[FOM] Could spacetime be discrete?

Vladimir Sazonov V.Sazonov at csc.liv.ac.uk
Sat Jan 14 19:25:36 EST 2006

Quoting Alasdair Urquhart <urquhart at cs.toronto.edu>:

> Richard Haney raises the question as to whether spacetime
> could be discrete.  I am not sure what this means, but if
> it means that there is a minimum length, this appears
> inconsistent with special relativity.  Could somebody
> elucidate this point?

I also whant to know. 
But does special relativity say anything about micro-world? 
It seems it is devoted to "macro" rathen than to "micro". 

I have essentially nothing concrete to say about physics. Only some general 
speculation on the role of mathematics in our views on the physical world. 
I think that our mathematical concepts involved in physical theories are 
like glasses trough which we observe the world. Imagine that these glasses 
were discrete in a sense. I do not mean to say that physical truth has 
necessarily a subjective character. But its expression can probably depend 
in some way on our “mathematical glasses”. Some “glasses” or ways of 
representation of physical knowledge might be more or less 
appropriate/natural/adequate/convenient than others. Say, if Peano 
Arithmetic says that there are huge numbers which have no physical 
existence, does it mean that our world is really finite (bounded by such a 
number), or the world is actually infinite, but something is wrong 
(non-adequate) with arithmetic as an instrument to approach the world? 

Vladimir Sazonov

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