Article image

Are we living in a virtual world? A new study says yes

It is a beautiful world we live in, but have you ever thought that it might not be real? This is far from science fiction. If the findings of this new study are anything to go by, then we might actually be living in a virtual world.

Humans as characters in a virtual world

Our planet is one gigantic virtual world, and we barely live in it as characters. These are the views of Melvin Vopson, an associate professor in Physics at the University of Portsmouth.

Professor Vopson is challenging our current perception of reality based on the findings from his recent research. He compares the physical behavior of information in our world to how computers compress or delete code.

“My studies point to a bizarre and interesting possibility that we don’t live in an objective reality and that the entire universe might be just a super advanced virtual reality simulation,” explained Professor Vopson.

Information catastrophe 

This is not the first time the Romanian professor has drawn such parallels. Two years ago, he suggested an imminent “information catastrophe” driven by the rapid growth of digital data consumption without a sustainable energy source to back it up. 

Based on this, he predicted that by 2170, the world would be “mostly computer simulated and dominated by digital bits and computer code.”

Second law of information dynamics

Professor Vopson also established a new law of physics in 2022. He called it the “second law of information dynamics.” According to this law, entropy (a measure of disorder in an isolated system) decreases over time instead of increasing in an information system.

The new law negates the second law of thermodynamics, which establishes why entropy never reduces – it always increases or stays unchanged. But it also effectively explains the behavior of information differently than we know.

According to Professor Vopson: “The second law of infodynamics requires the minimization of the information content associated with any event or process in the universe. To put it simply, everything appears to evolve to an equilibrium state where the information content is minimal.”

More findings from the study

When it comes to simulating the universe, Professor Vopson believes it will take a “built-in data optimization and compression mechanism in order to reduce the computational power and the data storage requirements to run the simulation.”

“This is exactly what we are observing via empirical evidence all around us, including in digital data, biological systems, atomistic systems, mathematical symmetries, and the entire universe. This is what the second law of infodynamics reveals, so one logical conclusion is that, while not giving a definite proof, it surely underpins the simulated universe theory,” he added.

Virtual worlds and simulation theory

According to Professor Vopson, the everyday symmetry we observe around us lends support to the simulation theory. He also observed that high symmetry is usually consistent with the lowest information entropy state, and that is why nature is inclined towards it.

“All biological life presents some form of symmetry; all solids and crystals have symmetries. Symmetry is the best way of optimizing or rendering the digitally constructed world, and this is why we have symmetries everywhere rather than asymmetries,” he noted.

Opposing viewpoints 

The simulation theory has its fair share of skepticism despite its popularity among several well-known figures in the science world.

For most scientists, the fifth state of matter is Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC), not bits, as suggested by Vopson. 

But Vopson is not relenting. He is exploring the possibility that information bits have mass and could eventually account for a significant portion of the universe’s dark matter.

This study has been published in the journal AIP Advances.

Like what you read? Subscribe to our newsletter for engaging articles, exclusive content, and the latest updates.

Check us out on EarthSnap, a free app brought to you by Eric Ralls and

News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day