I believe my friends have heard the story of Zhuang Zhou’s dream of butterflies. One day, Zhuang Zhuang had a dream in which he became a butterfly, vivid and lifelike. Butterfly flies happily. Suddenly Zhuang Zhou wakes up and finds that it is a dream.
If an ordinary person has such a realistic dream, he will not think much about it, but Zhuang Zhou is different. After he wakes up, he thinks like this: is it Zhuangzi’s dream to become a butterfly or a butterfly’s dream to become Zhuangzi? This is the first question about the reality of the real world.
Maybe in the eyes of many people, the world we live in is so real, how can it be false? However, with the continuous progress of human science and technology, especially the continuous progress of virtual reality technology and quantum mechanics, many scientists began to rethink the question that Zhuang Zhou once asked: is our world real?
Nick bostum, a philosopher at Oxford University, pointed out that the world we live in may be a virtual reality “simulated” by advanced civilization. Once this “simulation hypothesis” was put forward, it caused great controversy. Some people supported this hypothesis, while others opposed it. If this hypothesis is correct, then all the physical rules that human beings perceive and study now are either wrong or just the tip of the iceberg of the real universe.
Hillary Putnam also put forward the famous hypothesis of “brain in a VAT” in 1981, so what is “brain in a VAT”? Hillary Putnam pointed out that since everything we perceive is transmitted to the brain by nerves, is it possible for a scientist to simulate various environments for a brain with advanced science and technology? For this brain, he is experiencing different lives every day and thinks that everything is real.
But in fact, all these are set up and simulated by scientists. How can a brain’s consciousness tell whether its world is real or virtual? Some people may think that the brain can’t tell whether the world is real, just like when we are in a dream, it’s hard to know that it’s a dream.
So is that really the case? In fact, it is not necessary to know that there is no perfect thing in this world. As long as it is false, it will inevitably have some loopholes. If the world is virtual, there must be some loopholes. As long as we can find this loophole, it is possible to judge whether the world is real or not.
Is there such a loophole in our world? We use an experiment in high school to illustrate, and maybe we can give the answer. “Double slit interference experiment” is a very simple experiment that I believe all my friends who have been in high school have done. It proves the wave particle duality of photons through this experiment. Wave particle duality means that particles in the universe have two states of particles and waves.
It was originally a simple experiment, but great changes have taken place later. Scientists upgraded this simple experiment, hoping to use electronic cameras to observe the process of photons generating waves and particles through the gap. But when the scientists turned on the electronic camera, everything changed. Photons did not leave interference fringes on the back baffle, but just showed the state of particles.
The results surprised scientists. What’s going on? After the electronic camera was turned off, the interference condition of photons miraculously reappeared. Through repeated experiments, the results are the same. Later, scientists did a delay experiment, that is, when photons pass through the gap and produce interference fringes, they put the camera, but the result is the same, and the interference conditions disappear.
Through this experiment, we understand that the behavior of the observer will directly affect the way photons pass through the gap, and even our behavior can affect the “past” of photons. How to explain this phenomenon? Scientists try to explain this problem with the theory of parallel universe, but some people think of virtual cosmology, and think that this experiment can prove that the world we live in may be simulated.
In fact, in addition to the “double slit interference experiment”, there are also some doubts about some theories, such as the theory of constancy of light speed. In our universe, the speed of light is the fastest speed of matter, and no matter can surpass the speed of light. However, the universe is vast and vast. At present, the observable universe has reached 93 billion light-years. If the speed of light can’t be surpassed, it means that human beings will be trapped in a limited space forever and can’t really explore the universe.
Since the universe is so vast, why is the speed limited to the speed of light? This makes us feel very strange. Some people think it’s intentional? The purpose is not to let people really understand the universe and discover the truth behind it?
If this conjecture is correct, who will set the speed limit for human beings? If it is in the real universe, it is very difficult to limit the speed. Even if the alien civilization is much more advanced by us, it can not affect and change the rules of the universe. But what if our universe is a simulated virtual universe? It’s very easy to set the speed limit.
I believe many friends like the game, and the rules in the game can be set freely by the degree. You can set the speed of the object in the game as fast as you want. There is no problem at all. In the same way, if our world is simulated by advanced civilization, then all the physical rules of the world can be easily set.
Seeing such a result, many people may be afraid. What impact will it have on us? It doesn’t really matter. No matter whether our world is real or virtual, human life will not change, what we should do and what we should continue to do. Even in the near future, after the virtual reality technology matures, we can create a virtual world and set rules for the world. People living in this world can not feel that it is a simulated virtual world.
Of course, all of the above are just conjectures for human beings. Whether the world is real or virtual still needs the continuous efforts and exploration of scientists. I believe that with the continuous progress of human science and technology, we will find more laws of the universe and more truth. I believe that in the near future, all doubts will be answered.