We have all got our notions of what constitutes reality. Philosophy tells us that reality is both subjective and objective. Science seems to embrace the objective nature of reality while acknowledging the limits of our perceptions. The objective is, of course, that which we can see, touch, and manipulate physically. Subjective reality relies on how each perceives the world based on personal bias, previous experience, and often what the viewer expects to see. Reality is far more complex than the average person cares to entertain within the limited scope of their existence. Instead, the vast majority are content to progress towards eventual extinction never questioning why or how they came to be or what if any meaning can be ascribed to life as we know it.
Most, whether they realize it or not have a basic understanding of classical physics. Everyone has heard for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction. If a person throws a rock while standing on the ground we all know due to gravity and the strength of the throw it will travel a limited distance before expending its energy into the object or objects that it strikes. If they climb to a roof and repeat that same throw, they will achieve greater distance based on their increased altitude and the force of the rocks downward momentum will increase based on its trajectory thrown from a higher position. Gravity is the most fundamental force in what we call reality, and yet despite it affects on everything science describes it as the weakest force, and we do not fully understand why and how it exists.
When we delve into the quantum world, subatomic particles that make up everything tangible that we see and intangible that we do not, we find particles that do not conform to classical physics. So Quantum Physics is born, to seek to characterize and categorize the particles that form everything that we perceive as reality. We sit in a chair confident that its solid and will support our bodies, that we also believe are solid. Neither the chair nor ourselves are solid but only appear so as our minds seek to find patterns in all they survey in order to construct images of the world that make sense to our brains. The human mind is an enigma in and of itself, but our limited knowledge of it recognizes it penchant for seeing patterns where none exist, in order to quantify all within its scope to form a cohesive image that is then processed to form our perceptions of reality.
Quantum Physics is not fully understood, and observation of sub-atomic particles changes their behavior. It seems that due to quantum entanglement that all things connect in some way, and that because of this observations do directly affect the behavior of the particles that make up everything in the universe. So objectively science seeks to quantify the nature of reality, but by mere observation simultaneously alters reality. Time is a construct of the human race, we have inherited the need to record events linearly in order to perceive order out of chaos. Some scientists measure time based on the degradation of objects in our universe. Objects can degrade at different rates based on the environment in which they exist, just as humans living a hard life will almost certainly degrade faster than someone living a sheltered life. However, this is not always the case as objects can encounter forces that act upon their unique composition and force a more rapid deterioration, just as the human living the sheltered life could have been born with a defect that decreases the likelihood of them outliving others that live hard and fast.
Since we do not fully understand that which constitutes ourselves and everything around us, we cannot be sure that reality, as it is perceived, is the reality we are experiencing. The universe runs like a machine; information exists in the form of numbers to describe all that is and all that will ever be. Information is never lost, and since our brains construct the reality that we view, it is an interpretation of chaos condensed into a form that our brains can process, presenting us a view of rapidly moving and forever interacting particles that appear as much larger solid objects. We could exist inside the dreams of some species that we can never be cognizant of, or the universe as we know it could be a construct sophisticated beyond anything that we could ever conceive. One thing is clear such a genius of construction of so many small particles making up a vast universe could not spring out of anything, but an architect or architects that has created this existence we call reality. Hopefully one day we understand what it is and why we are here. There could be a bit of truth in the saying that reality is what you make it or perhaps it is what they made it!