggest that it is.
The basis of the idea is that, if the universe is a simulation, then it would have certain observable constraints.
The laws of physics, which appear continuous, would have to be superimposed onto a discrete three-dimensional lattice which advances in steps of time.
This lattice spacing, says Professor Silas Beane of the University of Bonn, would impose an otherwise unnecessary limit on the energy that particles can have, because nothing can exist that is smaller than the lattice itself.
And, he says, precisely such a a cut-off in the spectrum of high energy particles exists: a limit to the energy of cosmic rays known as the Greisen–Zatsepin–Kuzmin (GZK) cut-off. High energy particles interacting with the cosmic microwave background lose energy as they travel across long distances.
If recent measurements of cosmic ray particles are correct, then we may have the first evidence that the universe as we know it is really a giant computer simulation.
Humans have explored the laws of our universe for many years now, and it's not uncommon to hear people talk about how amazing it is that certain fundamental values are just right for life to exist. Some people have wondered if that's because the whole universe is actually some kind of sandbox simulation, and we're merely characters in some cosmic game of The Sims. If that's true, then there should be a point where we start to bump up against the edges of the simulator, like Jim Carrey's character escaping from The Truman Show -- and now a team of physicists think that a particular measurement of some cosmic ray particles might be the first such indication of one of those edges.