Fay Dowker (Imperial College)
The current status of fundamental physics can be likened to the situation that pertained in 1905, prior to A. Einstein's and M. Smoluchowski's work on Brownian motion. Then the unsettled question was: "Is matter continuous or is it made of atoms?" and Einstein and Smoluchowski's work provided the definitive proof of the existence of atoms and molecules because it made quantitative predictions about the behaviour of Brownian particles that could not be explained in any continuum model of fluids. Today, more than a century later, it is the fundamental structure of spacetime itself that is at issue: Is spacetime a continuum or is it 'atomic'? I will review the evidence that makes many scientists believe that spacetime is fundamentally grainy and not continuous and describe a theory of atomic spacetime and ways that we might observe the effects of the granularity.
7:30pm for an 8pm start.
Meetings are FREE (although a contribution to expenses is appreciated)
Official Website: http://www.cafe-scientifique-brighton.org.uk/
Added by dallaway on January 19, 2010