Can Tachyons Exist? Exploring Possibility of Faster-Than-Light Particles

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In summary: Within SR, a tachyon will have imaginary mass, but positive energy. There are SR violating theories of positive mass tachyons, see references earlier in this thread. These theories try to match all known tests of SR.
  • #1
TheQuestionGuy14
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Tachyons are hypothetical particles which travel faster than light and some scientists say they have real mass. They violate relativity and causality, are they possible or are they seen as impossible?
 
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  • #2
TheQuestionGuy14 said:
some scientists say

Who?
 
  • #3
Vanadium 50 said:
Who?

It is stated on the Wikipedia that modern Tachyon theories use real mass instead of imaginary, and some scientists use real mass, no names are given
 
  • #4
TheQuestionGuy14 said:
It is stated on the Wikipedia that modern Tachyon theories use real mass instead of imaginary, and some scientists use real mass, no names are given
Wikipedia has references. Why not chase the references and give us the names listed there?
 
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  • #5
A real-massed object exceeding the speed of light is inconsistent with relativity.

Things traveling faster than the speed of light can allow causal paradoxes in relativity.

Neither of these things mean that real-massed objects exceeding the speed of light are impossible. Relativity would have to be inaccurate in some way, and we haven't seen that yet - but developing competing theories that give the same predictions in domains we've already tested and different ones in domains we could test is one way forwards. How plausible massive tachyon models are, I've no idea - above my pay grade.
 
  • #8
  • #9
TheQuestionGuy14 said:
Reference 7: Is written in French and must be bought to read

Reference 8: https://arxiv.org/abs/1112.4187

Reference 9: http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/468/2148/4174

But, I just want to know whether these particles can exist in the first place.
Please look especially at section 10 and later in reference 8. You have to change special relativity to accommodate nonimaginary mass tachyons. Then, no better answer can be given beyond what Ibix provided in #5. Even more briefly:

If conventional SR is true, then real mass tachyons do not exist. Beyond that, we have no evidence for tachyons of any type. Some researchers think there good reason to consider their existence, others do not.
 
  • #10
Leave causality aside for a moment..any object with mass needs infinite energy to move at speed of light, so the answer is: no it is impossible.
 
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  • #11
Deepblu said:
Leave causality aside for a moment..any object with mass needs infinite energy to move at speed of light, so the answer is: no it is impossible.
That argument forbids a mechanical process that starts with a massive object moving at less than the speed of light and accelerates the object to the speed of light. It does not forbid the creation of particles already moving faster than light.
 
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  • #12
jbriggs444 said:
That argument forbids a mechanical process that starts with a massive object moving at less than the speed of light and accelerates the object to the speed of light. It does not forbid the creation of particles already moving faster than light.
I see.. so "creation" of particle with mass at exactly the speed of light is impossible, bypassing the speed of light makes it possible!
But the particle will have negative relativistic mass which makes it non-physical particle, maybe just a mathematical one.
 
  • #13
Deepblu said:
I see.. so "creation" of particle with mass at exactly the speed of light is impossible, bypassing the speed of light makes it possible!
But the particle will have negative relativistic mass which makes it non-physical particle, maybe just a mathematical one.
Within SR, a tachyon will have imaginary mass, but positive energy. There are SR violating theories of positive mass tachyons, see references earlier in this thread. These theories try to match all known tests of SR. I suspect the number of physicists who think this has anything to do with reality is rather small
 
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Related to Can Tachyons Exist? Exploring Possibility of Faster-Than-Light Particles

1. What are tachyons?

Tachyons are hypothetical particles that are theorized to travel faster than the speed of light. They were first proposed by physicist Arnold Sommerfeld in 1904 and later studied by physicist Gerald Feinberg in the 1960s. However, there is currently no experimental evidence for the existence of tachyons.

2. How do tachyons fit into the theory of relativity?

Tachyons are considered to be particles that have imaginary mass and can only travel faster than the speed of light. This poses a challenge to the theory of relativity, which states that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Some physicists have proposed that tachyons could exist in a parallel universe or could be traveling backwards in time, which would not violate the theory of relativity.

3. Can tachyons be detected?

As of now, there is no experimental evidence for the existence of tachyons and they have not been detected. This is because they are predicted to have imaginary mass and therefore, do not interact with normal matter and particles. Additionally, their high speed makes it difficult for us to detect them using current technology.

4. What are the implications of tachyons if they do exist?

If tachyons do exist, it would challenge our current understanding of physics and the laws of the universe. It would also have implications for time travel and the concept of causality as tachyons traveling backwards in time could potentially create paradoxes. However, until their existence is proven, these implications remain purely theoretical.

5. Is there any current research being done on tachyons?

While there is no experimental evidence for the existence of tachyons, some theoretical physicists are still exploring the possibility of their existence. They are studying the potential effects of tachyons on the laws of physics and continue to search for ways to detect them. However, until concrete evidence is found, tachyons remain a topic of speculation and theoretical research.

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