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Physical interpretation of breaking causality

  1. Mar 28, 2010 #1
    I understand that certain vectors in space-time (spacelike vectors) present a non-causal situation where E2 which takes place at a time after E1 in the rest frame cannot physically be a consequence in a different frame at sufficient speed. but there is also the relationship that arises from the lorentz transformations:

    { (x_2 - x_1)/c(t_2 - t_1) }

    i understand the three types of vectors that arise (spacelike, timelike and lightlike) but what is the physical interpretation of a spacelike vector? simply two events where the spatial displacement is larger than the distance over which light travels in the time which separates the two events in the rest frame?

    Am I along the right lines?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2010 #2

    tiny-tim

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    Hi watty! :smile:

    A time-like vector represents something travelling slower than light (in the frame of any inertial observer).

    A space-like vector represents something travelling faster than light (and so, yes, "the spatial displacement is larger than the distance over which light travels in the time which separates the two events"). :wink:
     
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