Andrew Pontzen

What is a simulation – and do we live in one?

Professor Andrew Pontzen introduced how computer simulations have revolutionised our understanding of the universe, delivering astounding insights into the origin of galaxies, stars, black holes, planets and life. Drawing on themes in his non-specialist book The Universe in a Box, published in June to critical acclaim, he looked at the way that simulations are blurring traditional distinctions between theory and experiment, and allowing humanity to collaborate on a new digital canvas to sketch our cosmic past, present and future.

And finally, he addressed the controversial idea, popularised by Elon Musk, that reality may itself be a simulation conducted by some far-advanced super-civilization.

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