The Simulation Hypothesis: Evidence From Physics

The Simulation Hypothesis: Evidence From Physics
By John Prytz

If physics is inconsistent it’s more likely we’re in a computer simulation. If physics is internally self-consistent then it’s more likely we’re in a really real reality. Alas, we have contradictions / inconsistencies in physics – relativity vs. quantum mechanics for example. Therefore, according to cosmologist George Smoot (on YouTube), you exist in a simulation and physics can prove it. However, here’s my initial collection of evidence from physics.

The Simulation Hypothesis and Neutrino Oscillations.

Neutrinos come in three ‘flavors’ or in three generations that mirror other matter particles which also come in three generations. The trinity of neutrinos are the electron-neutrino, the muon-neutrino and the tau-neutrino. While all are electrically neutral, they all have different masses – tiny, but not zero. Now the interesting and anomalous thing is that when they travel, say from being produced in the Sun to when they pass right through you (and billions and billions of them do so every second), the trilogy of neutrinos oscillate between themselves. Each can and does morph into the others and back again*. But they don’t have the same masses, so where do the increases / decreases in mass come from and go to? Special effects to the rescue?

*It’s like a moving golf ball morphs into a billiard ball into a bowling ball and back again for reason or reasons unknown with no explanation of where the increases in mass comes from or goes back into.

The Simulation Hypothesis and Antimatter.

Cosmological and theoretical physics predicts that the amounts of matter and antimatter in the Universe should be in (roughly at least) equal amounts. They’re not – apparently at least. Oops! This theoretical postulate is confirmed in laboratory experiments when energy is converted to matter. You get matter – antimatter equality. You get a pair of particles one each matter and its antimatter equivalent. The same applies to the vacuum energy that creates ‘virtual’ matter – antimatter particle pairs. They are ‘virtual’ in that they appear and annihilate too quickly to be observed at leisure. Further, when an electron meets and greets a positron (equal and opposite electric charge) you get a Ka-Boom. When an electron meets and greets a proton (equal and opposite electric charge), no Ka-Boom! Something is screwy somewhere. Can software explain screwiness? Actually it might make just as much sense for a particle (like an electron) and its anti-particle (like a positron) to just merge into one electrically neutral particle with twice the mass (which in turn might be unstable and decay back into a particle (like an electron) and its anti-particle (like a positron).

The Simulation Hypothesis and Quantum Physics.

When it comes to quantum mechanics / physics I could easily give a half-dozen examples of “it can’t be therefore it isn’t vs. I know what I saw”. I’ll restrict myself to just one example, an issue that apparently no one else finds an issue with – and that too is an anomaly. The issue under the investigative gun here is Radioactive Decay.

We all know about radioactivity (nuclear fission) and how some atomic nuclei are unstable and will at some point decay into more stable forms. So far – so good. The first issue is that nobody can predict when any particular unstable nuclei will go poof. There is no ultimate reason why one nucleus will go poof in five minutes and its next door neighbour won’t poof over the next five hundred years. There is no apparent causality involved. That alone is “Twilight Zone” stuff, but wait, there’s more. As we learn in high school, though the why is never explained, unstable (radioactive) nuclei decay or go poof in a fixed mathematical way, known by the phrase called the “half-life”. An example would be if half of the unstable nuclei went poof in one year; one half of what remains unstable goes poof during the next year; one half of what is still unstable decays in the third year; one half of what remains after that goes poof in the fourth year, and so on down the line until all the unstable nuclei have gone poof.

Now IMHO that radioactive half-life decay progression makes absolutely no sense. If nuclei go poof for no reason at all, all those that go poof should do so in a totally random fashion – no fixed pattern. Since there is a fixed pattern that suggests to me that the unstable nuclei have to ‘know’ about this half-life obligation they are required to follow. They are self-aware enough to know when it is their turn to suicide (decay) in order to keep up appearances; maintain the quantum social order, and keep the half-life relationship valid.

Translated, radioactive decay happens for absolutely no reason whatsoever. There is no causality. There is no cause and effect. Things go poof – well, things just go poof. How can you have both a total lack of causality AND maintain such military or mathematical (half-life) precision? It’s pure bovine fertilizer.

Speaking of radioactive decay, doesn’t it strike you as rather odd that NO known physical or chemical process can alter in the slightest the rate of radioactive decay. Well there’s apparently one exception, that being the “Observer Effect*” (i.e.- the Quantum Zeno Effect) wherein that somehow or other pure human observation can have an effect on radioactive nuclei going poof. That IMHO is just piling an anomaly on top of an anomaly (physics / chemistry having no influence on unstable atomic nuclei) on top of the anomaly already referred to in the preceding three paragraphs.

Now you may well say that you can’t increase the speed of light (in a vacuum), but you can slow light down (in air, water, glass, etc.). You may well say that you can’t block out gravity, but you can add and subtract from it and even nullify it (i.e. – that state of weightlessness). Further, you can speed up, slow down and even reverse chemical reactions; in theory Maxwell’s Demon can negate entropy; and although you can’t create or destroy matter / energy, you can convert one into the other. Radioactive decay seems to be the Lone Ranger – the untouchable.

*The reason that quantum physics cannot explain the Observer Effect, how an observer causes the transition from possibility (superposition-of-state) to actuality (collapse of the wave-function) is that there is no possibility ever involved, only actuality, and thus there is no Observer Effect that needs explaining.

The Simulation Hypothesis and Radioactive Decay.

Quite apart from previously mentioned anomalies with respect to radioactive decay, mainly how something can happen for absolutely no reason at all and how that in turn can generate a precise mathematical relationship (the half-life), there’s the issue that no known physical or chemical (or for that matter biological) process can alter the rate at which any one particular type of unstable atomic nuclei (like say C-14, or U-238) decay. How strange is that! Of course that’s explainable if the rate of decay is just software encoded.

The Simulation Hypothesis and Wave / Particle Dualism.

Another category of “it can’t be therefore it isn’t vs. I know what I saw” is that category where something both can’t be and not be at the same time and in the same place. This category tends to go under the name of dualism. There tends to be two types of anomalous dualisms – the body – brain / mind dualism and the wave / particle dualism in quantum physics. I’ll just start with the latter…

Wave / Particle Dualism:

Wave-particle duality happens to be just one of those given anomalies in quantum physics that happen to vex us. Physicists, I suspect, need to go beyond the current state of textbook descriptions to come to terms with how a particle (with mass/energy) can shape-shift into a wave with associated wavelength and frequency, and then shape-shift back into a particle again. The double-slit experiment is a case in point.

The equipment is pretty basic. You have an ‘electron’ gun that can fire particles (either elementary as in electrons; or whole atoms, molecules, even Buckminsterfullerene a.k.a. Bucky-Balls or C-60) acting as tiny ‘bullets’. There’s no question here about the status of these ‘bullets’ – they are ‘particles’ with structure and substance – they have mass. This ‘electron’ gun can fire these ‘bullets’ either in rapid-fire mode, down to one-at-a-time. You have two slits as the target in front of the gun that can each be either open or closed. You have a detector screen behind the two slits to record where the ‘bullets’ hit, and finally you have an observer or measuring instrument equivalent, like a camera.

Methodology: Fire the ‘bullets’ from the ‘electron’ gun at a slit or at both slits rapidly or one-at-a-time, detect the resulting patterns where they hit the detector screen and as a separate exercise observe the ‘bullets’ actually going through the slits (to determine independently which slit or both the ‘bullets’ actually went through). In another separate exercise, observe the ‘bullets’ after they pass through the slit(s) but before they hit the detector screen. That way there is no absolute way the ‘bullets’ can morph from wave-behavior to particle-behavior or vice-versa. This final bit is called the Delayed Double-Slit experiment. Now prepare to get a headache so have some aspirin on standby.

Experiment One – Rapid-Fire Mode with One Slit Open:

  • Expected Results: One blob of hits behind the one open slit.

  • Actual Results: One blob of hits behind the one open slit. OK!

Experiment Two – Rapid-Fire Mode with Two Slits Open:

  • Expected Results: Two blobs of hits; one each behind each open slit.

  • Actual Results: No blobs just a wave-interference pattern! What? Take an aspirin.

Experiment Three – One-At-A-Time Mode with One Slit Open:

  • Expected Results: One blob of hits behind the one open slit.

  • Actual Results: One blob of hits behind the one open slit. OK!

Experiment Four – One-At-A-Time Mode with Two Slits Open:

  • Expected Results: Two blobs of hits; one each behind each open slit.

  • Actual Results: No blobs, just that wave-interference pattern! Double What? Take an aspirin.

Experiment Five – One-At-A-Time Mode with One Slit Open [+] Observer:

  • Expected Results: One blob of hits behind the one open slit.

  • Actual Results: One blob of hits behind the one open slit. OK!

Experiment Six – One-At-A-Time Mode with Two Slits Open [+] Observer:

  • Expected Results: Based on Experiment Four, a wave-interference pattern, not two blobs of hits; one each behind each open slit.

  • Actual Results: Two blobs of hits; one each behind each open slit. More What? Take another aspirin.

Experiment Seven – Rapid Fire Mode with One Slit Open [+] Delayed Observation:

  • Expected Results: You’ll see particle ‘bullets’.

  • Actual Results: You see particle ‘bullets’. OK!

Experiment Eight – Rapid Fire Mode with Two Slits Open [+] Delayed Observation:

  • Expected Results: You’ll see a wave-interference pattern.

  • Actual Results: You see particle ‘bullets”. That’s the final What? If your stomach can handle it, take another aspirin.


A matter particle (like an electron or neutrino) is an actual thing with mass, spin, charge, angular momentum, etc., depending on exactly what particle you’re talking about. Any matter particle can be in motion but cannot wave all over the place without external forces acting on it, as per Newton’s laws of motion. So if an electron or neutrino waves, one has to state what external forces are acting on it to cause that wave motion behaviour.

A force particle (i.e. – a photon or a graviton) on the other hand isn’t really a thing being without any actual structure or made of any actual substance. Particles without mass, like photons or gravitons can wave all over the place without external forces acting on it. The wave behaviour is a property part and parcel of such particles and so you have light waves and radio waves and gravity waves but not electron waves or alpha waves or carbon atom waves or bucky-ball waves. Unlike matter particles which should have no wave behaviour that is an intrinsic or innate property part and parcel of such particles, force particles don’t require any medium in which to wave – they just wave.

The upshot of all of that is that you’d expect force particles to exhibit wave behaviour but not matter particle behaviour – bullet behaviour is expected as the type of behaviour matter particles exhibit. You’d expect matter particles to exhibit bullet behaviour but not force particle wave behaviour. That’s not what you get and therein lies the “it can’t be therefore it vs. I know what I saw” anomaly.

A wave is just a shape. A shape in and of itself isn’t a thing. It may have structure but it doesn’t have any substance. A wave is composed of lots of individual things like the atoms / molecules that make up air which can conduct sound waves; or water molecules which allows for the propagation of ocean waves. Just one thing in isolation isn’t a wave and doesn’t give rise to any wave phenomena. One oxygen atom won’t conduct sound; one water molecule wouldn’t conduct an ocean wave. One oxygen atom or one water molecule however can itself wave if the right set of forces are applied to it. But one oxygen atom or one water molecule isn’t elastic and can’t in and of itself stretch out and take on a wave shape. An electron fired out of an electron gun in your TV set doesn’t hit the inside of your TV screen as a smeared out wave but as a matter particle; as a point; as a tiny bullet.

On a more familiar macro scale, a flag can wave, but a flag itself is not a wave. Tree branches can wave in the wind, but a tree branch itself is not a wave. A whip in motion waves, but a whip itself isn’t a wave. A vibrating tuning-fork waves back and forth, but a tuning fork isn’t itself a vibration or a wave. The same applies to say a tympani or any other musical instrument. Your heart vibrates / beats or oscillates rhythmically but your heart itself is not a vibration or a wave. Therefore, anything that waves or vibrates isn’t itself a wave or a vibration. Anything that waves or vibrates is just something in motion and motion isn’t a thing. You can’t hold motion in your hand or tell me what motion is composed of or what kind of structure it has.

One question already comes to mind, why that wave shape and not some other shape?

The Simulation Hypothesis and the Illusion of ‘Solid’ Matter.

Your reality appears to be pretty solid. Even water waves and the wind can knock you around. But in actual reality 99.9999% of what appears to be solid is actually quite empty space. How can something that relatively empty appear so solid? How can you yourself be 99.9999% empty space? More special effects; another example of a simulation? Software is an excellent way of simulating weirdness.

The Simulation Hypothesis and the Value of the Physical Constants.

There are a lot of physical constants in nature like the electric charge on an electron / positron; the speed of light in a vacuum; the mass of each of the six quarks; the boiling and freezing points of pure water at standard temperature and pressure, etc. Now of course the values have to be something and it would be pretty weird to think that they could or would change*, but why they are what they are is a total mystery. The values of nature’s constants cannot be calculated or determined from first principles. Now if natural is just a simulation, well the programmed software would have to give those exact values to those constants, and in such a way as to result in everything hanging together coherently.

*And if some ‘constants’ did in fact change, and there is some evidence that some have, well that’s good evidence of what we would otherwise call a software upgrade.

The Simulation Hypothesis and String Theory.

Extra Dimensions Are Hogwash: Where string theory falls off the rails IMHO is that in order to work, the Universe has got to be comprised of not the standard three spatial dimensions and the one dimension in time we’re used to existing in, but a total of ten, even eleven dimensions, with means six or so more spatial dimensions than just up-down, left-right, and back-forward. Sorry, it’s those extra dimensions that tip the weirdness quotient off the scales. Extra dimensions can’t be really real and therefore they aren’t, but the (I know what I saw) mathematics demands them. Just saying, as string theorists are prone to do, that these extra dimensions are curled up and so tiny we don’t notice them strikes me as a bit of a cop-out. If extra dimensions actually exist, just produce the experimental evidence already. On the other hand, as numerous educational videos on string theory have shown, extra / hidden dimensions can indeed be made visible. However, those extra / hidden dimensions are just special effects, no more and no less.

Science librarian; retired.

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