Concept

Schild's Ladder

Summary
Schild's Ladder is a 2002 science fiction novel by Australian author Greg Egan. The book derives its name from Schild's ladder, a construction in differential geometry, devised by the mathematician and physicist Alfred Schild. Plot summary Twenty-thousand years in the future, Cass, a humanoid physicist from Earth, travels to an orbital station in the vicinity of the star Mimosa, and begins a series of experiments to test the extremities of the fictitious Sarumpaet rules – a set of fundamental equations in "Quantum Graph Theory", which holds that physical existence is a manifestation of complex constructions of mathematical graphs. However, the experiments unexpectedly create a bubble of something more stable than ordinary vacuum, dubbed "novo-vacuum", that expands outward at half the speed of light as ordinary vacuum collapses to this new state at the border, hinting at more general laws beyond the Sarumpaet rules. The local population is forced to flee to ever more distant
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