A few months ago, I laid-into my fellow physicists for their seeming inability to come-up with creative, evocative names for the things that they are discussing. Today I discovered that at least some of them must have been feeling the same way, because the latest big theory in quantum cosmology has been named somewhat more whimsically.
Summarizing this theory as simply as I can, the basic idea is that the universe is in fact made-up of an ensemble of fundamental units of spacetime. At the “time” of the Big Bang, this ensemble underwent a phase-change (much as water does when it turns to ice), and the fundamental units formed themselves into a lattice comprising the three spatial and one temporal dimension.
And the name for this theory? Quantum Graphity.
Get it? Because it’s like “Quantum Gravity” except it’s on a lattice, which is described by a branch of mathematics called “graph theory,” and…
Well, at least they tried.