Researchers have broken the speed of light in a ‘theoretical alternate universe’

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In our conception of the laws of physics, nothing can travel faster than light, including the three spatial dimensions and the temporal dimension. But what if we can overcome this speed? Recently, researchers have crossed this threshold and discovered a system that does not contradict existing physics and could even lead to new theories, including a three-dimensional universe of time for a single dimension.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Albert Einstein completely redefined the way we perceive time and space. Three-dimensional space gained a fourth dimension – time. The previously separate concepts of time and space were inextricably linked. It is a special theory of relativity based on two assumptions – Galileo’s principle of relativity and the constancy of the speed of light.

More specifically, special relativity is limited to objects moving relative to inertial reference frames. In other words, observers in relative motion experience time differently: it is entirely possible for two events to occur simultaneously from the perspective of one observer, but at different times from the perspective of another. And both observers would be right. Synchronicity is relative.


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Typically, this principle applies to observers moving relative to each other at speeds below the speed of light. As explained by Andrzej Dragan, co-author of the new study published in the journal, observers traveling at speeds greater than the speed of light can also follow these physical laws. Classical and quantum gravity.

Recently, he and his colleagues defined a new framework for coherently describing physical phenomena near the speed of light. What they propose is an “extension of special relativity” that combines the three dimensions of time with the single dimension of space, as opposed to the three dimensions of space and one dimension of time as we know it.

Linking quantum mechanics and relativity

This new study builds on previous work by some researchers who argued that superluminal perspectives (beyond the speed of light) could help link quantum mechanics to Einstein’s special theory of relativity—one of the physicists’ key pursuits.

This groundbreaking hypothesis was first presented in the United States two years ago by Oxford University professors Andrzej Dragan and Artur Ekert. New Journal of Physics. They considered the simplified case of two observers in space-time with two dimensions: a spatial dimension and a temporal dimension.

In their latest publication, they and their colleagues go even further by presenting results on full four-dimensional space-time, as shown in a press release. The authors start with a concept of space-time that corresponds to our physical reality: with three spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension. However, from the perspective of a superluminal observer, only one dimension of this world retains the character of space in which particles can move. ” The other three dimensions are time dimensions Dragan says.

Thus, from the point of view of such an observer, the particle “ages” independently in each of the three time dimensions. Dragan adds: But from our point of view, it is similar to simultaneous movement in all directions of space, that is, the propagation of a spherical wave of quantum mechanics associated with a particle. “.

Moreover, the authors note that in this model, the speed of light in a vacuum would remain constant even for observers traveling faster than it, which preserves one of Einstein’s fundamental principles.

The new definition of speed

According to this new model, superluminal objects would then appear as a particle expanding like a bubble in space. On the other hand, a high-speed object ” would experience » several different timelines.

However, the researchers admit that the transition to the “1+3 spatio-temporal” model, despite the answers it provides, raises new questions. They suggest that special relativity needs to be extended to include faster-than-light reference frames.

In other words, considering superluminal observers in the image requires a new definition of velocity and kinematics. It involves a combination of special relativity, quantum mechanics, and classical field theory (which aims to predict how physical fields interact with each other).

According to the quantum principle of superposition, all particles begin to move along several trajectories at once, including for superluminal solutions. Dragan points out that for a superluminal observer, the classical Newtonian point particle no longer makes sense, and the field becomes the only usable quantity to describe the physical world.

Therefore, all particles have quantum properties in addition to properties of extended special relativity. As mentioned earlier, new questions abound: Does it work differently? Can we detect particles that are normal to superluminal observers, that is, particles moving at superluminal speeds relative to us? It’s not that simple concludes co-author Krzysztof Turzinski.

Source: Classical and Quantum Gravity

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