Is space like a chessboard?

Mar 18, 2011 By Jennifer Marcus
Electrons are thought to spin, even though they are pure point particles with no surface that can possibly rotate. Recent work on graphene shows that the electron's spin might arise because space at very small distances is not smooth, but rather segmented like a chessboard with triangular tiles. (Image: UCLA CNSI)

(PhysOrg.com) -- Physicists at UCLA set out to design a better transistor and ended up discovering a new way to think about the structure of space.

Space is usually considered infinitely divisible — given any two positions, there is always a position halfway between. But in a recent study aimed at developing ultra-fast transistors using graphene, researchers from the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy and the California NanoSystems Institute show that dividing space into discrete locations, like a chessboard, may explain how point-like electrons, which have no finite radius, manage to carry their intrinsic angular momentum, or "spin."

While studying graphene's electronic properties, professor Chris Regan and graduate student Matthew Mecklenburg found that a particle can acquire spin by living in a space with two types of positions — dark tiles and light tiles. The particle seems to spin if the tiles are so close together that their separation cannot be detected.

"An electron's spin might arise because space at very small distances is not smooth, but rather segmented, like a chessboard," Regan said.

Their findings are published in the March 18 edition of the journal .

In , "spin up" and "spin down" refer to the two types of states that can be assigned to an electron. That the electron's spin can have only two values — not one, three or an infinite number — helps explain the stability of matter, the nature of the chemical bond and many other fundamental phenomena.

However, it is not clear how the electron manages the rotational motion implied by its spin. If the electron had a radius, the implied surface would have to be moving faster than the speed of light, violating the theory of relativity. And experiments show that the electron does not have a radius; it is thought to be a pure point particle with no surface or substructure that could possibly spin.

Electrons are thought to spin, even though they are pure point particles with no surface that can possibly rotate. Recent work on graphene shows that the electron’s spin might arise because space at very small distances is not smooth, but rather segmented like a chessboard. The standard cartoon of an electron shows a spinning sphere with positive or negative angular momentum, as illustrated in blue or gold above. However, such cartoons are fundamentally misleading: compelling experimental evidence indicates that electrons are ideal point particles, with no finite radius or internal structure that could possibly “spin”. A quantum mechanical model of electron transport in graphene, a single layer of graphite (shown as a black honeycomb), presents a possible resolution to this puzzle. An electron in graphene hops from carbon atom to carbon atom as if moving on a chessboard with triangular tiles. At low energies the individual tiles are unresolved, but the electron acquires an “internal” spin quantum number which reflects whether it is on the blue or the gold tiles. Thus the electron’s spin could arise not from rotational motion of its substructure, but rather from the discrete, chessboard-like structure of space. (Image: Chris Regan/CNSI)

In 1928, British physicist Paul Dirac showed that the spin of the electron is intimately related to the structure of space-time. His elegant argument combined quantum mechanics with special relativity, Einstein's theory of space-time (famously represented by the equation E=mc2).

Dirac's equation, far from merely accommodating spin, actually demands it. But while showing that relativistic quantum mechanics requires spin, the equation does not give a mechanical picture explaining how a point particle manages to carry angular momentum, nor why this spin is two-valued.

Unveiling a concept that is at once novel and deceptively simple, Regan and Mecklenburg found that electrons' two-valued spin can arise from having two types of tiles — light and dark — in a chessboard-like space. And they developed this quantum mechanical model while working on the surprisingly practical problem of how to make better transistors out of a new material called graphene.

Graphene, a single sheet of graphite, is an atomically-thin layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb structure. First isolated in 2004 by Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov, graphene has a wealth of extraordinary electronic properties, such as high electron mobility and current capacity. In fact, these properties hold such promise for revolutionary advances that Geim and Novoselov were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize a mere six years after their achievement.

Regan and Mecklenburg are part of a UCLA effort to develop extremely fast using this new material.

"We wanted to calculate the amplification of a graphene transistor," Mecklenburg said. "Our collaboration was building them and needed to know how well they were going to work."

This calculation involved understanding how light interacts with the electrons in graphene.

The electrons in graphene move by hopping from carbon atom to carbon atom, as if hopping on a chessboard. The graphene chessboard tiles are triangular, with the dark tiles pointing "up" and light ones pointing "down." When an electron in graphene absorbs a photon, it hops from light tiles to dark ones. Mecklenburg and Regan showed that this transition is equivalent to flipping a spin from "up" to "down."

In other words, confining the in graphene to specific, discrete positions in space gives them spin. This spin, which derives from the special geometry of graphene's honeycomb lattice, is in addition to and distinct from the usual spin carried by the electron. In graphene the additional spin reflects the unresolved chessboard-like structure to the space that the electron occupies.

"My adviser [Regan] spent his Ph.D. studying the structure of the electron," Mecklenburg said. "So he was very excited to see that spin can emerge from a lattice. It makes you wonder if the usual electron spin could be generated in the same way."

"It's not yet clear if this work will be more useful in particle or condensed matter physics," Regan said, "but it would be odd if graphene's honeycomb structure was the only lattice capable of generating ."

Explore further: Spin-based electronics: New material successfully tested

More information: link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.116803

Provided by University of California - Los Angeles

4.4 /5 (39 votes)

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ubavontuba
1.4 / 5 (9) Mar 18, 2011
Interesting, but this is clearly an example of two-dimensional thinking which does nothing to resolve the electron's motions in 3-D spacetime. All it really does is describe a hypothesis for electron movement in a sheet of graphene.
MrsButterworth
Mar 18, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
bimachakti
Mar 18, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Bob_Kob
2 / 5 (3) Mar 18, 2011
So space is quantised as well? I wonder what the single quanta of space is.
Moebius
1.9 / 5 (13) Mar 18, 2011
Space is usually considered infinitely divisible given any two positions, there is always a position halfway between.


Wrong, there is no such thing as infinity.
Zilwiki
4.3 / 5 (4) Mar 18, 2011
String theory says particles are not points without dimension, but string-like entities. A point particle with no dimension makes no sense, as the need to renormalize in QM to avoid infinities recognizes. And space is quantized like everything else.
sender
1 / 5 (4) Mar 18, 2011
Surprisingly newtonian macrophysics rears it's head in quantum microstructure.
beelize54
1.3 / 5 (12) Mar 18, 2011
The space-time is random, just this randomness appears like the density fluctuations of gas or supercritical fluid, which are have stringy appearance, too.

http://www1.chem....co24.jpg

The connection of electron spin in graphene to structure of space-time is ad-hoced, because the electron has a spin even outside of graphene. With such "logic" the space-time could have structure of apple without problem, because inside of apple electrons have spin too.
cyberCMDR
5 / 5 (2) Mar 19, 2011
I wonder how this works with paired electrons in an orbital, since they must have opposite spins.
c0y0te
4.3 / 5 (14) Mar 19, 2011
I apologize if my question is stupid, but if electron has a mass and it is an ideal point particle then is it a black hole?
EvgenijM
5 / 5 (1) Mar 19, 2011
If space have a structure like this then it must consist of something, and that means that particles are traveling not in empty space, but through some sort of medium.
nothingness
not rated yet Mar 19, 2011
so i guess at infinitesemally small spaces, dimension is quantized in a sort of way? kind of like how a room has standing waves/fundamental harmonics?
andyd
5 / 5 (5) Mar 19, 2011
The electron is just a single wave-length of light that loops back on itself. It is not an object per se so has no size. If the electric field vectors orient inwards you have an electron, outward you have a positron. The spin is just the directional orientation of the loop around the direction of motion. In pair creation they will have opposite spins to conserve angular momentum.
beelize54
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 19, 2011
if electron has a mass and it is an ideal point particle then is it a black hole
Electron has no zero diameter, it's lepton charge involves diameter ~ 10E-18m and it's repulsive.
Noumenon
3.1 / 5 (88) Mar 19, 2011
The electron is just a single wave-length of light that loops back on itself. It is not an object per se so has no size. If the electric field vectors orient inwards you have an electron, outward you have a positron. The spin is just the directional orientation of the loop around the direction of motion. In pair creation they will have opposite spins to conserve angular momentum.


This doesn't make sense, why would EM loop back on it self? Can you describe how magnetic/electric forces would do that? Also, Since there are different frequencies of light you would have different mass (equivalencies) electrons, which is not observed. Also, what process would emit EM mass equivalent of an electron?
Noumenon
3.2 / 5 (92) Mar 19, 2011
I apologize if my question is stupid, but if electron has a mass and it is an ideal point particle then is it a black hole?

It would evaporate away given Hawkings theory, but instead we never see the intrinsic mass different from one electron to another.

The uncertainty principal limits how confined a particle can be located in space, so can't be a Bh.

The electron was also detected as a wave, diffracted through a crystal. So the correct interpretation should be that it is neither a particle nor a wave as it exists apart from experimental observation, and that we impose such forms onto it given how it is described and observed.
yoatmon
2 / 5 (4) Mar 19, 2011
@ Moebius:
Wrong, there is no such thing as infinity.


I wouldn't be too sure about that. It appears as though galaxis, incl. our Milky Way, are relatively flat in respect to their overall size. The galaxis, on the contrary to our planets in the solarsystem located nearly in one plane, are located in different planes (3-D).
However immense the universe may be, to my knowledge its extremeties have not yet been discovered. If the universe is contantly expanding at a exponential rate, it cannot have definite physical dimensions. The void into which the universe is expanding is infinite. If this void were finite, our universe could not be expanding. What is not known is if the universe itself is finite or not. If it is finite then it will stop expanding once it reaches its limits. Will it remain at these limits forever or shall it contract in time to the size it had at its supposed "Big Bang"? At any rate, the void into which our universe is expanding is infinite.
MRBlizzard
1 / 5 (6) Mar 19, 2011
Note how the number two plays into the following.

1. Regular space can be mapped into 2-space. Holographic Theorem.
2. There was a serious attempt to resolve General Relativity Plank scale foam using shifting (with rules) triangular polygons. Think about adding rules as in the article.
3. Quantum Mechanical Interference can be correctly calcualted with only two slits, not three or more. I find this to be a telling and fundamental fact. It's imlications about QMs basis?
Noumenon
3.2 / 5 (88) Mar 19, 2011
At any rate, the void into which our universe is expanding is infinite. (yoatmon)


The universe does not expand into an already existing space, rather, space is expanding as an intrinsic part of the universe.
Sanescience
1 / 5 (4) Mar 19, 2011
Electron a black hole? No, because the mass of an electron, 1/1836 ish of a proton, does not represent a gravity field with an acceleration value greater than light speed. It is also interesting to consider that an electron is a fermion, meaning no other fermion can "join" it's point-like location to "grow"

I wonder how position in space works while we are racing through space orbiting the sun and around the galaxy and towards a collision with Andromeda?
Noumenon
3.2 / 5 (85) Mar 19, 2011
Electron a black hole? No, because the mass of an electron, 1/1836 ish of a proton, does not represent a gravity field with an acceleration value greater than light speed.

I don't think this is a valid argument.

The nature of a BH depends on how much mass is confined within a given space,.. its mass and radius,.. therefore if a electron is a "point particle", and it's radius is infinitesimal, then even it's tiny mass would make a BH. A better argument is to say that a electron can not be so confined in space.
Rohitasch
4.5 / 5 (8) Mar 19, 2011
I apologize if my question is stupid, but if electron has a mass and it is an ideal point particle then is it a black hole?

The smallest black hole has the radius of a Plank length unit or some simple function of it. Something amazing happens when the particle's mass reaches the Plank mass (or some simple function of it). While all particles above this critical mass have an associated length (radius) proportional to the particle's mass (called its Schwarzschild radius), those below this critical mass have an associated length (its Compton/deBroglie wavelength - its region of localization) inversely proportional to the mass. The evaporation time of Black holes also converges at the Plank length. The Plank mass has its Evaporation time*c = Compton wavelength = Schwarzschild radius. So there can be no black holes that can be localized at all below the Plank mass. Beautiful, eh? Singularities, yes (electrons are charge singularities), but no black holes.
Naked
1 / 5 (3) Mar 19, 2011
I know people like links more.
But i read in a book, something about electrons communicating.
They mimic each others spin, if one changed so did the other faster then light even.
Thing is nothing can travel faster then light, as E=MC^2 suggest.
But if electrons truly are suspended in a sort of space triangular tile sense.
It would be 3D i imagine.
Interconnected, so that if one electrons spin, is altered so is neighbors.
That hang in the same space triangular tile, like if you press down your finger on a pillow, fabric around your finger moves at the same time.
Hope my point is enjoyable.
Wulfgar
1 / 5 (1) Mar 19, 2011
Forgive my ignorance. So if you move the graphene sheet through space, the triangular space/time "chessboard" doesn't move with it does it? Would the spin state of a given electron flip as the sheet is moved?
jjoensuu
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 19, 2011
@EvgenijM:
If space have a structure like this then it must consist of something, and that means that particles are traveling not in empty space, but through some sort of medium.

Which brings us back to aether.
stm_wrp
5 / 5 (1) Mar 20, 2011
I remember reading about a researcher trying to find out if our reality was a simulation. The method was to see if there is "pixelation" in existence. This seems like a very clear example of pixelation if the hypothesis turns out true. (reality as simulation was posted on physorg)
brentrobot
5 / 5 (1) Mar 20, 2011
I have always thought that electrons were knots in space-time, and positrons were the necessary anti-knot.

If you take this tessellated space-time idea and fold it in such a way that you get two knots, the very motion of the folds through space-time would require something that looks a lot like spin, especially so if there were a plank size tessellation.

And on a related topic the bent or folded space-time would contain energy or mass, much like the curved space-time of two tiny black holes. The two folds coming together would slam together and release their energy in opposite directions, much like two gamma rays.

Or perhaps it is space-time that is knotted up on the plank scale and electrons and positrons are places where space has come unknotted.
MachinegunDojo
1 / 5 (1) Mar 20, 2011
Forgive my ignorance. So if you move the graphene sheet through space, the triangular space/time "chessboard" doesn't move with it does it? Would the spin state of a given electron flip as the sheet is moved?


I was wondering the same but then I wonder if this chessboard represented in some way the dimensions of space in some way, it's a stretch I know but what if each white tile is one dimension and each black tile is the other and when you move the graphene sheet it merely jumps from it's relative spot? Although it's not really jumping but moving through it's respected dimension. I have no idea how small each of these tiles are supposed to be and I question if tile is merely a laymen description of what they are proposing, but I wonder if they can't be 1 dimensional representations of woven space.

Just my imagination going crazy... I have no idea.
TheWalrus
5 / 5 (1) Mar 20, 2011
So space is quantised as well? I wonder what the single quanta of space is.


I apologize if my question is stupid, but if electron has a mass and it is an ideal point particle then is it a black hole?


Look up "Planck length" and "Planck mass." Wikipedia has some good articles. Basically, there is a smallest unit of space; approximately 1.6 x 10 ^-35 meter. The Planck mass is the smallest possible mass that could become a black hole if it were compressed into the Planck space. That mass is very large compared to a single electron: 21.7644 µg. So, no, an electron cannot become a black hole.
TheWalrus
not rated yet Mar 20, 2011
Electron a black hole? No, because the mass of an electron, 1/1836 ish of a proton, does not represent a gravity field with an acceleration value greater than light speed.

I don't think this is a valid argument.

See my last post (above).

The nature of a BH depends on how much mass is confined within a given space,.. its mass and radius,.. therefore if a electron is a "point particle", and it's radius is infinitesimal, then even it's tiny mass would make a BH. A better argument is to say that a electron can not be so confined in space.

yoatmon
1 / 5 (1) Mar 20, 2011
@ Noumenon:

The universe does not expand into an already existing space, rather, space is expanding as an intrinsic part of the universe.


Sorry for the misunderstanding but I was not talking about space rather void (emptiness, without content).

I don't mean interstellar space and I don't mean interglactic space.
What is the matter density of intergalactic space? One atom / mile³? What is the theoretical density outside of the universe? I assume nothing. Where there is no energy/matter there is just plain nothing. Where there is absolutely nothing, there is neither time nor space; it is the same as human stupidity, boundless without limits and infinite.
Jotaf
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 20, 2011
yoatmon: I think the question is whether in the region "outside the Universe" (ie, a place so far away the products of the Big Bang haven't had time to reach) the usual laws of physics still apply, and it's merely space that hasn't been occupied yet, or it ends there (with whatever boundary conditions you may want to imagine).

Fascinating article!
frajo
4.3 / 5 (6) Mar 20, 2011
Sorry for the misunderstanding but I was not talking about space rather void (emptiness, without content).

I don't mean interstellar space and I don't mean interglactic space.
What is the matter density of intergalactic space? One atom / mile³? What is the theoretical density outside of the universe? I assume nothing.
There is no outside of the universe. It is not even thinkable.
How would you define a point "outside of the universe"?
yoatmon
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 20, 2011
A point outside of the universe could be defined as a vector relative to at least three fixed points or more within the known universe.
frajo
4.4 / 5 (7) Mar 20, 2011
A point outside of the universe could be defined as a vector relative to at least three fixed points or more within the known universe.
Why would this point be "outside" of the universe? Every point you can define this way is a point within "our" universe.
In order to define a point "outside" of the universe you would have to name some quality exclusively exhibited by it and not exhibited by any point within the universe.
Noumenon
3.1 / 5 (88) Mar 20, 2011
yoatmon, it is meaningless non-sense to speak of anything outside the known universe by definition.
Tachyon8491
1 / 5 (3) Mar 20, 2011
Defining the spacetime void in which the present phase of the universe is in expansion as a finite volume, posits that there is an "after" any hypothesised border, the essential implication of a "border" -note this by itself does not define limits to the physical expansion limits of the universe. With the presently determined openness and matter-density / volume, the universe is projected to expand without constraint, forever. Even if the spacetime continuum recurves dimensionally on itself, then still, the 4-D domain *containing* the physical universe, is still infinite, any hypothesised border always having an "after." The paradoxes generated when associating this with e.g. a "many worlds" universe, appears to imply dimensional sets beyond 4-D with partial parametric overlap.
tkjtkj
not rated yet Mar 20, 2011
String theory says particles are not points without dimension, but string-like entities. A point particle with no dimension makes no sense, as the need to renormalize in QM to avoid infinities recognizes. And space is quantized like everything else.


including time ...
mrwolfe
1 / 5 (2) Mar 20, 2011
So space is quantised as well? I wonder what the single quanta of space is.


I'm not sure that it can be. At the very least, there can be no regular 3D structure at the planck scale. If there were, space would have preferred directions, i.e motion would be faster in some directions than in others.
soulman
4.3 / 5 (12) Mar 20, 2011
I think the question is whether in the region "outside the Universe" (ie, a place so far away the products of the Big Bang haven't had time to reach) the usual laws of physics still apply, and it's merely space that hasn't been occupied yet

That is a common misconception about the universe and the big bang. People tend to think of the big bang as an explosion that occurred at a single point in space and whose blast effects are still spreading, yet to reach distant corners of the universe. The BB was the creation of space-time itself and not an explosion, and it occurred everywhere.
frajo
4.3 / 5 (6) Mar 21, 2011
Even if the spacetime continuum recurves dimensionally on itself, then still, the 4-D domain *containing* the physical universe, is still infinite, any hypothesised border always having an "after."
This implies that there is a non-physical 4-D domain containing the physical universe.
Which is non-science as a non-physical container containing the universe cannot be object of science as its existence is a non-falsifiable thesis. You could equally well call this container a "god".
mg1
1 / 5 (7) Mar 21, 2011
Only small minds talk of nothing outside the universe, There are multiple hypothesis's about M-theory and String theory that define things outside the normal universe.

M-theory itself hings in the fact that there is a lot more than the universe outside of the universe.

If you believe in just the 4-dimensions, in a confined space that makes itself, then you are currently in the minority.
mg1
1 / 5 (5) Mar 21, 2011
@Noumenon

You are wrong. A universe cannot expand if there is nothing around it. The laws of physics only apply in the universe. Youre trying to apply the laws of physics in this universe to expanding and pushing aside a null-space with no physics.

Not possible. Only if the null-space has the same physics can this universe expand.

Therefore the concept of there being a space with the same physics as the universe already there is almost certain, which implies the universe is not making itself but rather its expanding into an area of the same physics.

This means the universe did not make the physics its currently using, and by coincidence removes a few useless hypothesis along the way.
mg1
1 / 5 (1) Mar 21, 2011
Well instead of not possible I could write, unproven. By having a particle of light moving through null-space, suddenly null-space gains physics...

A little too far fetched for me.
SteveL
5 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2011
The only universal "border" (just for our location in space time) is the one where at the present accelerating expansion rate and at this current time - light is unable to reach us. By its nature this "border" will be constantly changing based on the time and location referenced by the observer. Even understanding this, we would be incorrect to assume that all there is, is only what we can detect - even if what we can detect where and when we are located is really all that can possibly matter to us.
EdMoore
5 / 5 (1) Mar 21, 2011
I'm just an engineer, but this reminds me of an article on Heim theory that I saw a while ago...
SteveL
5 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2011
I'm just an engineer, but this reminds me of an article on Heim theory that I saw a while ago...


No one is "just an" anything, unless we are willing to accept limits to our abilities. Instead consider yourself an Engineer with a mind that seeks understanding and who is unwilling to let your schooling get in the way of your education.
group0
not rated yet Mar 21, 2011
....unwilling to let your schooling get in the way of your education.


That has got to be the most useful group of words I've read so far...classical scientific training can sometimes be a 'ball-and-chain'. Think beyond your training so to speak....outside the proverbial box.
ggrabowich
5 / 5 (1) Mar 21, 2011
I am no scientist, as many of you clearly are, but I have a question nonetheless. If space has a quanta-like structure as the article describes, and it appears that space is expanding at an accelerating rate in 3 dimensions, are the quanta becoming bigger over time as well or are they fixed in size? If expanding, does our physics change over time? If fixed, where is the new quanta coming from?
TheWalrus
1.5 / 5 (2) Mar 21, 2011
The planck length ("space quantum") is the distance a photon travels in one Planck time unit. Nothing meaningful can be smaller than that, so the unit is based on the limits of the speed of light. If Planck lengths are expanding, the speed of light must be increasing as well, leading to no net change.
SteveL
not rated yet Mar 21, 2011
If the Planck length is indeed growing along with the universe, we'd never know it. What non-expanding reference would you have to compare to?
Noumenon
3.2 / 5 (87) Mar 21, 2011
@Noumenon

You are wrong. A universe cannot expand if there is nothing around it. The laws of physics only apply in the universe. Youre trying to apply the laws of physics in this universe to expanding and pushing aside a null-space with no physics.....


The laws of physics as deduced from the known universe are self-contained and make no reference to an a-priori "null-space". It is similar to the case of curved space-time, the description of which does not require being imbedded within a flat Euclidian space for reference, as the mathematics are self-contained.

You may speak of unobservable null-space if you wish to considered meta-physics.
hush1
1 / 5 (2) Mar 24, 2011
...as the mathematics are self-contained.


Yes. That is the assumption.
Self containment guarantees consistency. There are statements arising from self containment that appear (the assumption) as if those statements can not be accounted for, within a self containment.

When that happens we call it 'meta-'.
That name calling is humiliating and degrading. As if those questions arising from self containment are less worthy than from the birthplace (science) those questions arose.

All of your comments are worth reading. Why? Because there is no mutual regret. You do not regret writing them. I do not regret reading them. ...o.k., most of the time, anyway. :)
beelize54
1 / 5 (2) Mar 24, 2011
There is no outside of the universe. It is not even thinkable. How would you define a point "outside of the universe"?
Proponents of string theory and multiverse (parallel universes) concepts would disagree with you. The interior of black hole is considered as a distinct universe with some people and after then it's quite easy to imagine the point, outside of such an universe. BTW Kipp Thorne was first, who proposed stringy foam character of interior for such black holes. Actually, such geometry is common for all highly compressed states of matter.

My opinion is, the Universe is only one by its very definition, but the dispersive character of light energy spreading in its makes observable portion of Universe limited like the landscape under the fog. Which enables the presence of many observable Universes, the dimensional scale of which would depend on the scale/energy density of their observers.
Noumenon
3.1 / 5 (82) Mar 24, 2011
...as the mathematics are self-contained.


Yes. That is the assumption.
Self containment guarantees consistency. There are statements arising from self containment that appear (the assumption) as if those statements can not be accounted for, within a self containment.

When that happens we call it 'meta-'.
That name calling is humiliating and degrading. As if those questions arising from self containment are less worthy than from the birthplace (science) those questions arose.

All of your comments are worth reading. Why? Because there is no mutual regret. You do not regret writing them. I do not regret reading them. ...o.k., most of the time, anyway. :)

I meant by 'metaphysics' the unobservable, and thus, unscientific realm,... and not as an insult.
hush1
1 / 5 (2) Mar 25, 2011
No insult (from my point view) was perceived. I react to the 'meta' of roots words as if the root words are going through a crisis - like the 'foundational crisis' mathematics experienced.

There are many questions arising from the observable, the physical, where answers are first found in the 'meta', in the 'unobservable' - the 'extensional' - the 'meta' part of science - only to be 'rediscovered as an 'observable' not yet previously brought into consideration with the original observation or observables.

What is so 'unscientific' about a 'realm' that contributes directly to the realm of science?

So, 'meta-'anything is not educational?
I demand my 'meta' doctoral degree! lol :P

Noumenon
3.1 / 5 (82) Mar 25, 2011
Science is inductive and so is based on observables as guide and verification. A multi-universe model, or string theory, or the notion of a void outside the known universe, is not science unless it models something falseifiable and therefore observable.

I didn't say meta-... is useless.
hush1
1 / 5 (2) Mar 25, 2011
The experiment. The theory. O.k.
Jotaf
1 / 5 (1) Mar 26, 2011
Noumenon: I believe many experiments have been proposed to measure possible effects of a N-D Universe in our little 4-D corner, so it is probably a verifiable/falsifiable claim.
sinapps
1 / 5 (3) Mar 27, 2011
I'm with EvgenijM. What is this structure supposed to be made of? If you have an electron that's supposed to be only a point and it's banging into empty space that's supposed to be more of a nothing than the point, then...
sinapps
1 / 5 (1) Mar 27, 2011
EvgenijM's comment being:
If space have a structure like this then it must consist of something, and that means that particles are traveling not in empty space, but through some sort of medium.