Information Could Be the 5th State of Matter, Proving We Live in a Simulation - Deepstash

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Key Findings

Key Findings

  • Information could become the fifth state of matter alongside gas, plasma, liquid, and solid states.
  • A scientist has proposed an experiment involving particle annihilation that could establish that information truly has mass.
  • If successful, the experiment could shed light on the mysterious dark matter in our universe—and help us manage the future of data storage.


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Information Being A Form Of Matter: The backstory

Information Being A Form Of Matter: The backstory

Scientists want to use an experiment to confirm that elementary particles have measurable mass. It would involve a matter-antimatter annihilation process that would shoot a beam of positrons at electrons in a piece of metal. Positrons and electrons are both subatomic particles, with the same mass and magnitude of charge.

However, positrons are positively charged, and electrons are negatively charged. A sheet of metal has many free electrons, increasing the probability of collision with the incoming positrons.


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A New Concept of Matter

A New Concept of Matter

Scientists believe that the observable matter in the universe has specific information content.

For example, typical atoms—containing protons, electrons, and neutrons—hold not only the combined masses of these subatomic particles, but also the minuscule masses of the information they require to interact with each other and the rest of the universe. This type of information could be considered the “DNA” of the particles.


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Information Generated Every Day

Information Generated Every Day

The amount of information we have today is staggering.

Each day on Earth, we generate 500 million tweets, 294 billion emails, 4 million gigabytes of Facebook data, 65 billion WhatsApp messages, and 720,000 hours of new content added daily on YouTube.

The total amount of data created, captured, copied, and consumed in the world was 59 zettabytes in 2020.

One zettabyte is 8,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bits.

Proving that information has mass through physical experiments is the first step toward finding a possible solution to the problem of explosive information growth.


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Beyond Our Earthly Problems: The Universe May Be A Simulation After All

Beyond Our Earthly Problems: The Universe May Be A Simulation After All

Proving that information has mass can explain mysteries like dark matter. That’s because the physical properties of the bits of information mimic what dark matter appears to be—small bits of mass particles without charge or spin.

Confirming that information is the fifth state of matter touches on a weird idea: that the universe is actually a computer simulation. As an academic exercise, scientists have suggested this idea before. If information is indeed a key component of everything in the universe, then perhaps a computer somewhere is running our whole world as a simulation.


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