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Researchers at the University of Washington plan to find out if we and the world we live in are real or just a simulation created by some complex supercomputer of the future.

Really.

Right now, computers are capable of mapping only the most microscopic fraction of the universe – the most ever modeled is 100 trillionth of a meter – and scientists say it will be “many years” before our computers have the power to know for sure if we’re living in a simulation – but even by looking at that trillionth of a meter, they believe they can detect signs that could point to our being just the creation of a future society’s technological prowess.

What’s more, the research might indicate the existence of inter-universe computer platforms. Contemplating the possibility, UW graduate student, Zohreh Davoudi, said, “Then the question is, ‘Can you communicate with those other universes if they are running on the same platform?’”

Leading the charge at UW is physics professor Martin Savage, whose recent paper on the topic, “Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation,” has attracted a lot of attention, generated more than 100 comments and turned Savage, whose regular day job involves mind-numbing mathematical computations, into a minor star. Whether he’s real or not remains to be seen.

Read more at the Seattle Times online

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