Time, space and matter in the primordial universe

Time, space and matter in the primordial universe

Francesca Vidotto
The University of Western Ontario and Rotman Institute for Philosophy




Time, space, and matter are categories of our reasoning, whose properties appear to be fundamental. However, these require a scrutiny as in the extreme regime of the primordial universe these present quantum properties. What does it mean for time to be quantum? What does it mean for space? Are space and time disappearing, or what is disappearing are simply the categories we have been using to understand them? Concepts such as the superposition of causal structures or the quantum granularity of space require our attention and should be clarified to understand the physics of the primordial universe. The novelty that this brings requires us to reflect on matter as well: How can matter be defined on a granular space? Is quantum gravity hinting us toward considering new types of matter? The answers to these questions, that touch the foundations of physics and the very concepts with which we organize our understanding of reality, require in the end of the journey to confront ourselves with empirical data. And for that, the universe itself provides us with the best of possible laboratories.