How can a character explain baryon asymmetry (there is more matter than antimatter) by the universe being a simulation with a slightly imbalanced random number generator being employed at the point where it is decided where a newly created particle is matter or antimatter? I know that RNGs have problems with truely random sequences but I guess creating a binary one where exactly half the values are true is relatively easy (as the number of possible states of n bits is 2n which is always even), so how could I realistically use that as a reason?

  • $\begingroup$ 1, we can only say that about the observed universe. 2, matter and anti-matter don't play well together, if it was equally mixed everywhere, likely there would be nowhere. So the 'random number generator' would be off on purpose... $\endgroup$
    – bowlturner
    Aug 7 '15 at 20:18

That is what they do at LHC and similar facilities

I am serious: a collider is in essence a huge random number generator. The research consists of looking at the random data you get out from it and try to spot where the randomness is skewed.

EDIT: I suppose your question is this: your character has a random seed that is supposed to be entirely random, based on baryon symmetry. And then the character feeds that into a pseudo random number generator and expects to get a random result.... but does not.

Well... that could work. Pseudo random number generators work by mangling the seed in such a way that you can never go back. A PRNG essentially obfuscates the input beyond recognition. If your character — by extraordinary luck — stumbles upon a PRNG algorithm that is somehow related to whatever PRNG The Big Simulation™ is using to simulate our universe, then yes... there could be unexpected order in the output from your character's PRNG.

Do note that this is far beyond our present understanding of mathematics. We do not know how to reverse hash algorithms. That is not to say it cannot be done, that there exists some kind of anti-hash. But if that is what The Big Simulation™ uses to produce its randomness, then that would work as a plot element. If someone uses a random element from nature as the seed for a random number generator, and somehow gets a skewed result, then he will know something very strange is up.

For correlation he could use some other random process for his PRNG algorithm. If he gets a random result from that, and only gets a skewed result from a specific random seed, then that would be a very clear hint that the universe is far more algorithmic than we have assumed so far, and that it might even be a gigantic digital simulation.


A properly written simulation will use a good PRNG and furthermore the use of the random numbers will be ballanced. It’s possible for the code to start with perfect random numbere but make mistakes introducing bias in the results.

I just saw a Q the other day (Unix SE I think) asking why the random passwords seemed to have the same character in the 6th position half the time. Something like taking a base64 representation of a number that was 31 bits: take 5 bits at a time and you're left with 5 values that have 64 possible states and the 6th that's only ever 0 or 1.

There are purposful shortcuts taken to improve performance and ration the genuine randomness seeds.

There are mistakes made to bias the decision made from a good source, like dividing into buckets that are not a factor of the total range of numbers. Or ranges can have off-by-one mistakes.


This one's fun and easy. No biased coin needed.


  • Matter attracts itself and if it hits its opposite it becomes energy.
  • If you have e=2mc2 pass by a particle you get another pair of normal and anti particles.

If normal and anti particles are not in a perfect checkerboard pattern there's a cluster (This point doesn't matter if you have a finite universe since corners will have an imbalanced count regardless). If we have a cluster of normal matter then as long as it attracts anti-matter at a slow enough rate it will stay normal. Checkerboard patterns will tend to turn into energy and voids as explained below. We can have a perfectly even starting distribution of matter and either a finite universe or starting jitters in gravity (those can be coin flips if you want).

Say we have a cluster like so:


Then break the gravity (it doesn't matter which way you break it), the anti particles are too thin in concentration to annihilate the cluster quick enough. If we have a particle take out another on the perimeter of the cluster then you can make a void. The energy will spread out and pop particles in and out of existence as energy waves overlap. But those energy waves have less energy the larger the circle they are and they need 2 particle's worth. Assuming you're 4-Connected, if the annihilation of two particles is right next to each other you have enough energy to remake the pairs involved (and you flip you coins if you want) otherwise at the next unit away you have less energy on a given point of the wave. To make it quick and intuitive just redistribute all the energy across the grid on any annihilation since that's likely the ultimate outcome of a chain of reactions. Since all the particles are giving 1/36 their energy to each space and you need a whole 2 particle's worth of energy to spawn a pair then you won't get any extra particles even after the last pair touch. So pure energy is the ultimate fate if gravity bound. But the universe is expanding and you have an Observable Universe. The expansion will pull gravity out of the equation and allow clusters to survive. If you have a large enough perimeter for your area for a given expansion you can survive until gravity doesn't come into play. From there the effects of having an Observable Universe will keep you in the dark about your matching anti cluster. If you up this to 3D it becomes easier since you now have more "internals" per "surface". The more dimensions your universe has the more likely you are to have clusters that can survive.

Prerequisites for this model:

  • Observable Universe (max light speed or whatever requirements to have this, if you want the character to discover the truth you don't have to enforce this strictly.)
  • Expansion Constant large enough to overcome gravitational bonds between clusters of matter the size you want to use (you have pressure from annihilation helping you)
  • No "Perfectly Uniform Checkerboard" pattern and/or a finite universe.
  • An initial gravitational disturbance (at least 1)

P.S. The finite universe argument is tougher but I'm fairly certain you'll have a corner survive even with a checkerboard pattern, as long as you don't have the initial disturbance dead center.


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