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wildcat2030:

Do We Live in the Matrix?

Tests could reveal whether we are part of a giant computer simulation — but the real question is if we want to know…

In the 1999 sci-fi film classic The Matrix, the protagonist, Neo, is stunned to see people defying the laws of physics, running up walls and vanishing suddenly. These superhuman violations of the rules of the universe are possible because, unbeknownst to him, Neo’s consciousness is embedded in the Matrix, a virtual-reality simulation created by sentient machines. 

The action really begins when Neo is given a fateful choice: Take the blue pill and return to his oblivious, virtual existence, or take the red pill to learn the truth about the Matrix and find out “how deep the rabbit hole goes.” 

Physicists can now offer us the same choice, the ability to test whether we live in our own virtual Matrix, by studying radiation from space. As fanciful as it sounds, some philosophers have long argued that we’re actually more likely to be artificial intelligences trapped in a fake universe than we are organic minds in the “real” one. 

But if that were true, the very laws of physics that allow us to devise such reality-checking technology may have little to do with the fundamental rules that govern the meta-universe inhabited by our simulators. To us, these programmers would be gods, able to twist reality on a whim. 

So should we say yes to the offer to take the red pill and learn the truth — or are the implications too disturbing?

thesonicscrew:

castielcampbell:

circusmaster:

khito:

pyrrhiccomedy:

Astronomers have discovered the largest known structure in the universe, a clump of active galactic cores that stretch 4 billion light-years from end to end. The structure is a light quasar group (LQG), a collection of extremely luminous Galactic Nulcei powered by supermassive central black holes.

So that’s cool and everything, but maybe some of you would be interested to know why this is a significant find? Beyond just its record-setting bigness.

Since Einstein, physicists have accepted something called the Cosmological Principle, which states that the universe looks the same everywhere if you view it on a large enough scale. You might find some weird shit over here, and some other freaky shit over there, but if you pull back the camera far enough, you’ll find that same weird and/or freaky shit cropping up over and over again in a fairly regular distribution. This is because the universe is (probably) infinite in size and (we are pretty darn sure) has, and has always had, the same forces acting on it everywhere.

So why is this new LQG so radical? (It stands for ‘Large Quasar Group,’ btw, not ‘Light Quasar Group.’)

Well, let’s try to comprehend the scale we’re dealing with. A ‘megaparsec,’ written Mpc, is about 3.2 million light years long. The Milky Way is about 0.03 Mpc across (or 100,000 light years). The distance between our galaxy and Andromeda, our closest galactic neighbor, is 0.75 Mpc, or 2.5 million light years. LQGs are usually about 200 Mpc across. Assuming a logarithmic distribution of weird shit outliers (if you don’t know how logarithmic distribution curves work, don’t worry about it), cosmologists predicted that nothing in the universe should be more than 370 Mpc across.

This new LQG is 1200 Mpc long. That’s four billion light years. Four BILLION LIGHT YEARS. Just to travel from one side to the other of this one thing. I mean for fuck’s sake, the universe is only about 14 billion years old! How many of these things could there be? 

Right now it looks like the Cosmological Principle might be out the window, unless physicists can find some way to make the existence of this new LQG work with the math (and boy, are they trying). And that’s totally baffling. It would mean—well, we don’t have any idea what it would mean. That the universe isn’t essentially uniform? That some ‘special’ physics apply/applied in some places but not in others? That Something Happened that is totally outside our current ability to understand or quantify stuff happening?

By the way, no one lives there. The radiation from so many quasars would sterilize rock.

Sources: 1 2 3

are you telling us astronomers have discovered something which is literally fucktuple the size of anything else previously estimated to exist

Anything that fucking rewrites all of what we know about the universe needs to get its ass on my blog. It’s giant, glowy, black hole filled ass. 

So basically physicists, scientists and NASA (and outerspace buffs) are kinda having a massive orgasm and freaking the fuck out right now.

reblogging for science orgasms and the word ‘fucktuple’

(Source: wasbella102)

stormyskiesahead:

Victory Storm King Imperial Stout, 9.1% abv

Happy stout day!  For yesterday!  So I’m a day late with my post but I did genuinely partake of this one last night, honest.  Why Storm King though?  Well I really like the name, and it’s a stout.  Yeah, the amount of thought and effort I put into these posts staggers me too.

Darkness saunters out of the bottle, all nonchalant and with a slight smirk. it’s ‘pensioners beige raincoat’ coloured head hardly bothering to make an appearance, but leaving some lacing on it’s way out.

Roast malts and coffee dominate the aroma, a bonfire is somewhere in the distance. The upfront taste of hops is a surprise that’s soon tempered by the charred malts, espresso, and dark chocolate. Like dipping a burned bracken leaf into a cup of mocha.

This is as dry and bitter a Russian Imperial Stout as I’ve had, and the bold, complex flavours really worked for me. I can imagine a fair few (lesser) people struggling with the intensity it brings, but who cares what lesser people think? 

skeptv:

Tonight’s Sky: November 2013

Backyard stargazers get a monthly guide to the northern hemisphere’s skywatching events with “Tonight’s Sky.” November brings both the Leonid meteor shower and a hybrid solar eclipse.

"Tonight’s Sky" is produced by HubbleSite.org, online home of the Hubble Space Telescope. This is a recurring show, and you can find more episodes — and other astronomy videos — at HubbleSite.org.

Visit Tonight’s Sky on HubbleSite.
http://hubblesite.org/explore_astronomy/tonights_sky

via Hubble Site Channel.

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