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In physics, there are two theoretical concepts referred to as Planck length and Planck time, and I will like us to discuss their relevance to quantum gravity in this article. But before then, let’s begin by defining these theoretical concepts according to standard physics.
The Planck length is defined as the smallest length that has any meaning and it is roughly 1.6 ×10 -35 m. “The Planck length is the scale at which classical ideas about gravity and space-time cease to be valid, and quantum effects dominate.”
On the other hand, the Planck time is defined as the smallest measurement of time that has any meaning and it is about 10 -43 sec. “The Planck time is the time it would take a photon travelling at the speed of light to cross a distance equal to the Planck length.”
The Planck length was derived by Max Planck himself when he considered how the three constants of physics G (the gravitational constant), c (the speed of light) and h (the Planck’s constant) can be put together to get a distance. This mathematical way Planck discovered is presented below as,
Now, Planck had derived the above by considering how the constants of nature apply to general relativity and quantum mechanics.
Max Planck, one of the founders of modern quantum mechanics
In general relativity, we have just two constants which are G (the gravitational constant) and c (the speed of light), while in quantum mechanics we have just two constants also which are c (the speed of light) and h (the Planck’s constant).
Physicist have been trying to unify both general relativity and quantum mechanics and they curiously predict that such a new theory must incorporate the three fundamental constants, thus the Planck length should play a major role in the new theory.
The Planck Length and Planck Time
This is why today physicists believe that the Planck length and Planck time represent scales in which the classical laws of physics break down and we approach the manifestation of quantum gravity where quantum gravity is the theory that unifies general relativity and quantum mechanics.
However, we must now ask ourselves if this theoretical prediction has any relevance. Are the Planck length and Planck time really relevant to the pursuit of quantum gravity? Do we have to go to such small scales in order to discover the unity of the universe? Would they be found in the new theory that unifies the macro world of large bodies and the micro world of small bodies as supposed?
Before I proceed I will like to simply inform you that the answer to the above questions is no. The Planck length and the Planck time have no relevance to quantum gravity. I will tell you why in this article.The Planck length and the Planck time have no relevance to quantum gravity.Click To Tweet
In post-modern physics, we have discovered the long-sought unified theory of the universe, and in this theory, there are three fundamental constants which are G (the gravitational constant), c (the speed of light) and k (the Coulomb’s constant).
Comparing the above three constants found in the theory of the universe, you will see that it is different from the one predicted by Planck and by contemporary physicist. In the theory of quantum gravity, Planck’s constant, h, is unexpectedly missing.
What does this mean? Obviously, it means that quantum mechanics is not an integral part of quantum gravity as we have been led to believe. Something else, another profound discovery has replaced the discoveries or propositions of quantum mechanics.
Also, it is obvious that the Coulomb constant is what has replaced the Planck’s constant. So, the profound discovery must be related to the Coulomb’s constant. It becomes pertinent to know how and why the Coulomb’s constant could replace the Planck’s constant in the true theory of quantum gravity.
The Coulomb’s contact, k, has replaced Planck’s constant, h, because of the new discovery in quantum gravity about the true nature of light in the atomic world. The profound discovery that has caused the Coulomb’s constant to displace the Planck’s constant is that light accelerates in the atomic world and does not move at a constant speed.
Before now, we had assumed that the electrical interaction of atomic particles is governed by their common property of charge. This is not true. Post-modern physics is making us know that the electrical interaction of atomic particles is governed by the acceleration of light and not charge.
In post-modern physics, we now have a new theory of electromagnetism based on the acceleration of light and not charge. I want you to read the scientific article below so that you will be introduced to the post-modern theory of electromagnetism.
In the theory of quantum gravity, the Coulomb’s constant which has displaced the Planck’s constant came in through the acceleration of light. Now, the same applies to the gravitational constant. In the theory of quantum gravity, the gravitational constant comes in through the acceleration of gravity and not mass.
A very close look at both concepts of the acceleration of gravity and the acceleration of light shows that they are absent in classical and modern physics. This is very important, for it shows us why the theory of quantum gravity deviates from its predicted character.
In the theory of quantum gravity, the gravitational constant, G, and the Coulomb’s constant, k, come in due to the acceleration of gravity and the acceleration of light respectively. The theory of quantum gravity is exposing us to formerly hidden concepts necessary for us to understand the universe.
The speed of light, c, is also present in the theory of quantum gravity though its absolute essence is what is emphasized. Against theoretical prediction, the Planck’s constant is not present in the theory of quantum gravity because it is not fundamentally associated with electromagnetic interactions and the acceleration of light.
It is now easy to understand why the Planck length and time have no relevance in quantum gravity. The absence of Planck’s constant in the unified theory results in the lack of relevance for the Planck length and the Planck time.
Quantum gravity exposes us to the complete understanding of light and gravity such that the Planck’s constant becomes unnecessary for us to unify physics.
The Big Picture
In all these things there is a big picture which I want you to see. Einstein once expressed his disquiet about the fact that the macrocosm and the microcosm cannot be assumed to be under a different set of laws just because of their different sizes.
Einstein felt that the world of quantum mechanics can be described by a kind of classical theory regardless of its size. This Einstein position can be taken as one of the first indirect references to the qualitative nature of the universe.
Physicists today see the Planck length and Planck time as very special scales beyond which the laws of physics as we know them breaks down. This is not true. The laws of physics cannot break down at any scale.The laws of physics cannot break down at any scale.Click To Tweet
We make these wrong predictions concerning the Planck length and Planck time because of how far we have pushed quantitative science. We are hitting the limits of quantitative science.
According to the qualitative nature of the universe, the atomic world is governed by the strong phase of the principle of non-inertia at all scales. This principle is universal in the atomic world.The atomic world is governed by the strong phase of the principle of non-inertia at all scales.Click To Tweet
The qualitative boundary imposed on the strong phase of the principle of non-inertia such that it cannot manifest outside the atomic world is the crucial limit we should be looking at and not the Planck length and Planck time.
The big picture is that we look at the qualitative boundary of the atomic world, for in doing so we are being introduced to the exploration of the qualitative nature of the universe which is satisfactorily reachable and relevant unlike the scales of the Planck length and time which are irrelevant.
Furthermore, we are now made to know from post-modern physics that quantitative scales like the Planck length and Planck time do not determine the applying principles or theory. As even in the macro world of uniform scale, we still have two qualitatively different governing principles. Read my article below to further understand this:
All these are showing us that the qualitative aspect of the universe upon which fundamental principles are manifested is really different from the quantitative aspect of the universe upon which forms are manifested.
The big picture is that we now have to start looking at how to reach the qualitative nature of the universe and not the Planck length and Planck time. The Planck length and Planck time have no relevance whatsoever to the true laws of physics (as you will increasingly find out as you study post-modern physics).
The New Prospect for Quantum Mechanics
Despite the fact that quantum gravity or the theory of the universe does not include the Planck’s constant, h, post-modern physics still finds purpose in allowing quantum mechanics to thrive.
However, post-modern physics incorporating the new discoveries into quantum mechanics has succeeded in rebirthing the theory. The new quantum mechanics is called post-modern quantum mechanics.
If you are familiar with this blog then you must have come across some of my articles on post-modern quantum mechanics. Therefore, there is really no need to deal extensively in this article about the prospect of quantum mechanics.
This article informs you that the much-predicted Planck length and Planck time are not components of quantum gravity, and this is due to the new fact that even the Planck’s constant is not a component of quantum gravity.
These are not blind realizations, rather, they are profound realizations that have proceeded from the understanding of the true and encompassing laws of the cosmos which you too can have.
Until next time.
For quantum gravity!
M. V. Echa