You may find that utilizing sufficiently small discrete angular, durational, and distance parameters makes no difference that we can physically observe at the scale of current experiments. Most discussions (including, as far as I can tell, the ones you refer to in your OP) are interested in the other meaning. The particular question I was getting at then, isn't one that is a consideration in physics? JavaScript is disabled. Some physicists view it as, With regard to those that do consider it to be physically real, is opinion pretty evenly split when it comes to the question of whether or not it is continuous or discrete. For example- a system of dipoles can contain only integral no. Is the question of the Universe being continuous or discrete effectively the same question, would you say, or is there a slight nuance to it? Philosophy tends to deal with problem domains for which it's much harder to apply math as a precise reasoning tool, so they have to make the best of what they have. When you actually dig into it, you find that philosophers are always redefining ordinary language words to have precise technical meanings, because they understand that precise technical meanings are required in order to do precise reasoning as they are trying to do. I don't understand what "the Universe" being continuous or discrete even means, if it's supposed to not be the same as spacetime being continuous or discrete. This data will be updated every 24 hours. Nobody has a model that makes actual predictions in which spacetime is discrete; the only model we have of spacetime that makes predictions is GR, in which spacetime is continuous. Usage data cannot currently be displayed. of dipoles not 1/2 or 3/2 or any other in between values. The meaning of the term I'm trying to get at here is the one which refers to separate, or perhaps distinct, parts of something. I'd simply define an observable to have discrete values if and only if the corresponding self-adjoint operator representing it has a discrete or partially discrete spectrum. After-all we only actually carry out real measurements to a finite level of precision. Breier, Georg This may be fortunate or unfortunate as a choice depending on circumstances. and Breier, Georg Continuous system on the other hand refers to when the system's property changes continuously within any range. In both cases there is a limit to resolution, but only in the latter case is it due to discretization. Is the phrase "discrete spectrum" in rule #5 a contradiction in terms? Unfortunately, I don't think it is. Philosophers like to say that philosophy can be done using ordinary language, but that's not really true. The aim of this overview is to show that discrete and continuous features coexist in any natural phenomenon, depending on the scales of observation. and Chassaing, Philippe Mathematical Structures in Computer Science. Abstract views reflect the number of visits to the article landing page. The continuum is convenient in that it is agnostic of our limits in precision. Accordingly, different models, either discrete or continuous in time, space, phase space … 2010. I. space-time is a parametric construction we use to relate phenomena. I've come across the question of continuity vs discreteness in different articles, discussions, etc. FABRE-GUILLEVIN, ELISABETH MALO, MICHEL The aim of this overview is to show that discrete and continuous features coexist in any natural phenomenon, depending on the scales of observation. So I'm not sure how much anyone's opinion on the question is worth anyway. Thus it isn't, in and of itself, inherently discrete or inherently continuous. Then there's at least no doubt what we are discussing about. But when philosophy deals with a problem domain like physics, where math. If you want to understand how a particular model in physics, whether it's M-theory or anything else, works, you have to understand the math. So they are no different from angles which parameterize rotations but can also be utilized to describe the orientation (angular position) of a physical system relative to some ad hoc default position. The way I would interpret it, is as a question of whether the Universe is made up of discrete particles and/or fields, or if there is only one single field (or substance perhaps) with different properties. Physics is not done in vague ordinary language. Mine ponds amplify mercury risks in Peru's Amazon, Melting ice patch in Norway reveals large collection of ancient arrows, Comet 2019 LD2 (ATLAS) found to be actively transitioning. 2012. This paper presents a sample of the deep and multiple interplay between discrete and continuous behaviours and the corresponding modellings in physics. 2020. What you would probably be most interested in is projects that try to understand QM in terms of a primitive ontology. Physicists use math for precise reasoning because it's a much better tool for the job for any problem domain that it can be applied to. Does it represent the consensus among physicists, that spacetime is not an ontological/physically real object, or is opinion divided on that? 2012. Space and time coordinates are, as we use them, continuous as they are the parameters for the *Lie* group of transformations on objects. Must position be continuous in Bohmian mechanics? The discrete versus continuous controversy in physics 3 are labelled by d real-valued coordinates or as a tiling of discrete cells, or, equivalently, as a lattice, where positions are labelled by … You need to understand the math to understand those too. 3.2.2: Discrete Versus Continuous Molecules Last updated; Save as PDF Page ID 52246; Questions to Ponder Questions to Answer; Having considered the bonding situation with hydrogen and helium, the simplest two elements, we can now move on to consider other elements and the types of … Interpretation for continuity equation with complex potential. Bohmian trajectories vs. Feynman paths, always continuous? I think you are trying to understand physics the wrong way. Cohen, Johanne LESNE, ANNICK Deutsch, Andreas Close this message to accept cookies or find out how to manage your cookie settings. it might not be a useful way of looking at it. While almost all approaches to quantum gravity bring in a minimal length one way or the other, not all approaches do so by means of “discretization”—that is, by “chunking” space and time. Deutsch, Andreas For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. and BARLOVATZ-MEIMON, GEORGIA Unfortunately, this is not the meaning that most discussions of "continuous vs. discrete" in a physics context are interested in. Nova - Are space and time discrete or continuous? 2010. and Hatzikirou, Haralambos Throwing around vague ordinary language words is not a good approach, but that's what you are doing. We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites. E.g. It doesn't make sense to me. Difficulties and gaps arising from the singular nature of continuous limits and from the information loss accompanying discretisation are discussed. I don't know. Published online by Cambridge University Press: URL: /core/journals/mathematical-structures-in-computer-science. Breier, Georg Full text views reflects the number of PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views. Hatzikirou, Haralambos 2009. Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection. And if you zoom into a digital photo, you eventually see single pixels: further zooming will not reveal any more detail. Breier, Georg I think my misinterpretation may partly stem from articles like, There are fundamental, indivisible, energy-carrying. for this article. So in another sense, we experimentally always work in discrete units of measurement albeit many different degrees of precision. It is meaningful in how we use it but not as an ontological (physically real) object. This paper presents a sample of the deep and multiple interplay between discrete and continuous behaviours and the corresponding modellings in physics. Gerin, Lucas Most physicists emphasise observables and their expectation values over 'beables' and their ontic status. In our current Standard Model, there are multiple fields: the quark fields, the lepton fields, the gauge boson fields. There are implicit assumptions built into your question that need resolving before arriving at an answer. and Akkerman, Abraham 2014. Accordingly, different models, either discrete or continuous in time, space, phase space or conjugate space can be considered. NATO ASI on dynamics: models and kinetic methods for non-equilibrium many body systems, Coarse-grained probabilistic automata mimicking chaotic systems, Turbulence: The legacy of A. N. 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