## Spacetime Quanta

Assuming the absolute continuity of spacetime may be the source of perplexities in religion and science. Religion has a problem in continuous spacetime of reconciling two different eternities. Science has a problem in continuous time of reconciling the discrete energy jumps of quantum physics with the smooth changes of energy in relativity. I will explore a spacetime formed from infinitesimally small, indivisible pieces, to see if this provides some insight into these problems.

* This artist's impression of a fragment of quantized spacetime
shows the spherical quanta in a single plane for simplicity. At
the magnification of this illustration, a hydrogen atom
would be 100 times larger than the Milky Way. An elementary particle in
the red quantum remains invisible, being a point with no dimensions. It
gains quantum randomness as it moves, because it can transfer only
across quantum contacts. *

A minimum piece of spacetime can be called a spacetime quantum. As
undisturbed space appears the same in all directions, I think the
quantum must be spherical. As each one will join with others to form a uniform
spacetime, they all must have the same size. And each one will have the absolute
minimum dimensions. These are generally accepted to be the Planck length
(1.62 x 10^{-35} meter) and the Planck time, or instant, (5.39 x 10^{-44}
second). These, and the Planck mass (2.18 x 10^{-8} kg) are universal
standards depending on the properties of space alone, not being derived
from national standards. The spacetime quantum diameter becomes the
Planck length, the Planck instant becomes its time pulse. The Planck
mass is the mass of a black hole the size of the quantum, which is 10^{20}
time smaller than a proton. The proton has a mass of 1.67 x 10^{-27} kg.

Compared with other elementary particles, a particle of Planck mass is heavier than anything ever encountered. This brings enormous energies to the creation of spacetime, as described below.

Packed in a four-dimensional matrix or lattice, the quanta provide locations for elementary particles, whose changing positions and interactions provide our evolving universe. Now, there is an obvious puzzle in this arrangement. Even with close packing, the quantum spheres will contact each other at no more than about 12 points, which in perfect spheres will have zero dimensions. To move between quanta, elementary particles must also have zero spatial dimensions. Fortunately, this appears to be case, though why it should be so has been a mystery for some time.

There is another surprise. Voids will exist between the four-dimensional quanta. The voids are continuously connected but cannot be a vacuum. A vacuum is formed by empty quanta and therefore has dimensions. The void between quanta has no dimensions. With close, somewhat-random packing of spacetime quanta, the void will make up one third of the universe. If spacetime is quantized, we live in a dual universe. Our every particle is one Planck length away from the void, which appears to be much like Anselm’s atemporal, aspatial eternity.

Elementary particles moving through quanta cannot take short cuts through the void. There are no dimensions in the void to form a path for a particle. The void does have an interface of zero thickness with every spacetime quantum, where it can gain two spatial dimensions and a time dimension. But there is no sense in which a particle can move over that surface. The bulk of the void beyond the interface remains dimensionless.

Where did this dual universe come from? How the void gains dimensions at its interface, suggests a flexibility that is absent in the formal structure of spacetime. So spacetime may have emerged within a prior dimensionless void, trapping parts of the void within itself. As in Hinduism, energy is required even for an intermediate step in creation, such as a displacement of a void by spacetime quanta. And that energy, being in a void, will be dimensionless.