This is a question I was asked recently, and the answer seems to be “yes”. The most plausible explanation may be that we have developed the ability to create simulated realities that enable us to live more fulfilling lives; the simulation hypothesis is a plausible explanation for the evolution of the world we see around us.
How did we get here regarding simulation theory?
The Simulation hypothesis is not the only “what if” hypothesis. Another possible “what if” might be that the world we live in is not just an evolved, adaptive mechanism but the first “reality” that was created by an advanced intelligent civilisation. The simulation model may also explain the recent discovery that the laws of physics are often a result of an “evolutionary” process rather than a specific set of laws, as is widely accepted, but some researchers are arguing that this process is not just evolution, but evolution on a very large scale.
We know with great certainty that the universe is a complex structure made up of the basic building blocks that we find in our everyday world, but how did it begin? One of the oldest and most widely accepted theories is the Big Bang theory. The theory is based on the belief, now called “inflation or cosmological inflation,” that the universe is expanding. Some researchers believe the universe began as a very hot and dense region of space, which began to contract as it expanded. The contracting expansion caused matter to lose its mass while being stretched into its present shape, then the laws of physics began to “remember” this change in state of matter. The laws of physics have a tendency to recreate the new state of matter as an old one, creating stars, and galaxies, which then begin to evolve into more complex structures. In principle, we know we’re not living in a world that evolved to form stars and galaxies alone, but rather a universe that has undergone a process of growth.
This process is referred to as quantum mechanics, and although this theory is not perfect, it has been the subject of substantial investigation by astronomers for thousands of years.
What exactly is Quantum Mechanics.
The most important thing to remember about quantum mechanics is that it can only explain the behaviour of subatomic particles (atoms) and their interaction with matter. However, it can also explain other strange features of quantum physics, such as the observer effect and Schrödinger’s cat. The theory has also been shown to be extremely useful for the study of nuclear energy and matter.
Quantum mechanics describes an extremely small aspect of the physical world called sub-atomic particles, called qubits. These qubits carry information using a strange property of electrons.
These qubits can be in both quantum states simultaneously. For example, a state may be a photon or a superposition of two states. Because of this strange property, the qubits cannot be broken down into ‘ones’ and ‘zeros’. Instead, they are in a superposition of the two states and can be combined to create an intermediate ‘state’ that can only be read in either of the two states. This is quantum information.
So, in one quantum state, our eyes can see the photon. This is because we know that we can use the electron’s superposition to tell us which of the two states our eyes can see. In that case, there are two possible outcomes of either seeing the photon or not seeing the photon. This means that if we could have access to the information about one of these outcomes, like ‘can the photon see me? Can the quantum state we are in see me?’, then we would know which state we are in and, consequently, can perform the operation mentioned. The information can be read as a combination of the state’s initial condition (i.e. it’s ‘read’) and the outcome of the measurement.
In this way, a measurement does not actually alter any of the bits stored in the qubit; if you think of it that way, the results won’t influence the bits in any way. Instead, they affect just the state in which the bits are stored – and only the state in which the bits are stored.
What does the measurement of this quantum state have to do with the measurement we mentioned?
A photon, in our example, is the measurement of the state we mentioned, but the information on which state it is, is also stored in the photon. A photon can therefore only be measured in two different states (because this would violate the fact that the states can be in both quantum states simultaneously). The measurement we talked about earlier, then, has to relate to the information that’s already written onto the photon, as well as whether the photon is in a superposition of the two states.
So yes, the simulation theory is here to stay. For how long? Well, until someone can prove otherwise. There are some big names such as Elon Musk, who strongly believe that the simulation theory is more than just a theory. They believe that we are one hundred percent, living in a simulation rite now. But before you decide between the red or blue pill, know that this theory has a long way to go before hard evidence can be produced. There is also a change that if we are in a simulation, it may be designed so that we can never prove it. It is all speculation and theory. You also need to ask yourself, does it truly matter if we are living in a simulation? There is the argument that ignorance, after all, may truly be bliss.