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A free photon can have any wavelength and energy; no discreteness there. Just because something is quantized, or fundamentally quantum in nature, doesn’t mean everything about it must be discrete.

The idea that space (or space and time, since they’re inextricably linked by Einstein’s theories of relativity) could be quantized goes way back to Heisenberg himself. Famous for the Uncertainty Principle, which fundamentally limits how precisely we can measure certain pairs of quantities (like position and momentum), Heisenberg realized that certain quantities diverged, or went to infinity, when you tried to calculate them in quantum field theory.

Taken from an article in Forbes by

I am a Ph.D. astrophysicist, author, and science communicator, who professes physics and astronomy at various colleges. I have won numerous awards for science writing…

The idea that space (or space and time, since they’re inextricably linked by Einstein’s theories of relativity) could be quantized goes way back to Heisenberg himself. Famous for the Uncertainty Principle, which fundamentally limits how precisely we can measure certain pairs of quantities (like position and momentum), Heisenberg realized that certain quantities diverged, or went to infinity, when you tried to calculate them in quantum field theory.

**Space and time are both continuous**. It’s possible that the problems that we perceive now, on the other hand, aren’t insurmountable problems, but are rather artifacts of having an incomplete theory of the quantum Universe. It’s possible that space and time are really continuous backgrounds, and even though they’re quantum in nature, they cannot be broken up into fundamental units. It might be a foamy kind of spacetime, with large energy fluctuations on tiny scales, but there might not be a smallest scale. When we do successfully find a quantum theory of gravity, it may have a continuous-but-quantum fabric, after all.Taken from an article in Forbes by

I am a Ph.D. astrophysicist, author, and science communicator, who professes physics and astronomy at various colleges. I have won numerous awards for science writing…