Physics on the smallest scales: An introduction to minimal length phenomenology

Martin Sprenger, Piero Nicolini, Marcus Bleicher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many modern theories which try to unify gravity with the Standard Model of particle physics, such as e.g. string theory, propose two key modifications to the commonly known physical theories: the existence of additional space dimensions; the existence of a minimal length distance or maximal resolution. While extra dimensions have received a wide coverage in publications over the last ten years (especially due to the prediction of micro black hole production at the Large Hadron Collider), the phenomenology of models with a minimal length is still less investigated. In a summer study project for bachelor students in 2010, we have explored some phenomenological implications of the potential existence of a minimal length. In this paper, we review the idea and formalism of a quantum gravity-induced minimal length in the generalized uncertainty principle framework as well as in the coherent state approach to non-commutative geometry. These approaches are effective models which can make model-independent predictions for experiments and are ideally suited for phenomenological studies. Pedagogical examples are provided to grasp the effects of a quantum gravity-induced minimal length. This paper is intended for graduate students and non-specialists interested in quantum gravity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-862
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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