Feeds

back to article ENTIRE UNIVERSE created in supercomputer. Not THIS universe (probably)

Researchers at MIT and Harvard have created a a giant virtual universe – 350 million light-years squared – which can be used to simulate the real universe's development from 12 million years after the Big Bang to the present day, or around 13 billion years' worth of expansion. Dubbed Illustris, the pocket universe uses over 12 …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge

You are here.

Presumably it extrapolates the whole thing from a small piece of fairy cake?

12
0
Silver badge

Re: You are here.

Either way, it's good work - Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters all 'round.

15
0

Re: You are here.

No it was a giant man who said hocus pocus, and everything appeared. A giant manface in the sky created the entire universe. Ha Ha Ha

2
2

Re: You are here.

So wrong. It was a quantum fluctuation in non-space and non-time (space and time don't come about until after the fluctuation, which makes no sense because there is no before the after) which then hyper expanded, driven by an energy we cannot identify so we just call it "dark". Ha ha ha.

2
0

Re: You are here.

One simpler idea, the 'universe' is infinitely large and infinitely old.

There are properties and particles that just exist, one is the strong attraction of particles,

the other is the general vacuum expansion of infinite empty space.

Eventually enough dust congregates together and chain reacts to makes a huge explosion.

It happens many times over infinity, what we see as the big bang is just one such occurrence.

The universe was already here we are part of a big bang, there are other big bangs further out there.

0
0

Shouldn't a simulation of the universe be measured in cubic light years?

12
0
Silver badge

"Shouldn't a simulation of the universe be measured in cubic light years?"

Only from our point of view - other lifeforms may have thier own measurements (dependng on the number of handily available dimensions) - and anyway, what the hell are you doing trying to introduce cubic light years to the Reg?

We need a better unit than that.

I mean, what's a cubic light year in comparison to the space in a politicians head?

One is far emptier than the other but contains a lot more bullshit than a cubic light year.

1
2

I think his point was that a universe of 350 million light-years squared implies it's a 2-dimensional, planar universe.

4
0
Bronze badge

You complain about politicians but the alternative is men with guns.

Germany voted against traditional politicians in 1933. It was a long time before they voted again, especially in the eastern parts.

1
0
Bronze badge

Godwin already? ^^;

Armed invasion of foreign nations, to remove unsympathetic governments and install a different government more amenable to your cause... I could be talking about Poland and France, or perhaps Iraq and Afghanistan. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, n'est ce pas?

1
0
Silver badge

Good stuff

Now all we need is for David Braben to include this model in the next version of Elite: Frontier (with procedurally generated surfaces for known extrasolar planets, natch, and of course Lave has to be in there somewhere...)

6
0
Pint

Elite: Dangerous (by David Braben) coming to a PC near you soon!

www.kickstarter.com/projects/1461411552/elite-dangerous

2
0
DJO
Bronze badge

Re: Good stuff

Somehow I doubt if this will fit on a single floppy disc like the original Elite did, I suspect a game that needs a truck full of discs for the universe might not be hugely popular. Otherwise a great idea.

2
0

Re: Elite: Dangerous (by David Braben) coming to a PC near you soon!

I know lets make it an mmo.

hmmm.. maybe call it something like eve online :)

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Good stuff

Maybe if he lets you sell it when you're bored with it.

Otherwise, no thanks. My copy, my license, my property. To give away or throw in a bonfire if I so choose. Not yours, Mr "I hate Second Hand Games" Braben.

0
1
Silver badge

Re: Good stuff

> I doubt if this will fit on a single floppy disc

You may be right. This is what docking with a space station used to look like, and this is what it looks like now.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Elite: Dangerous (by David Braben) coming to a PC near you soon!

"I know lets make it an mmo."

My God... it's full of stars....

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Good stuff

"You may be right. This is what docking with a space station used to look like, and this is what it looks like now."

Pretty... I have a death wish, and an uncontrollable urge to pop off a missile or two and provoke the Vipers.

2
0

Strange

Watching that made me feel just how much empty there is out there....

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Strange

The universe is funny that way. It's amazing how much empty is between nuclei and the electron shell as well, yet somehow it all seems solid.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

That's pretty badass.

And the best part is that in a few years, we'll be able to run it in real time as live wallpaper on our phones...

6
0
Bronze badge

Well, Moore's Law is running out of steam lately, so we may have to wait a little longer. Still, I hope we do make progress, so I can upload myself.

1
2
Silver badge

no need for Moore

You can always run a set of a couple of iterations in a loop. Will be a bit before you're tired of that.. ;)

0
0
Silver badge

> we'll be able to run it in real time as live wallpaper on our phones

That's not the direction technology is going any more. You'll be able to STREAM it on your phone.

2
0
Silver badge

We could be in a simulation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Bostrom#Simulation_argument

1
3

Re: We could be in a simulation

You, and everything else, might be simulated, but I know my thoughts are not.

3
1
Silver badge

Re: We could be in a simulation

@BIll

If consciousness is an emergent property, arising once a particular threshold of complexity has been passed then how do you know that your consciousness is not an emergent property of a suitably advanced simulation?

One might argue that simulating a universe in enough detail to give birth to such a phenomenon would be impossible but that would be discounting the possibility that the simulation is in fact a crude representation of a significantly more complex 'real' universe.

I would think it would be impossible to prove that 'real' universe wasn't an infinitely older and more complex beast in which a civilisation had advanced far enough to have harnessed computing power on the order of magnitude sufficient to run a simulation of a universe to the detail we observe.

Remember, too, that there are still bits of this universe that elude our grasp, such as singularities. Who's to say that our inability to predict behaviour at a singularity isn't the product of some 'fudge factor' employed in a simulation? Or the uncertainty principle.

Or dark matter - perhaps our inability to account for some observations is due to a shortcut taken?

All very wishy-washy but the point is that the only way to maintain your position that your experience of consciousness is proof that you don't live in a simulation is to hold that consciousness is something outside of any natural law - something that can't be created except through a supernatural agency, whatever that may be.

Which is, of course, fine if that's the position you take!

2
2

Re: We could be in a simulation

@DougS

We could be. But that theory adds no new explanations for what we observe. Moreover, it would require additional explanations, if true. Hence, we choose to drop it. Please just drop it. It's old and boring. Like me.

Great picture - good work.

2
1
Bronze badge
Alien

@Dan1980

We don't know. Let's just hope that some mega being has our simulation plugged into a decent UPS or whatever the meta equivalent is.

Read Greg Egan's "Permutation City"

0
0
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: We could be in a simulation

"If consciousness is an emergent property, arising once a particular threshold of complexity has been passed then how do you know that your consciousness is not an emergent property of a suitably advanced simulation?"

It doesn't really matter. Descartes pondered this question as to whether he existed and concluded that it didn't matter, by just questioning it, either he himself or a different being that he was part of was doing the thinking. Cogito ergo sum, as he eloquently concludes :-)

3
0
Silver badge

Re: We could be in a simulation

>You, and everything else, might be simulated, but I know my thoughts are not.

That's what they want you to think.

1
1

Re: We could be in a simulation

A simulation of what?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: We could be in a simulation

@Annihilator

"It doesn't really matter."

Absolutely. Well, not to me at least - I couldn't care a fig if I am 'real' or a simulation. Given that we can only perceive the world through the filter of ourselves, the question is largely nonsensical.

Which is what I take out of that most famous of assertions.

The poster I was responding to seemed (to me) to be taking it to mean "I think therefore I am real", whereas I read it: "I think therefore I am an entity capable of thinking."

In other words, all we can say is that we are aware of our own thought process, but beyond that, we cannot be sure. We cannot even say where these thoughts originate from, only that we are aware of having them.

At the moment, I am acutely aware of having finished my beer.

2
1
Silver badge

Re: We could be in a simulation

@Andy Davies

"A simulation of what?"

The way I am positioned right now; a simulation of a world without light or happiness of rest or, most importantly, beer.

Perhaps (present activites not withstanding) it is merely a simulation of Dan working too hard. That would explain it actually - I certainly would prefer not to be working.

1
2
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: We could be in a simulation

why would anyone want to simulate such tedium?

2
0

Re: We could be in a simulation

just think, they could be saying to each other "yes that is a fair representation of what we see in reality" just before they switch us off.

Reminds me of an old Scifi story where scientists developed a sim universe and the occupants promptly broke out, anyone remember the story?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: We could be in a simulation

"anyone remember the story?"

The 13th floor? - or whatever it's based on...

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: We could be in a simulation

Universe or multiverse?

Sounds like it was designed by computer people, with the traditional uni/multi confusion.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: We could be in a simulation

"Brain: that with which we think we think"

Ambrose Bierce, Devil's Dictionary.

1
0

Re: We could be in a simulation

I think you're confusing simulation with duplication. If there could be a clone of the universe, then surely consciousness would be possible in the clone. But the universe can't be cloned or duplicated, can it? Maybe consciousness could be simulated, but then it wouldn't be "real," would it?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: We could be in a simulation

> Scifi story where scientists developed a sim universe and the occupants promptly broke out

'The Cyberiad' by Stanislaw Lem. Also a great many episodes of Star Trek.

0
0

Re: We could be in a simulation

I think you have missed a point.

If we can run the sim in enough detail, at some point we will create god/gods and at that point all will become self furfulling with (insert god name of your choice) then taking over and filling in the details you missed..

Of cource (insert god name of your choice) has a far better computer than us becouse ( insert god name of your choice) if he/her realy cared microsoft would never come about, and apple would have developed in to a truly (we can hope) relieable and increadable op sys, my be Siri would be a new god instead of google and could answer all our questions in a sexy voice with a nude hologram doing all we request,.....

Bring on the ault, sim future i want to live there

0
1

Re: Manning120 - We could be in a simulation

If consciousness is simulated, then it is conscious, so would be as "real" as our consciousness, which many have said is not real.

0
0

Re: We could be in a simulation

"It doesn't really matter", well not really, but it's fun to think (cogito) about. Does anyone "really" care what the end of the universe will be in a gagillion years from now, or how it began a gagillion years ago. Not existentially (the "sum" part of Descartes famous quote). I don't think I remember the big bang, nor do I suspect I will live to see the IR heat decay long after the stars wink out. I suspect I will die long before then.

0
0

Wonderful

An image: the dark matter looks like a nerve network. A question: Could the universe rotate like shown in the film?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Wonderful

Rotate relative to what?

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Wonderful

No. Probably.

0
0
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Wonderful

"Rotate relative to what?"

Rotate relatives to different homes each Xmas to avoid getting the drunken uncle once a year.

1
0

Re: Wonderful

The observer, of course.

1
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.