It could be like that something moving at 3/4 c will have, on each Planck time, a 3/4 chance of moving of one Planck length, and a 1/4 chance of not moving at all. But that's how I understand it from a computer scientist point of view, it may not be how physicists really see it.

But I think the core reason is that since no signal can spread faster than c, no signal can cross more than one Planck length over a Planck time, so a difference of less than a Planck time can never be detected. Since it cannot be detected, since there is no experimental setting that would differ if something happened a fraction of Planck time earlier, the question has no meaning.

If time really is discreet or continuous doesn't have any meaning, if no possible experiments can tell the two apart.

[anonymous]8y4

If time really is discreet or continuous doesn't have any meaning, if no possible experiments can tell the two apart.

Of course, given any experiment, spacetime being discrete on a sufficiently small scale couldn't be detected, but given any scale, a sufficiently precise experiment could tell if spacetime is discrete at that scale. And there's evidence that spacetime is likely not discrete at Planck scale (otherwise sufficiently-high-energy gamma rays would have a nontrivial dependency of speed on energy, which is not what we see in gamma-ray bursts). S... (read more)

0[anonymous]8yThe difference between discreet or continuous time is a concern of mine because it bears on what it means for something to be changing or moving. But I'm very much in the dark here, and I don't know what physicists would say if asked for a definition of change. Do you have any thoughts?

Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011)

by orthonormal 1 min read12th Aug 2010805 comments

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