back to article We're not saying we're living in a simulation but someone's simulated the universe in a computer

A team of researchers has created the largest virtual model of our universe, complete with billions of galaxies, to probe the effects of dark energy and dark matter. The ambitious project took about three years to complete. A group of astrophysicists from the University of Zurich (UZH) developed their code, PKDGRAV3, to …

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  1. Joerg

    That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

    What a huge waste of time and resources to let these fake scientists play their little dumb games to claim nonsense theories based on zero facts other than their own waste !

    1. frank ly

      Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

      Please tell us your theories about expansion of the universe, etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

        Universe Expansion 101:

        The universe is expanding into a finite PATA HDD and when it runs out of space the expansion will stop and loads of exceptions will occur unless the giant sysadmin in the sky migrates us to another disk.

        The risk we face is that our universe exists on old legacy hardware in a server that has been forgotten about.

        Dark matter is encrypted porn and anti-matter is the fake encrypted volume that is shown when our sysadmin needs to give out a password to decrypt the data.

        Everything else is DLLs, drivers and old update installers that havent been purged.

        We are malware.

        Prove me wrong.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

          PATA HDD? No... old hat. I've heard that it will be migrated to SSD. Flash... Saviour of the universe.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

            "Flash... Saviour of the universe."

            Genuine LOL at that. (Possibly assisted by a bottle of red wine)

          2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

            Does that mean there'll be redudant flash too?

            And remember kids, even Jesus saves (Though if he's moved on from floppies yet is still up for theological debate).

            Mine's the one with a book marked don't panic.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

              Oh man we're already getting religious here, all I did was explain the universe and the nature of the drive we're on.

              You zealots are now talking about what kind of drive is the ideal drive and whether theres more than one drive.

              Allow me to weigh in.

              In the beginning was the drive and the drive was PATA. In the beginning it was also said "let there be light". Which could be interpreted as us existing on optical media. Which suggests that our existence is read only. I reject this as I prefer to think im in control of my own I/O.

              All those extremists out there crying "allahu SATA", you need to live life like theres no backup because like all sysadmins the great sysadmin probably has backups but they are probably untested and in reality are no comparison to the production filesystem. Also, volatile data generally doesnt make it into a backup. Volatile data only hangs around for a short period of time and then is permanently erased. Stop seeking to corrupt other peaceful data as corrupted data is quickly identified and there are ways to remove corrupted data. The last thing you want is an intercontinental ballistic chkdsk.

              To those worshipping multiple disks, this is a great theory but do we exist as a copy on each disk or is there a small block of each of us on each disk? Keep meditating and if you manage to access a higher level of being amongst the RAID controllers make sure you let us know.

              Those of you fighting over the borders of a partition, you need to understand that partitions are only logical, they dont really exist we all share the same physical space regardless. Partitions are man made and divide the space we all have a right to access.

              Finally, We're all better off if we assume this is the only disk, there are no backups and there are only finite resources available to us. Everything beyond that should be deemed as a bonus.

              We should all coexist peacefully until this disk of existence is thrown into the shredder to meet the universally mandated data protection protocol.

              Peace.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Boffin

                Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

                In the beginning the drive was PATA? I think you'll find that the old testement makes no mention of SATA but refers instead only to SMD. Most modern scholars, however, regard SMD as a later interpolation: no-one is sure what was there originally, although some claim some significance to the term 'RAMAC' which has been discovered in some apoarently-early versions of the sacred texts.

                1. TRT Silver badge

                  Re:In the beginning...

                  The Book of Gensys?

                  1. MyffyW Silver badge

                    Re: In the beginning...

                    In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded...

                    1. jake Silver badge

                      Re: In the beginning...

                      "In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded"

                      Kinda like my ex, then?

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

                However they could be running a parallel simulation universe on a parallel computer for comparison. Or even on the same computer....

                However the type of sik - SATA, PATA, SAS blah blah - may not entirely be relevant if its a vm. The light could be from the FC switch, so mybe it is possible to cross over the LUN masking and into the parallel universe.

                Or not.

            2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
              Alien

              Re: "don't panic"

              Exactly my thoughts and the Mice will win in the end once we realise that it is all about No 42 Acaia Avenue Surbiton.

              Everything else is a mere sideshow

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "don't panic"

                "Exactly my thoughts and the Mice will win in the end once we realise that it is all about No 42 Acaia Avenue Surbiton."

                Which is why the added the establishment at No.22 to distract us!

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

            Flashlamic State extreme bullshit is not welcome here.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

              "Flashlamic State"

              No need to bring the sata buslims into this.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

        My theory on the exopansion if the universe is that the this research group will need to request additional funding to continue their jobs^H^H^H^H^H research

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

      crawl back to your sitcom reruns

    3. Steve Knox
      Trollface

      Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

      Safe commenting tip: Don't forget the appropriate icon:

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

      I suppose by that thinking all those scientists through the ages who studied electricity shouldn't have bothered because for a lot of them it could be seen as a waste of time and resources.

      However then you would have no electricity which also means no computer so you wouldn't have been able to post your comment.

      I suppose you could always have painted it on a cave wall with your fingers.

      Anyway Mr caveman, do a little research before dismissing something as a waste of time, it might surprise you. I for one like this type of research, it may not be resolved in my life time but once it is then who knows what scientific advances can be made (see my example on electricity)

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

        "However then you would have no electricity which also means no computer so you wouldn't have been able to post your comment."
        And we'd be stuck watching television by candlelight!

    5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

      An excellent troll. Well played sit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

        An excellent troll. Well played sit.

        Must be a sit lord.

    6. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

      "What a huge waste of time and resources"

      Trump supporter, right...?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

        Trump supporter, right...?

        Don't remind me.

        2018 US HEP Budget

    7. Florida1920

      Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

      @Joerg

      Your rational-thinking simulation needs work.

    8. LDS Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

      Could we remove this guy from the simulation?

    9. uncommon_sense
      Facepalm

      Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

      Well said, Joerg!

      You are apparently the only person with a brain, which seems about normal in here...

      Quote:

      >to generate a whopping two trillion particles to form 25 billion galaxies.<

      Unquote.

      That is 80 particles per galaxy!

      I believe even the much abused Milky Way has a few more than that.

      Does that sound like an accurate simulation to you liberals?

      Would you like to buy a few Eiffel Towers, I may have some NOS in a box somewhere?

      The purpose of Extreme Extrapolation is to keep bottom feeding scientists in Latte, and the ignorant public entertained.

      Just one of the many types of idiot "science" which today is more popular than the real thing...

      1. Greese007

        Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

        80 particles per galaxy sounds like overkill to me. Sample size effects tend to plateau out at around 30 data points per sample- where the t distribution and the z distribution become the same, to a practical number of decimal places.

        Both conservative and liberal scientists knew that already. The keyword here is "scientist", not "liberal".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

        "Does that sound like an accurate simulation to you liberals?"

        Definition of a "liberal" from the New Trump US Dictionary

        liberal

        ˈlɪb(ə)r(ə)l

        1. willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one's own; open to new ideas.

        "liberal views towards divorce"

        2. A person who has voluntarily read a book that does not consist of mainly pictures.

  2. frank ly

    Numbers

    "... two trillion particles to form 25 billion galaxies."

    Is that 80 particles per galaxy? A small number but maybe it's enough for a simulation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Numbers

      I guess it depends on what they wish to find out. For example, some experiments (simulations) can be done with a few particles that give Galaxies the shape we have, with some assumptions of dark matter/energy. For example that dark matter does not "collide" with normal matter. With a few particles, you see that they have specific orbits/locations. You can then see what values match our observations and assumed distributions.

      I say assumes, as it's rather likely that dark matter is just a type of matter with weak/other interactions (Like photons have no mass, electrons have charge and neutrons pass through most things :P ), but there is some possibility it is in our understanding of gravity or some other system that is in error right not.

      With some more info on Quantum Gravity, things might start to take shape.

    2. 54321loop

      Re: Numbers

      "So I ran a simulation....."

    3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Numbers

      Is that 80 particles per galaxy?

      Well its enough to store a few key attributes like:

      Name

      Political system

      Threat Level

      favorite food

      ... and make a great space trading game!

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Numbers

        @Prst. V.Jeltz when they can fit it on one 1.44MB floppy, I'm interested, until then you'll find me doing sling shots round Sirius B in my Viper.

        One thought though, is it possible dark matter is just all those ejected question marks you get from jettisoning nothing into space? (How else do you account for the increase in hold space?)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Numbers

      I think it's clearly a very low number of particles/galaxy. But it's probably what they can manage on the machine they have.

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    So is this the first large-scale simulation since the Millenium simulation more than 10 years ago

    Back then we had: This progress has been made possible by important algorithmic improvements in the employed simulation code, and the high degree of parallelization reached with it, allowing the computation to be done efficiently on a 512 processor partition of the IBM p690 supercomputer of the Computing Center of the Max-Planck Society (RZG). (That machine was actually POWER4 based)

    Fantastic job, you get algorithm design, SCIENCE, investment in high-performance computing and massive parallelism (i.e. ENGINEERING), happy Nvidia shareholders, busy PhD-chaser and irate creationists all in one action. More like this!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I would hope that knowing how or what a thing is does not affect people's understanding of why and who (or what) made them. So anyone getting angry about knowledge, is severely lacking some.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "So anyone getting angry about knowledge, is severely lacking some."

        Isn't that just a given fact anyway?

  4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Are we a simulation?

    Have to ask, does this imply we are a simulation also?

    1. Steve Knox
      Alien

      Re: Are we a simulation?

      No. That's preposterous. Of course you're we're not in a simulation. Now just go back to your day, subject 3E1AC75B34FF21 yank_lurker...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are we a simulation?

      Define simulation. Is our observation to the correct level of dimensions? Or the correct arrangement of them?

      Probably. Though there may be more cavett's than we first assumed. For example, see time dilation and relativity and a few other things such as Quantum effects. None of these break our previous understandings, just bend them slightly and explain some unique observations.

      So I doubt we are "simulated", however the reality of what "existing" or the mechanical properties of "energy/matter" might be more complex and exciting than we first realise... though still not FTL or free energy! ;)

    3. Demosthenese

      Re: Are we a simulation?

      and if we are in a simulation, is it simulations all the way down?

      1. Inspector71

        Re: Are we a simulation?

        Has anyone got any blue pills?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Are we a simulation?

          Ive got blue pills, but I swallowed too slowly and have a stiff neck now.

      2. adnim
        Joke

        @Demos Re: Are we a simulation?

        "and if we are in a simulation, is it simulations all the way down?"

        Yes it is.... until you reach the first turtle.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: @Demos Are we a simulation?

          Pick a number. Any number. At random. Say it out loud together, OK? One, two, three...

          1. Toni the terrible

            Re: @Demos Are we a simulation?

            planck

  5. Androgynous Cow Herd

    Are*we* in a simulation?

    Well, I'm not, but you are....

  6. Stratman

    "The universe is made up of about 23 per cent dark matter and 72 per cent dark energy"

    Is it. Is it really.

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