In physics, a pregeometry is a structure from which geometry develops. The term was championed by John Archibald Wheeler in the 1960s and 1970s as a possible route to a theory of quantum gravity. Since quantum mechanics allowed a metric to fluctuate, it was argued that the merging of gravity with quantum mechanics required a set of more fundamental rules regarding connectivity that were independent of topology and dimensionality, and which could work independently of any assumptions we might make about the properties of a surface.

Where “geometry” could describe the properties of a known surface, and the physics of a hypothetical region with pre-defined properties, “pregeometry” might allow us to work with deeper underlying rules of physics that were not so strongly dependent on simplified classical assumptions about the properties of space.

See also: