Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fuzziness Of Time May Manifest Itself In Gravitational Measurement Noise?

That seems to be what Craig Hogan of Fermilab/University of Chicago appears to claim in a rather intriguing paper[1] reported in Nature News this morning (link may be available for free for a limited time only). He's claiming that the noise seen in the gravitational wave measurement at GEO600 in Hannover, Germany, could have a predominant component from the limit on the scale of time.

The predictions are based on a lower-dimensional view of spacetime: two spatial dimensions, plus time. Spacetime would be a plane of waves, travelling at the speed of light. The fundamental fuzziness of the waves, on the order of the Planck length and time, could be amplified in large systems such as gravitational-wave detectors. The third spatial dimension of the macroscopic world would be encoded in information contained in the two-dimensional waves. "It's as if, in the real world, we are living inside a hologram," says Hogan. "The illusion is almost perfect. You really need a machine like GEO600 to see it."

Of course, this needs a lot of work and confirmation. Still, it would certainly be an intriguing twist to the search for gravitational wave.


[1] C.J. Hogan, Phys. Rev. D 78, 087501 (2008).

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