A provocative new column in Scientific American floats the idea that what’s fundamentally real in the universe — its actual, base reality — isn’t the quarks, fields, and quantum phenomena that seem to comprise it.
Instead, according to scientist and philosopher Bernardo Kastrup, some are starting to suspect that matter itself is an illusion — and that the only real thing is information.
The basic idea is that the physical universe exists because we perceive it — it’s a sort of mass hallucination we use to make sense of the mathematical relationships of objects.
Make no mistake, this is a pretty far-out idea. But, according to Kastrup, it’s gaining ground.
“To some physicists, this indicates that what we call ‘matter,’ with its solidity and concreteness — is an illusion; that only the mathematical apparatus they devise in their theories is truly real, not the perceived world the apparatus was created to describe in the first place,” Kastrup wrote.
READ MORE: Physics Is Pointing Inexorably to Mind [Scientific American]
More on reality: Quantum Physics Experiment Suggests That Reality Isn’t Objective