## 9 Elements of Spacetime

Most scientists agree that the Planck length and the Planck time represent the logical minimum intervals of length and time. I therefore take them to define the minimum interval of spacetime. And I assume that spacetime condenses out of the energy of eternity as quanta: indivisible bits of space and time of this minimum size, in an initial phase change before all others. I assume any elementary particle will fit within one of these spacetime quanta. Equipped with an intrinsic time pulse and shuffled into a three-dimensional array, such quanta will become spacetime, defining the location of a particle in space and time, and its movement.

A spacetime quantum is symmetrical in its spatial dimensions. Otherwise it would not be the smallest element of space in all directions. It is therefore a sphere whose diameter is the Planck-length. As such it is the smallest step a particle can take in space, and the smallest separation between two particles. Physics assumes particles can only exist in spacetime. Therefore, particles cannot exist in a region between quanta. For particles to move, quanta have to be in contact. Then a particle can transfer from one quantum to another across one of their point of contact.

The spacetime quantum is not symmetrical in its time dimension. The future and the past arise out of this asymmetry. All quanta provide a synchronized directional time step, creating a present equal to the Planck time. In this step, a particle may either remain at rest in a quantum, or it may move from one quantum to another. When it is at rest, intrinsic processes such as decay into other particles take place. I call time steps like this "intrinsic time". If a particle is moving, the transfer from one quantum to another also takes place in one of the universal time steps. I refer to this as "transfer time". Both types of time step are always in the same time direction, corresponding to movement toward the future. However, a transfer time step for a particle will replaces an intrinsic time step. This will cause a slowing of intrinsic processes, giving rise the the phenomenon of time dilation familiar in special relativity. As velocity nears the speed of light, clocks and biological processes slow down, giving hope for travel to the stars in a reasonable time.

The speed of light is a universal constant that relates the length of a quantum to its time step. A particle that moves from one quantum to another changes its position by the Planck length in the Planck time. That is, it moves at the speed of light. Particles moving slower than the speed of light alternate between being stationary in intrinsic time and moving from one quantum to another in transfer time. So no particle can move faster than the speed of light. A photon, a particle of light that moves at the speed of light, is always in transfer time. It can have no intrinsic processes and so cannot decay. A stationary particle is always in intrinsic time. Particles moving at less than the speed of light experience an alternation of transfer time and intrinsic time.