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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Time and Space

Do Time and Space Exist at the Smallest Scales?

An artist’s impression of a supermassive black hole. Black holes are rife with paradoxes, but a new theory suggests that they can all be resolved by agreeing that space and time break down at very small scales. Image credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

We’ve come a long way in 13.8 billion years; but despite our impressively extensive understanding of the Universe, there are still a few strings left untied. For one, there is the oft-cited disconnect between general relativity, the physics of the very large, and quantum mechanics, the physics of the very small. Then there is problematic fate of a particle’s intrinsic information after it falls into a black hole. Now, a new interpretation of fundamental physics attempts to solve both of these conundrums by making a daring claim: at certain scales, space and time simply do not exist.

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