Is Spacetime Countable?

  • Sean GrybEmail author
  • Marc Ngui
Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)


Is there a number for every bit of spacetime, or is spacetime smooth like the real line? The ultimate fate of a quantum theory of gravity might depend on it. The troublesome infinities of quantum gravity can be cured by assuming that spacetime comes in countable, discrete pieces which one could simulate on a computer. But, perhaps there is another way? In this essay, we propose a picture where scale is meaningless so that there can be no minimum length and, hence, no fundamental discreteness. In this picture, Einstein’s Special Relativity, suitably modified to accommodate an expanding Universe, can be reinterpreted as a theory where only the instantaneous shapes of configurations count.


Cosmological Constant Scale Invariance Stationary Observer Stereographic Projection North Pole 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle PhysicsRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Bumblenut PicturesTorontoCanada

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