QR1.3.1. The Signs of Virtualism

All the following facts of physics are expected for a virtual reality but not for an objective reality:

1. The universe began. All the stars and galaxies are receding from us at known rates, so we can calculate back to conclude that our universe started up about fourteen billion years ago, in a first event that began not only our universe but also its space and time. Yet a complete physical universe can’t begin, as by definition there is nothing outside itself to create it. To create itself, it would have to exist before it began, which is impossible. It doesn’t make sense that a complete physical universe created itself out of nothing and current speculations on D-branes, wormholes, alternate universes, teleporting worlds and big bang oscillation theories don’t help. In contrast, every virtual reality has a boot up that creates its space-time operating system based on nothing within itself (see QR1.4.2).

2. There is a maximum speed. In our world, nothing travels faster than light so light shone from a spaceship moving at almost the speed of light still leaves the ship at the speed of light. This limit makes no sense for an objective reality, as matter moving at any speed should always be able to go a little bit faster. In contrast, the transmission rate on a virtual screen is limited by its refresh rate, so the speed of light limit reflects how fast the “screen” of space refreshes (see QR3.2.4).

3. Time and space are quantized. According to quantum theory, time and space increase in tiny Planck steps, but a physical reality that constantly exists shouldn’t require this. When field theory assumes continuity, it gives infinities that require a mathematical trick called renormalization to make them “magically” disappear. In contrast, a virtual world is always made from irreducible pixels and cycles, so what physics calls Planck length and Planck time are the resolution and frame rate of our world, just as every video has a resolution and frame rate (see QR2.2.1).

4. Quantum tunneling. Quantum tunneling is when an electron suddenly appears outside a field barrier it can’t pass through, like a coin in a perfectly sealed glass bottle suddenly appearing outside it. Physical realism doesn’t allow matter to move to a point where no intervening path is possible, yet it happens. In contrast, the frames of a virtual reality can easily “cut” from one frame to another to allow what is physically impossible (see QR5.3.1).

5. Entanglement. It is physically impossible for two photons moving apart from each other at the speed of light to affect each other but when they entangle, observing the spin of either forces the other to have the opposite spin, no matter how far apart they are. Einstein called this spooky action at a distance because it contradicts the speed of light limit but the evidence is that what should be physically impossible happens. In contrast, points on the screen of space are equidistant to the quantum server that generates them just as all points on a computer screen are equidistant to its server, so if entangled photons merge servers, it is possible (see QR3.8.5).

6. Space curves. According to relativity, the sun keeps the earth in orbit by “curving” the space around it but what can space curve into? It needs another dimension to do this but string theory’s “curled up” extra dimensions don’t do the job. In contrast, space as the 3D surface that our virtual reality presents upon can easily curve into a fourth dimension (see QR2.4.1).

7. Time dilates. In Einstein’s twin paradox, a man travels the universe in a high-speed rocket for a year then returns to find his twin brother on earth is an old man of eighty! Relativity predicts that time slows down when you travel at high speeds and particle research agrees. Physical realism can’t explain this but every gamer knows that when the action is fast, the result is a slow-motion screen so moving at high speed is expected to slow down time in a virtual reality (see QR5.2.4).

8. Randomness. According to quantum theory, radioactive atoms emit photons randomly, in a way that no prior physical story can explain and the evidence agrees. Randomness implies a non-physical cause, which physical realism doesn’t allow, so it invented the many-worlds fantasy that every photon event spawns an entire new universe. In contrast, if the physical word is a virtual reality, random events are simply quantum server choices (see QR3.5.3).

9. Empty space isn’t empty. An objective space should be a void but our space exerts a pressure! In the Casimir effect, flat plates close together in a vacuum experience a force pushing them in. Current physics attributes it to virtual particles that magically appear from the void but how can nothing produce something? Physical realism has no null particle but in a virtual reality space is null processing. It is “empty” in the same way that a blank screen shows static not nothing, so if the distance is close to the pixel size, the static can produce a “pressure” (see QR2.4.5).

10. Particles are waves. In Young’s two-slit experiment, one photon can go through two slits to interfere with itself like a wave but still arrive at one screen point like a particle. Physical realism explained this by inventing wave-particle duality, that particles can be waves, but how can a particle act like a wave? In contrast, a photon processing wave can go through two slits to interfere with itself like a wave but still arrive at a point like a particle by rebooting. Quantum collapse as a processing wave reboot explains wave-particle duality (see QR3.5.2).

11. Black holes. A large enough mass in a small enough space collapses into what is called a black hole. Most galaxies, including ours, are said to have a black hole at their center. In physical realism, a black hole collapses indefinitely to an infinitely dense point called a singularity, but why then do black holes increase in size when they absorb matter? In contrast, in a virtual reality, space has a bandwidth that is the maximum processing it can hold. A black hole is then matter reaching the bandwidth of space, so it has a size and there is no singularity (see QR5.4.6).

12. Quantum superposition. In quantum theory, currents can simultaneously flow both ways around a superconducting ring (Cho, 2000). This can’t happen physically so physicists say the quantum states they calculate every day don’t exist. In contrast, if the quantum world is real, quantum waves can superpose to explore all possible directions at once (see QR3.8.1).

13. Non-physical detection. A bomb so sensitive that just one photon will set it off should be impossible to detect but a Mach-Zehnder interferometer can do just that (Kwiat, Weinfurter, Herzog, Zeilinger, & Kasevich, 1995). Physical realism has no explanation for this at all as it can’t attribute it to quantum acts it says don’t occur. In contrast, if the quantum world exists, it follows the rules of quantum theory and they allow non-physical detection to occur (see QR3.8.4).

14. Retrospective action. In delayed choice experiments, an observation made after a photon takes a path defines the path it took before the observation, implying that the future can affect the past. Physical realism leads to speculations that all time, like all space, already exists, allowing time travel and paradoxes like going back in time to kill your grandfather. In contrast, a photon as a quantum wave can spread to take all paths until it reboots in a physical event, so there is no time travel (see QR3.8.3).

15. Anti-matter exists. Quantum equations predicted anti-matter but physical realism has no reason for matter to have an inverse of the same mass but opposite charge. In contrast, if quantum processing generates matter, running it in reverse can generate anti-matter, so anti-processing predicts anti-matter (see QR4.3.5).

All the facts above contradict the theory that the physical world is an objective reality and support the theory that it is virtual. A scientific experiment to test both theories is proposed in QR4.5.9, but for now one can argue that:

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

If the facts of physics deny physical realism, the Sherlock Holmes dictum applies:

When you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

The evidence so far is certainly a prima facie case that quantum realism is worth investigating further.