Is Empty Spacetime a Physical Thing?

Foundations of Physics 36 (8):1193-1216 (2006)
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Abstract

This article deals with empty spacetime and the question of its physical reality. By “empty spacetime” we mean a collection of bare spacetime points, the remains of ridding spacetime of all matter and fields. We ask whether these geometric objects—themselves intrinsic to the concept of field—might be observable through some physical test. By taking quantum-mechanical notions into account, we challenge the negative conclusion drawn from the diffeomorphism invariance postulate of general relativity, and we propose new foundational ideas regarding the possible observation—as well as conceptual overthrow—of this geometric ether

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References found in this work

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Explanation and scientific understanding.Michael Friedman - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (1):5-19.
What price spacetime substantivalism? The hole story.John Earman & John Norton - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (4):515-525.

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