Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
A laboratory scale fundamental time?
CMAF, Instituto para a Investigação Interdisciplinar, Av. Gama Pinto 2, 1649-003, Lisboa, Portugal
2 IPFN – EURATOM/IST Association, Instituto Superior Técnico, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001, Lisboa, Portugal
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Revised: 17 October 2012
Published online: 28 November 2012
The existence of a fundamental time (or fundamental length) has been conjectured in many contexts. However, the “stability of physical theories principle” seems to be the one that provides, through the tools of algebraic deformation theory, an unambiguous derivation of the stable structures that Nature might have chosen for its algebraic framework. It is well-known that c and ħ are the deformation parameters that stabilize the Galilean and the Poisson algebra. When the stability principle is applied to the Poincaré–Heisenberg algebra, two deformation parameters emerge which define two time (or length) scales. In addition there are, for each of them, a plus or minus sign possibility in the relevant commutators. One of the deformation length scales, related to non-commutativity of momenta, is probably related to the Planck length scale but the other might be much larger and already detectable in laboratory experiments. In this paper, this is used as a working hypothesis to look for physical effects that might settle this question. Phase-space modifications, resonances, interference, electron spin resonance and non-commutative QED are considered.
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and Società Italiana di Fisica, 2012