[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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