Tuesday, September 15, 2015

[zgenhxhp] Adventures near Planck time

The smallest possible time interval is Planck time, 5e-44 seconds.  The smallest time interval in which we can do science is 12e-18 seconds (DOI 10.1038/NPHOTON.2010.91).  Between these is a gap of 2e26.  What might be happening in those time intervals too short to observe?

Could there be life?  Is there any reason there couldn't be life?  Subatomic civilizations are born and die in the blink of an eye.  This idea is the dual of life existing on time scales too long for us to comprehend.

As an analogy, 2e26 times longer than our 12 attosecond lower limit of observation is about 80 years.  Life, of course, exists within this gap.  It is a time scale ranging from the speed of chemical reactions to the time it takes for those chemical reactions to form and do life.  However, if one can only observe snapshots every 80 years, or worse, observe an average smeared over 80 years, it may be very difficult to tell that certain forms of life are alive; it may instead look like random fluctuations, which is what we observe in quantum systems.

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