Large Grants
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Previous Programs

2016 Physics of the Observer
2016 Awardees

2015 The Physics of What Happens
2015 Awardees

2013 Physics of Information
2013 Awardees

2010 The Nature of Time
2010 Awardees

2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
2008 Awardees

2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
2006 Awardees

Sabine Hossenfelder
Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies

Project Title

Spacetime Defects

Project Summary

Quantum gravity is necessary to understand what space and time fundamentally are. One of the central questions in the research area is whether this fundamental structure is discrete, ie whether there are `atoms' of space-time. The aim of this project is to identify the most promising experimental tests for space-time discreteness. The tests subject of study here rest on the realization that if space-time is discrete, then its discrete structure should have imperfections much like crystals have imperfections. While directly testing the discreteness is beyond our experimental possibilities, detecting the defects may be possible because the defects can affect how particles travel through space-time. To make reliable predictions, it is necessary to develop a theory for space-time defects from which the observable consequences can be derived. The purpose of the here proposed project is to develop such a theory and investigate the possibility to experimentally test it.

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