Discrete means as opposed to continuous. For, instance, people may ask questions about discrete electric charges, discrete spacetime, discrete energies, etc. If discretization is vital/essential to the question then tag it with the [tag:discrete] tag.

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How do we know that time and distance are not discrete?

I know that it is believed that energy is discrete, in that it travels in quanta. I was wondering if there is any evidence which either proves or disproves something similar with both time and ...
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1answer
106 views

Topological vs. non-topological noetherian charges

What (if any) is the relationship between the conserved (non-topological) noetherian charges and topological charges? Namely, is there any "generalization" of the Noether's first theorem that includes ...
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101 views

Gauging discrete symmetries

I read somewhere what performing an orbifolding (i.e. imposing a discrete symmetry on what would otherwise be a compactification torus) is equivalent to "gauging the discrete symmetry". Can anybody ...
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228 views

Integer physics

Are there interesting (aspects of) problems in modern physics that can be expressed solely in terms of integer numbers? Bonus points for quantum mechanics.
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50 views

Has Time in the Universe been found to be Discrete or Continuous? [duplicate]

I have a question, has the Universe been found to come in Discrete Quantum, like Quantum Physics or is it Continuous in Nature? I was wondering if time was like a Continuum, like the fluid in a soft ...
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73 views

What were Feynman's objection(s) to a cubic lattice universe? [duplicate]

In this video of Feynman discussing the scientific method, starting at around eight minutes and 30 seconds, Feynman describes the proposition that space consists of a cubic lattice of points (as ...
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1answer
126 views

At the smallest level, how do things move?

When we see something moving on a screen it's usually just pixels being turned off at one location and turned on at another. For example: This would render a dot moving from A to C. Turn on pixel ...
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0answers
131 views

Do semiclassical GR and charge quantisation imply magnetic monopoles?

Assuming charge quantisation and semiclassical gravity, would the absence of magnetically charged black holes lead to a violation of locality, or some other inconsistency? If so, how? (I am not ...
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532 views

Dirac magnetic monopoles and electric charge quantization

Wikipedia describes how assuming the existence of a single magnetic monopole leads to electric charge quantization. But what if there's more than one? The same argument would apply to each of them ...
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2answers
184 views

A universe of angular momentum?

I read this on Wikipedia: [...] That most tangible way of expressing the essence of quantum mechanics is that we live in a universe of quantized angular momentum and the Planck constant is the ...
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1answer
334 views

Is Space-Time Quantisation necessary or even meaningful?

It is believed among people working on Quantum Gravity, that space-time must be quantised at the Planck scale. Although it is very hard to verify such proposition, it is interesting from a ...
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3answers
439 views

Is velocity quantized?

If velocity is not quantized, then do moving objects have 'infinitely decimal place' velocities which we just can't measure to infinite decimal places? From my understanding the quantization of ...
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5answers
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If photon energies are continuous and atomic energy levels are discrete, how can atoms absorb photons?

If photon energies are continuous and atomic energy levels are discrete, how can atoms absorb photons? The probability of a photon having just the right amount of energy for an atomic transition is ...
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1answer
131 views

Is there a finite unit of distance that we cannot divide past?

If distance could be divided into an infinite no of units or points, then it seems to me that motion would be impossible since a meter for instance, having an infinite no of points within it (and the ...
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4answers
367 views

What entities in Quantum Mechanics are known to be “not quantized”?

Since all the traditional "continuous" quantities like time, energy, momentum, etc. are taken to be quantized implying that derived quantities will also be quantized, I was wondering if Quantum ...
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89 views

Division algebras $(\mathbb{R,C,H,O})$ and discrete symmetry [closed]

I once saw a statement about the relation between division algebra(which means you can define a division in this algebra, there is a theorem saying we only have 4 kinds of division algebra, real R, ...
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4answers
158 views

Particles scattering on fluids: breakdown of the effective continuum description

When does the macroscopic continuum description of a medium like a fluid break down? Say I'm interested in a scattering process of some particles with momentum $p$ and energy $E$ off a fluid of ...
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4answers
874 views

Reason for the discreteness arising in quantum mechanics?

What is the most essential reason that actually leads to the quantization. I am reading the book on quantum mechanics by Griffiths. The quanta in the infinite potential well for e.g. arise due to the ...
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10answers
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Is time continuous?

While working on physics simulation software, I noticed that I had implemented discrete time (the only type possible on computers). By that I mean that I had an update mechanism that advanced the ...
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1answer
85 views

Vehicle acceleration

What I'm essentially doing is Kalman Filter. If anyone is familiar with (but it doesn't really matter in this case). Consider the following formulas: $$x_k=x_{k-1}+v_{k-1}dt+a_{k-1}\frac{dt^2}{2}$$ ...
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2answers
707 views

Applying velocity Verlet algorithm

I want to implement a simple particules system using the velocity form of the Verlet algorithm as integrator. Initial conditions at $t=0$ for a given particule $p$: mass: $ m $ position: ...
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4answers
591 views

Can physics get rid of the continuum?

Almost every physical equation I can think of (even though I don't actually feel comfortable beyond the scope of classical mechanics and macroscopic thermodynamics, as that's enough for dealing with ...
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5answers
2k views

Why position is not quantized in quantum mechanics?

Usually in all the standard examples in quantum mechanics textbooks the spectrum of the position operator is continuous. Are there (nontrivial) examples where position is quantized? or position ...
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0answers
163 views

Discrete sum over an exponential with imaginary argument, considering only every second lattice site?

Let's say I sum an exponential function $e^{\imath \left(k-k^{\prime}\right) x_{i}}$ over a chain system where every member of the chain is of the same type, e.g., A-A-A-...-A-A (total of N sites) ...
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557 views

Why does spin have a discrete spectrum?

Why is it that unlike other quantum properties such as momentum and velocity, which usually are given through (probabilistic) continuous values, spin has a (probabilistic) discrete spectrum?
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3answers
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Is space infinitely divisible?

As a child I remember hearing the popular paradox presented by Zeno proposing that Achilles could never catch a tortoise in a race since he would have to traverse the infinite space between himself ...
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Space-time in String Theory

I would like to understand how Physicists think of space-time in the context of String Theory. I understand that there are $3$ large space dimensions, a time dimension, and $6$ or $7$ (or $22$) extra ...
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Derivation of the Lagrangian method using discretized time axis

I'm watching this video lecture by Leonard Susskind of Stanford: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3apIZCpmdls After some preliminaries, at 34 minutes he jumps into a discretization of the time axis ...
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367 views

What is “charge discreteness”?

I assume it is some kind of quantity. Google only made things more confusing. I get that it has something to do with circuits. I also get what a discrete charge is. In fact, I thought charges ...
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3answers
568 views

Does the Opera result hint to a discrete spacetime?

Could the Opera result be interpreted as some kind of hint to a discrete spacetime that is only seen for high enough energy neutrinos? I think I've read (some time ago) something like this in a ...
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2answers
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Does the Planck scale imply that spacetime is discrete?

On a quantum scale the smallest unit is the Planck scale, which is a discrete measure. There several question that come to mind: Does that mean that particles can only live in a discrete grid-like ...
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2answers
747 views

How could spacetime become discretised at the Planck scale?

I didn't have much luck getting a response to this question before so I have tried to reword and expand it a little: In early 2010 I attended this inaugural lecture by string theorist- Prof. ...
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3answers
645 views

Are there any quantities in the physical world that are inherently rational/algebraic?

Whenever we measure something, it is usually inexact. For example, the mass of a baseball will never be measured exactly on a scale in any unit of measurement besides "mass in baseballs that are ...
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3answers
789 views

What are some approaches to discrete space-time used in modern physics?

This thought gave rise to some new questions in my mind. What are the consequences for: How would it affect duality i.e. particle, wave property of photons? How does this statement affect the ...
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Is (rest) mass quantized?

I learned today in class that photons and light are quantized. I also remember that electric charge is quantized as well. I was thinking about these implications, and I was wondering if (rest) mass ...
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Is there something similar to Noether's theorem for discrete symmetries?

Noether's theorem states that, for every continuous symmetry of a system, there exists a conserved quantity, e.g. energy conservation for time invariance, charge conservation for $U(1)$. Is there any ...