And would that help withbig physics problems?:
Spacetime is generally regarded in Einstein’s famous general relativity as perfectly smooth, if curved here and there. But some physicists think that it may actually be granular on the smallest of scales. Like Bagnold, these researchers look beyond the smooth big-scale structures and analyze the effect of each tiny grain. Although this idea is not yet mainstream in the physics community, a recent Physical Review Letter hints that granular spacetime could—just maybe—solve two of the most pressing problems in astronomy today.
“The Sands of Spacetime: Researchers investigate two of physics’ greatest problems” at Physics Central
The problems, of course, are the inconsistency between general relativity and quantum mechanics and the expansion of the universe. And how would granularity help?
To begin with, they reasoned, spacetime would be granular only on the very smallest of scales, far smaller than we could hope to measure. The energy transferred away from matter as a result of this granular structure must be correspondingly minuscule. They also calculated that the amount of energy lost is proportional to density squared; since the modern universe is relatively rarified, current energy losses would be tiny. In fact, the entire planet Earth would take 10 million years to lose the energetic equivalent of a single electron mass through this process! Current technology is nowhere near the capabilities that would be required to measure such tiny effects, and so it would be impossible for researchers to measure in the lab…“The Sands of Spacetime: Researchers investigate two of physics’ greatest problems” at Physics Central
Interesting idea. The paper is paywalled.
See also: Sabine Hossenfelder: Don’t Expect Too Much From New Proposals To Detect Dark Matter
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