Space is chunky

Discussion of the astronomical and cosmological aspects of a universe of motion.
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duane
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Space is chunky

Post by duane » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:49 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzciGVbPKQ0

that should get the kids interested in science

http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/no ... -physicics

It is the biggest of problems, it is the smallest of problems. At present physicists have two separate rulebooks explaining how nature works. There is general relativity, which beautifully accounts for gravity and all of the things it dominates: orbiting planets, colliding galaxies, the dynamics of the expanding universe as a whole. That’s big. Then there is quantum mechanics, which handles the other three forces – electromagnetism and the two nuclear forces. Quantum theory is extremely adept at describing what happens when a uranium atom decays, or when individual particles of light hit a solar cell. That’s small.

Now for the problem: relativity and quantum mechanics are fundamentally different theories that have different formulations. It is not just a matter of scientific terminology; it is a clash of genuinely incompatible descriptions of reality.

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A basic assumption in Einstein’s physics – an assumption going all the way back to Aristotle, really – is that space is continuous and infinitely divisible, so that any distance could be chopped up into even smaller distances. But Hogan questions whether that is really true. Just as a pixel is the smallest unit of an image on your screen and a photon is the smallest unit of light, he argues, so there might be an unbreakable smallest unit of distance: a quantum of space.

In Hogan’s scenario, it would be meaningless to ask how gravity behaves at distances smaller than a single chunk of space. There would be no way for gravity to function at the smallest scales because no such scale would exist. Or put another way, general relativity would be forced to make peace with quantum physics, because the space in which physicists measure the effects of relativity would itself be divided into unbreakable quantum units. The theatre of reality in which gravity acts would take place on a quantum stage.

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Horace
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an assumption going all the

Post by Horace » Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:13 pm

an assumption going all the way back to Aristotle, really – is that space is continuous and infinitely divisible, so that any distance could be chopped up into even smaller distances. But Hogan questions whether that is really true.
Inspired by Mathis, I have made an experiment that proves something related to that chunkiness. Namely that the change of direction of motion cannot be continuous. In other words: the direction of motion cannot change more frequently than some minimum distance (or time) ...or the direction has to stay constant for a certain minimum distance.

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bperet
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What is the experiment?

Post by bperet » Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:30 am

What is the experiment? (Larson concurs; direction can only change at between units.)
Every dogma has its day...

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Horace
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It is a mechanical experiment

Post by Horace » Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:44 pm

It is a mechanical experiment showing, that uniform circular motion of a free mass cannot be caused by a pushing force directed towards the center of that circular path.
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