I read the prediction of one metre cubic computer simulation using Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics (LQCD) for the year 2150 and I thought if the same technology could be used to create matter replicators that could create any matter using this same techynology. After all, if you can use the holodeck style virtual reality to simulate a fantasy world from the smallest pointlike particles and the simulation would be actual objects, why not use the same thing to create anything from nothing that could be used in real life? Matter replicators could bring an enormous revolution to the world.
Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics (LQCD) was a promising field in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. This allowed researchers to simulate objects and processes in near-perfect detail, using resolutions based on the fundamental physical laws. By the 2010s, for example, individual proton masses could be determined at error margins close to one percent. During the 2020s, exascale computing helped to further refine the nuclear forces and uncover exotic "new physics" beyond the Standard Model.
Smaller and smaller pixelations were being applied to greater and greater volumes of space-time, as supercomputers later reached the zettascale, yottascale and beyond. By the 2070s, it was possible to simulate a complete virus with absolute accuracy down to the smallest known quantum level.* Blood cells, bacteria and other living structures followed as this technique approached the macroscale. In the early 22nd century, mind transfer became feasible for mainstream use, whole-brain scans now sufficiently perfected. Another milestone was passed by 2140, with a cubic metre of space-time being accurately simulated.**
These four-dimensional lattice grids were, in effect, miniature universes – fully programmable and controllable. When combined with artificial intelligence, matter contained within their boundaries could be used to recreate virtually anything in real time and real resolution. Spatial extents continued to grow, reaching tens of metres. Although highly convincing VR had been around for over a century, achieving this level of detail at these scales had been impossible until now. By 2150, perfect simulations can be generated in room-sized environments without any requirement for on-person hardware.
As virtual reality advances still further, entire worlds are constructed using the smallest quantum units for building blocks. This opens up some profound opportunities in the 23rd century. For example, artificial planet Earths can have their parameters altered slightly – gravity, mass, temperature and so on – then fast-forwarded billions of years to compare the outcomes. Intelligent species evolving on these virtual worlds may be entirely unaware that they are part of a giant simulation.