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Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words.
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I was fortunate to meet John Wheeler when he visited my university to talk about Black Holes in the mid ‘70s just before he went to UT Austin.
I asked him a question that gave him pause… he stumbled backwards.
I asked him if he had questioned his fundamental assumptions, such as is time discrete or is it continuous.
He did not answer at that time, but years later he coined “It from Bit,” which seems based on that question.
My followup question if he answered discrete would have been “Is there a shortest unit of time?” which is implied if time is discrete. If yes, my next question would have been “What exists between those shortest units of time?”
This question has haunted me ever since I met Dr. Wheeler. Have these questions ever been posed and considered?