My question, "is everything in the universe discrete" was quite rapidly put on hold as a duplicate of "does the Planck scale imply that spacetime is discrete". I understand my question might have other issues as well, but it was closed for being a duplicate, so I would like to address that directly.

I edited the question and posted comments to explain why I don't think they are the same question, but I don't think anybody saw them. There was no discussion, no attention to the question; just closed, moved on, and forgotten.

My take on the situation is that my question is more general than the planck-scale question. The planck-scale is asking if spacetime specifically is discrete. And the questions and answers there are even more specific than that, they are talking about how the Planck scale is related to spacetime being discrete. My question is asking if everything in the universe is discrete, which is not equivalent, at least as much as I understand it. I did not find the answer to my question in the planck-scale question.

Is my question a duplicate? If yes, please help me to understand why, because I don't.

  • $\begingroup$ This post is probably still in the reopen review queue. You can find its public review history here. $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2013 at 11:41

2 Answers 2


I) A general advice if you feel that your question Y is not a duplicate of question X (and your question Y is not receiving any responds from the Phys.SE community), would be to explain better and give more concrete examples of Y which do not belong to X.

II) Questions like

Is everything in the universe discrete


Is there anything in the universe that we know with relative certainty is not discrete?

are formulated too broad and vague, and your post runs the risk of not being taken seriously from the very beginning.

III) Moreover, I would suggest to be more specific than, say, quantization of classical theories often leads to observables which take discrete values, since the subject of quantization is by itself broad and already covered in many posts on Phys.SE. For instance, various aspects of mass quantization is asked e.g. here, here and here.

  • $\begingroup$ "Everything" may be a bit overly broad. Can you help me narrow it down? The question for space-time is already discussed so we can exclude that. What is left of reality? Just Mass-energy? Would this be a better question: "is mass-energy discrete?" $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2013 at 7:56

I was one of those flagging the question as a duplicate, so I guess I should justify my actions.

Your question isn't identical to Does the Planck scale imply that spacetime is discrete?, but I felt that the physics underlying it is the same physics talked about in the other question, and if you read the answers to the other question, maybe supplemented with a bit of Googling, you'd have an answer to your question.

A good question (and yours is a good question) rarely just has a one line answer. Typically the answer will discuss the underlying physics needed to understand the one line answer. If I answered your question my answer would have a large overlap with Luboš Motl's answer to the previous question, so it's more a case of the answer being a duplicate rather than the question being a duplicate.

If other users of the site disagree with the close flag they can flag to reopen the question, and if there are enough reflags the question will indeed be reopened. The fact it hasn't been suggests the other site users agree with me.

If you're still interested in the subject I'd say examine the answers to the other question and try and pin down the specific issues that you feel are unresolved. Then post a new question specifically asking about those points, and if i can answer I will.


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