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Here’s a brain teaser for you: scientists are suggesting spacetime may be made out of individual “spacetime pixels,” instead of being smooth and continuous like it seems.

Rana Adhikari, a professor of physics at Caltech, suggested in a new press blurb that these pixels would be “so small that if you were to enlarge things so that it becomes the size of a grain of sand, then atoms would be as large as galaxies.”

Adhikari’s goal is to reconcile the conventional laws of physics, as determined by general relativity, with the more mysterious world of quantum physics.

It’s a seriously mind-bending theory that attempts to explain whether gravity can actually be split up into its individual components, a question that has been keeping quantum physicists up at night for a long time.

“Sometimes there is a misinterpretation in science communication that implies quantum mechanics and gravity are irreconcilable,” said Cliff Cheung, a Caltech professor of theoretical physics who’s working with Adhikari, in the statement. “But we know from experiments that we can do quantum mechanics on this planet, which has gravity, so clearly they are consistent.”

The devil, as always, is in the detail.

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