A growing number of scientists are starting to seriously consider the possibility that we are living in a Matrix-like computer simulation, including influential physicists such as Dr. Michio Kaku. And some are actively looking for scientific clues as to whether or not this is a constructed reality, as a team of researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany are doing, looking for patterns in simulations of the mechanics of the universe, and seeing if those patterns also hold true to "real life".

These simulations, despite being run on the most powerful supercomputers available, are so sophisticated that they are still only capable of recreating a portion of the universe only a few femtometers across — barely the size of the nucleus of an atom. But this infinitesimally tiny simulation still needs to be superimposed on a three-dimensional lattice of spacetime — think of the spaces in that lattice as the smallest pixels that can be measured. The spacing of the increments of this lattice, if it also exists in the physical universe, might also impose the same limitations on real-world phenomena that is seen in the simulations.

One major effect that they found in the computer simulations was that this lattice places limits the on the energy that a particle can have, since nothing can be smaller than this lattice. So, if the physical universe is also a simulation, it should show a similar cutoff in the spectrum exhibited in high-energy particles. Affected by what is known as the Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuzmin, or GZK limit, high-energy particles lose energy as they interact with the cosmic microwave background over long distances. But if the universe is indeed built on the hypothesized lattice, then the energies of these high-energy particles should show up traveling in specific directions along the alignment of the lattice, rather than randomly in all directions, as would be dictated by the cubic structure of the lattice.

While the simulated simulations have been made, work is still ongoing on the "real" simulation. The researchers have added two caveats to their theory, however: One is that even if the universe is a simulation, it may have an entirely different structure from what their simulations predict, in which case they wouldn’t find the patterns that they’re looking for. The other stipulation is that if the real-world lattice is smaller than the GZK cutoff, they won’t have the predicted effect on the high-energy particles, and the their directions will appear to remain random.