Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:48 AM

A Log24 post, "Bridal Birthday," one year ago today linked to
"The Discrete and the Continuous," a brief essay by David Deutsch.

From that essay—

"The idea of quantization—
the discreteness of physical quantities
turned out to be immensely fruitful."

Deutsch's "idea of quantization" also appears in
the April 12 Log24 post Mythopoetic

"Is Space Digital?" 

— Cover storyScientific American 
     magazine, February 2012

"The idea that space may be digital
  is a fringe idea of a fringe idea
  of a speculative subfield of a subfield."

— Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder 
     at her weblog on Feb. 5, 2012

"A quantization of space/time
 is a holy grail for many theorists…."

— Peter Woit in a comment 
      at his weblog on April 12, 2012

It seems some clarification is in order.

Hossenfelder's "The idea that space may be digital"
and Woit's "a quantization of space/time" may not
refer to the same thing.

Scientific American  on the concept of digital space—

"Space may not be smooth and continuous.
Instead it may be digital, composed of tiny bits."

Wikipedia on the concept of quantization—

Causal setsloop quantum gravitystring theory,
black hole thermodynamics all predict
quantized spacetime….

For a purely mathematical  approach to the
continuous-vs.-discrete issue, see
Finite Geometry and Physical Space.

The physics there is somewhat tongue-in-cheek,
but the geometry is serious.The issue there is not
continuous-vs.-discrete physics , but rather
Euclidean-vs.-Galois geometry .

Both sorts of geometry are of course valid.
Euclidean geometry has long been applied to 
physics; Galois geometry has not. The cited
webpage describes the interplay of both  sorts
of geometry— Euclidean and Galois, continuous
and discrete— within physical space— if not
within the space of physics.

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