Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Out Of The Fabric - Science News

Out Of The Fabric - Science News: Further study of spaceless theories may help solve serious problems confronting physicists today, Seiberg believes. String theory implies countless possible vacuum states — that is, spaces of differing physical properties — with no obvious method for determining which one the visible universe should have chosen. Knowing how space emerges from spacelessness might help explain why humans exist in one particular space from among the countless possibilities.

Doing away with time poses more difficult problems, Seiberg acknowledges. Basic notions in physics, such as that of causes preceding effects, or predicting the outcome of experiments before the experiment is done, seem to lose their meaning if there is no time to define before and after. So some physicists, Markopoulou for one, have suggested that even if space is emergent, time may remain fundamental. In fact, she conjectures, time is needed to allow quantum processes to create the illusion of space. Space may not have been around at the beginning, but that beginning would be stillborn without time to get reality going.

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