Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sometimes a Great Notion

Less is more is a philosophy yours truly ascribes to with great fervor in all things digital, technical and creativie. When someone comes up with an elegant approach to a wicked problem using tech with economy and grace, admiration for coming up with such a notion knows no bounds To that end, Jacob Bekenstein has come up with a biggie.

Quantum gravity theory is untested experimentally. Could it be tested with tabletop experiments? While the common feeling is pessimistic, a detailed inquiry shows it possible to sidestep the onerous requirement of localization of a probe on Planck length scale. I suggest a tabletop experiment which, given state of the art ultrahigh vacuum and cryogenic technology, could already be sensitive enough to detect Planck scale signals. The experiment combines a single photon's degree of freedom with one of a macroscopic probe to test Wheeler's conception of "spacetime foam", the assertion that on length scales of the order Planck's, spacetime is no longer a smooth manifold. The scheme makes few assumptions beyond energy and momentum conservations, and is not based on a specific quantum gravity scheme. 

Less is More - Dizzy Gillespie

Sometimes a Great Notion is also a book written by Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nests and the subject of Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, a travelog like no other. :)

Type Quantum Foam in Search to see BRT's take on John Wheeler's incredibly powerful theory concerning QF  and From It to Bit as reality, in the end, is information writ large, something Bekenstein understands far better then I. :)

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