December 7, 2023

This is how many bits the universe would have if it was a computer simulation

This is how many bits the universe would have if it was a computer simulation

The question of whether life and everything that surrounds it is just a simulation has been a matter of humanity for a long time. In addition, films such as The Matrix have intensively brought this idea into the public consciousness. In any case, the hypothesis that the universe could be a huge computer simulation was confirmed, since the latest calculations were used to determine the number of bits of information in the universe. Result: it should be 6 times 10^80 bits in the universe and this includes only the visible part of the universe.

Relationships between information, energy, and mass

In addition to the idea that the universe could be a computer simulation, the equivalence between energy and information was triggered 60 years ago by German-American scientist Rolf Landauer, because deleting a small part in a computer generates a tiny amount of heat, which is considered a form of energy. This is where Albert Einstein’s famous equation E = mc² comes in, which states that there is an equation for energy and mass. These findings led physicist Melvin Fobson of the University of Portsmouth to discover whether there could be a relationship between information, energy and mass.

Using Einstein’s equivalence principle, Melvin Fobson speculates that information could be a dominant form of matter in the universe. This should also include dark matter, which makes up most of the matter in the universe. On this basis, he decided to determine the amount of information content that can be in subatomic particles such as neutrons and protons. Their properties are mass, charge, and rotation, which make them distinct from each other and which can be referred to as information.

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Inconsistencies in account information sharing

In 1948, mathematician Claude Shannon described how to define and measure information. This sets the bits and values ​​0 and 1, which are used to measure information content. With this definition, Melvin Fobson is said to have calculated that a neutron or proton contains 1,509 bits of encoded information. Then extract the total number of particles to be identified in the universe, which should be about 10^80, in order to calculate the share of information in the universe afterwards. The exact number is incredibly large, but according to Melvin Fobson, it is still not supposed to cover the dark matter in space. This would require 10^93 bits of information, which he identified in one of his earlier work.

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However, he is unsure if his calculations are correct because he left other particles, including electrons, neutrinos and quarks, out of his calculations. According to the researcher, only neutrons and protons should be able to store information about themselves. Greg Laughlin, a Yale University astronomer who was not involved in this research, explains that not including all other particles led to such a huge discrepancy between the different accounts of the information.

The universe hypothesis as a computer simulation

In any case, such calculations are said to be useful to those who speculate that the universe is a giant computer simulation. This simulation hypothesis representsvery cool idea“Is there, as Greg Laughlin thinks.”Calculating the content of information – basically the number of pieces of memory needed to run the universe – is an interesting thing“But it is simply not possible to determine whether the universe is a computer simulation, which is why this idea remains only a hypothesis,” he adds.

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