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Imaginary mass

  1. Jan 25, 2006 #1
    I'm having trouble with concept of imaginary mass, i just wanna know why do we need the whole concept of tachyons
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2006 #2

    Garth

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    One way of thinking about it is that if m is imaginary then it does not exist in the real world. i.e. tachyons do not exist in the real world.

    Garth
     
  4. Jan 25, 2006 #3

    selfAdjoint

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    Pardon me Garth, but IMHO that is a very bad way of thinking. It amounts to a "world is flat" prejudgement and bias about how the world might be put together. Quantum Mechanics is built around the complex numbers and string theory contemplates existing tachyons.

    The fact that the complex field is algebraically closed (every algebraic equation has solutions) and the real field is NOT should count for something!
     
  5. Jan 25, 2006 #4
    Superbradyons also travel at superluminal velocity howcome their mass is real?
     
  6. Jan 25, 2006 #5

    Garth

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    Point taken selfAdjoint and understood, however I did use the term "real world", which does not exclude an 'imaginary world' which such objects might inhabit.

    On definition of the 'real world' is that in it all masses are real.

    When we discover tachyons in the laboratory then I will conceed that we do not live in such a 'real' world.

    The same goes for the even more exotic superbradyons (a hypothetical class of superluminal particles that, unlike tachyons, have positive real values for both mass and energy.)

    gyroverse - I guess their rest mass must be imaginary.

    With both tachyons and superbradyons is not the operative word: "hypothetical"?

    Garth
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2006
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