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firefly5 August 17th, 2015 3:03am

Science Friday (2/3): A major tenet of superfluid vacuum theory is that the properties of spacetime are fundamental, so that these properties are seen in any "amount" of "empty" spacetime that we can isolate.

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firefly5 the verse
08/16/15 8:03 pm

This is actually sort of the opposite of what SVT is getting at. The explanation for this is very, very math-heavy, and the math is pretty advanced stuff (you need a pretty solid background in tensors and manifolds to have it make sense).

firefly5 the verse
08/16/15 8:04 pm

But analogies are nice, right? Think about water. Those who remember middle school science (or who took more chemistry later on) will be able to tell you about properties like surface tension, boiling point, viscosity, and probably a few more.

firefly5 the verse
08/16/15 8:04 pm

These properties are called 'emergent' properties -- they are not fundamental to the individual water molecules, but they become apparent when water molecules interact with one another. One water molecule doesn't exhibit surface tension.

firefly5 the verse
08/16/15 8:04 pm

manifest until you take that water molecule and surround it with others. Spacetime, under SVT, is a bit like water in that regard: its properties are emergent, not fundamental.

firefly5 the verse
08/16/15 8:04 pm

This is one of (if not the) most meaningful aspects of superfluid vacuum theory, that the spacetime that we observe is somewhat like water. We observe the emergent properties, but haven't looked close enough to see the "molecules" that make it up.

sydwel
08/16/15 8:51 pm

Thanks for that clear and helpful analogy.

firefly5 the verse
08/16/15 8:54 pm

I'm glad it helped. I think it's the best way to understand this.