#### Term information

**comment**

Mereotopology is the fundamental logical representation used by the EMMO ontologist to characterize the universe and to provide the definitions to connect real world objects to the EMMO concepts. Parthood relations do not change dimensionality of the real world object referred by an 'EMMO' individual, i.e. every part of a real world object always retains its 4D dimensionality. The smallest part of a real world object (i.e. a part that has no proper parts) is referred in the EMMO by a 'Quantum' individual. It follows that, for the EMMO, real world objects of dimensionality lower than 4D (e.g. surfaces, lines) do not exist.

'EMMO' is the disjoint union of 'Item' and 'Collection' (covering axiom). The union implies that 'EMMO' individuals can only be 'Item' individuals (standing for self-connected real world objects) or 'Collection' individuals (standing for a collection of disconnected items). Disjointness means that a 'Collection' individual cannot be an 'Item' individual and viceversa, representing the fact that a real world object cannot be self-connected and non-self connected at the same time.

For the EMMO ontologist the whole universe is represented as a 4D path-connected topological manifold (i.e. the spacetime). A real world object is then a 4D topological sub-region of the universe. A universe sub-region is isolated and defined as a real world object by the ontologist. Then, through a semiotic process that occurs at meta-ontological level (i.e. outside the ontology). an EMMO ontology entity (e.g. an OWL individual) is assigned to represent that real world object. The fundamental distinction between real world objects, upon which the EMMO is based, is self-connectedness: a real world object can be self-connected xor not self-connected.

In the EMMO we will refer to the universe as a Minkowski space, restricting the ontology to special relativity only. However, exension to general relativity, will adding more complexity, should not change the overall approach.

**elucidation**

The class representing the collection of all the individuals declared in this ontology standing for real world objects.