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Published on-line at 09:09:08 AM on Monday, May 2nd, 2016

WHERE SPACE-TIME BECOMES DISCRETE

RELATIVITY AND QUANTUM MECHANICS: A NON-LOCAL UNION?

In quantum gravity, classical physics and quantum mechanics are at odds:scientists are still uncertain how to reconcile the quantum “granularity” of space-time at the Planck scale with the theory of special relativity. In their attempts to identify possible tests of the physics associated with this difficult union, the most commonly studied scenario is the one that implies violations of  “Lorentz invariance”, the principle underlying special relativity. However, there may be another approach:to salvage special relativity and to reconcile it with granularity by introducing small-scale deviations from the principle of locality. A recent theoretical study just published in Physical Review Letters and led by the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste has analysed such a model demonstrating that it can be experimentally tested with great precision. The team is already collaborating on developing an experiment, which will take place at the LENS (European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy) in Florence, some members of which have also taken part in the theoretical study.

Source: SISSA