Quantum spacetime

Concept in theoretical mathematical physics / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In mathematical physics, the concept of quantum spacetime is a generalization of the usual concept of spacetime in which some variables that ordinarily commute are assumed not to commute and form a different Lie algebra. The choice of that algebra still varies from theory to theory. As a result of this change some variables that are usually continuous may become discrete. Often only such discrete variables are called "quantized"; usage varies.

The idea of quantum spacetime was proposed in the early days of quantum theory by Heisenberg and Ivanenko as a way to eliminate infinities from quantum field theory. The germ of the idea passed from Heisenberg to Rudolf Peierls, who noted that electrons in a magnetic field can be regarded as moving in a quantum spacetime, and to Robert Oppenheimer, who carried it to Hartland Snyder, who published the first concrete example.[1] Snyder's Lie algebra was made simple by C. N. Yang in the same year.