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C from quantum first principles?

  1. Mar 28, 2014 #1
    In the European Physics Journal D, March 2013, 67:58, there is an article "The quantum vacuum as the origin of the speed of light" by Marcel Urban et al (a preprint having appeared in http://arxiv.org/abs/1302.6165) in which a possible derivation for the vacuum permeability and permittivity (and hence the speed of light) are derived from quantum principles, with a possible experiment to test the theory. I don't find any follow-up to this interesting idea. Has this been
    (a) accepted
    (b) rejected
    (c) ignored
    in the intervening year?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2014 #2
    According to web of science, the only times that paper has been cited in the past year is by a comment in the original journal, if you have access to it you can check it here (I could not find it on arxiv). There's also a reply to the comment by the authors, but since I didn't read it in detail I don't know whether it's a serious critique on the results or not.
  4. Mar 29, 2014 #3
    Thanks, Zarqon. Alas, I do not have access to this journal (nor to the specific article without paying USD40/EUR35/BP30), but your reply answered my question sufficiently: that the paper has not made any appreciable wrinkles in the physics community. I guess I do not completely understand the result, since it would seem to me to be an important one if verified.
  5. Mar 29, 2014 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    As I read the preprint and the abstract of the final paper, they derive the vacuum permeability/permittivity from a model of propagation based on quantum principles. However, this doesn't take us to "and hence the speed of light" - there's a parameter in the model that they set based on the already known speed of light.
  6. Mar 29, 2014 #5
    Thanks, Nugatory. It appears (if I understand correctly, for which there is no guarantee) that they are attempting something between your and my statements, in that the crel to which I presume you are referring is "the maximum velocity introduced in the Lorentz transformation." However, "...crel is not necessarily equal to the speed of light." They may be splitting hairs to distinguish them, but it seems that they are going the path of
    crel → derivation of μ0 and ε0 → c[itex]\phi[/itex] =clight=1/(√(μ00) & c[itex]\phi[/itex]=crel.
    But I would be very happy to be corrected.
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