In: Nuncius
GIUSEPPE BRUZZANITI Università di Genova; Domus Galilaeana - Pisa

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<title> SUMMARY </title>The foundamental problems related to the physical structure of space and time are today motivated by problems that arise from other scientific theories, for instance: relativistic theories, quantum electrodynamics, elementary particles.One of principal purposes of this historical-critical paper is to examine a typical problem related to the structure of time i.e. its continuity. This problem arises from all attempts to discretize space and time through the introduction of a new universal constant besides h and c.The three sections of this paper reflect the different problems considerated: in the first are ana.yzed same attempts, arisen in the quantum fields theory between 1940 and 1960, directed to the introduction of a universal constant with the dimension of a lenght. In the second, the historical dynamics of problems that conducted to the introduction of a universal constant with the dimension of a time is examinated. In the third, finally, the most important epistemological implications of this problems are considerated.

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