Physical interpretation of breaking causality

  • Thread starter watty
  • Start date
  • #1
9
0
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?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
tiny-tim
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
25,832
251
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:
 

Related Threads on Physical interpretation of breaking causality

Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
4K
Replies
4
Views
1K
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
13
Views
2K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
30
Views
1K
Top