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Special relativity / orientation in space with photons

  1. Sep 26, 2010 #1
    I have an interest in the following topic, and would like to know, if there is some literature in this direction (for noobs like me, who studied physics at university a few years, but didn't finish) ...

    the theory of relativity comes from thoughtexperiments concerning the measurement of space and time with lightsignals.

    quantum mechanics needs light to consist of pointlike particles (photons) that have dynamics in their average behaviour. for me relevant now, is the fact that photons interact in pointlike events of spacetime. Or at least we can't definitely exclude them to be pointlike events. As far as i know measuring the duration of an photon absorbtion results in shorter durations than modern measuring devices allow.

    so this could results in a combination of these two ideas (measuring space with signals, and pointlike light interaction with photons):
    an observer interacts with a reflective object using single photons. (Duration T between photonemission at the observer and photon absorbtion at the observer) he sends it when he recieves it. so a single photon instead of continuously signals.
    that would be the quickest possible measurement of a distance. this would lead to a gap between sending a photon and receiving photon with a duration T. no matter how close a reflecting object is.
    during that period the observer has no orientation in space (for example in deep space if the duration T is far shorter, than absorbing photons from the stars surrounding). and can only interpolate his motion relative to the reflecting object between the moments in time in which he has "data" (photon absorbtion/emission in a certain direction).
    for example a set of full revolutions of the observer (and his coordinatesystem) could take place during the duration. if the observer rotates exactly 720 degrees around x and 360 around y within the duration T, he ends up recieving the photon in the same direction as he sended it. hence he wont measure his rotation.

    i know that this section is not about quantum behaviour. nevertheirless this would lead to a set of coordinatesystems which are linked to every "not rotating" coordinate system. which has some similiarity to quantum mechanical energystates.
    Are there any hints what i shall do with these thoughts? any help would be fine. i ask relativists, because you know about the basic need, to measure a space, before it comes to dynamics. anyway, i dont want to bother anyone with this. at least it is some nice geometrical way to visualize "hidden variables".
    anyway, i hope to get your feedback.
  2. jcsd
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