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0
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3answers
102 views

Why is light different than sound in terms of the assumptions we make regarding causality?

I am having trouble understanding, from a conceptual point of view, why it would be impossible to travel faster than the speed of light. I have read one explanation given in the form of an example ...
1
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2answers
80 views

Does information paradox in the Many Worlds interpretation cause a problem? [closed]

I'm taking a philosophy of time travel class. In one of the lectures, the teacher was discussing problems with the Many Worlds interpretation. He talked about how since anything that can possibly ...
3
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2answers
212 views

Thought experiment about no-cloning theorem and FTL information

The quantum no-cloning theorem states that one cannot "build" a perfect cloning device for arbitrary quantum systems. There also exists a famous thought experiment where Alice transmits information ...
1
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3answers
89 views

All geodesics are inextendable?

I think the title is true, because geodesics has a tangent vector with a constant length parametrized by an affine parameter. Probably, it is easier to think about timelike or spacelike geodesics. ...
2
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2answers
507 views

Are virtual particles limited by the speed of light? [duplicate]

I have recently been reading about Quantum Electrodynamics which I found very interesting, but even more confusing. I understand photons mediate the electromagnetic force and interactions between ...
16
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1answer
881 views

Does the heat equation violate causality?

I've ran across the idea that, besides simply writing partial differential equations in covariant form, they need to be hyperbolic with all characteristic speeds less than the speed of light. A ...
19
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2answers
2k views

What do physicists mean by “information”?

On the question why certain velocities (i.e. phase velocity) can be greater than the speed of light, people will say something like: since no matter or "information" is transferred, therefore the ...
0
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4answers
143 views

How, in practice, could instantaneous signalling violate causality?

I know that instantaneous signalling can result in different observers not agreeing on the order of events, but how can that result in causality violation in practice? In other words, if one had two ...
3
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0answers
184 views

Testing Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI) with a causality-violating configuration of “superluminal cables”

Suppose we managed to arrange a causality-violating transmission of data with hypothetical “superluminal cables” (SLC; see both links for respective descriptions) and expect, similarly to ideas ...
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2answers
113 views

Can you see back in time? [closed]

When you look at the stars, the light that you see is probably hundreds of years old. Which means that you don't know if they still exist. Does all this mean, that if you fly in a speed faster than ...
3
votes
4answers
270 views

Is it theoretically possible to have a universe where sound travels faster than light $c$? [closed]

We all "know" nothing can travel faster than light. However, if we're allowed to tweak the fundamental constants of nature, is it theoretically possible that such an universe might exist? Update: I ...
1
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2answers
104 views

Mathematical Definition of Locality

What is the mathematically precise definition of principle of locality in physics for a continuous space-time in the sense that an object is only directly influenced by its immediate surroundings?
3
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4answers
519 views

Is a causal relationship implied by Newton's 2nd Law?

Throughout my time learning physics I have been imbued with the notion that forces cause accelerations, period. Accelerations don't cause forces, and they aren't merely correlated phenomena. By ...
2
votes
1answer
191 views

In QFT, why do fermions have to anticommute in order to insure causality?

I have seen this question and I believe I understand the answer to it. However, AFAIK, only for bosons the causality condition is a vanishing commutator. For fermions we expect the anticommutator ...
0
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0answers
13 views

Is Sorkin's causal growth dynamics a Galois Connection

Sorkin is well known for his causal growth dynamics. I think it is a sensible question to ask if his growth dyanamics, which I think can be seen as a poset map (though his work is much more ...
2
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0answers
79 views

If $S$ is a closed achronal set in a spacetime, any timelike curve starting at a point in $I^+[S]$ and ending at a point in $I^-[S]$ interset $S$?

Suppose $S$ is an achronal set in a spacetime $M$. And $S$ is closed. At the same time, any null geodesic of $M$ intersects $S$. Then, why does any timelike curve from $I^+[S]$ to $I^-[S]$ intersect ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

If a point r lies in the boundary of the chronological future of another point p, why does the chronological future of r belong to that of p?

I am studying the global causality of the spacetime. Here, I come across a problem. Suppose a point $r\in \partial I^+(p)$. $I^+(p)$ is the chronological future of a different point $p$ in ...
3
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3answers
164 views

How does a photon “know” that it's left one charge and that it's going to another one?

How does it know the same charge it left will be the same charge it will return to? My understanding is photons are neutral and have no charge. i.e. Like charges repel, unlike attract. All charged ...
3
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0answers
35 views

Are closed timelike curves generic feature of ANEC-violating stress-energy tensor?

Kip Thorne has shown that in order to create closed timelike curves (CTCs), one needs stress-energy tensor $T^{\mu\nu}$ that violates averaged null energy condition (ANEC). Will $T^{\mu\nu}$ with ...
0
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1answer
74 views

Misner String Singularity

In correspondence to AdS black hole solutions, what does it mean by Misner string singularities? And when there are no Misner string singularities, what does this mean in terms of curvature ...
8
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2answers
880 views

How would wormhole-based FTL violate causality?

We already have an answer why physically traveling faster than light would violate causality (the clock on board our hypothetical FTL spaceship would tick backwards to some outside observers). ...
2
votes
2answers
303 views

Why “light cones” have different shapes near black holes?

There is theory that light cone shape does not depend on the reference frame in which it is viewed. So why we draw light cones near black hole differently? I thought that if I am observing (from the ...
7
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5answers
545 views

Quantum entanglement and spooky action at a distance

When quantum entanglement is explained in "layman's terms", it seems (to me) that the first premise, that we have to accept on faith, is that a particle doesn't have a certain property (the particle ...
1
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1answer
63 views

Light cone and order of events?

If one event lies outside the light cone of another, can the events to some observers appear in a different order in one reference frame compared to the other, and is this the only time when this is ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Understanding the cause of the big bang

Ok, as I understand the expansion of the initial singularity was caused by quantum fluctuations like the ones predicted by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. But how can these fluctuations occur ...
2
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2answers
80 views

Is it ok to have two events $A$ and $B$ so that for one person $A$ occurs before $B$ but for another $B$ preceds $A$

Imagine two laser beams A and B are released at the same moment to bounce between two mirrors, A was moving and B was at rest, doing the calculations I found that for a person at rest B would reach ...
0
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1answer
139 views

Problem in Grandfather paradox

I am very confused about a paradox and a recent research on Quantum particles. I have read an article which states that time travel is possible for quantum particles. If it is possible then why does ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

How does the expansion of the universe not violate causality?

It is often said that faster than light travel would violate causality. However, because the universe is expanding, there are actually distant stars that move away from us at a speed greater than the ...
2
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4answers
536 views

Can causality be violated?

A common justification for prohibiting many unusual phenomena such as faster than light travel is that if they were possible, causality would be violated. Let's define causality as: You cannot ...
19
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5answers
3k views

How does “warp drive” not violate Special Relativity causality constraints?

I'm talking about this nonsense: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/06/11/this-is-the-amazing-design-for-nasas-star-trek-style-space-ship-the-ixs-enterprise/ Now, I'm aware that ...
2
votes
1answer
238 views

Does negative energy density (i.e. weak energy condition violation) create closed timelike curves?

I remember reading something about Stephen Hawking denying the fact you can't make CTC's (Closed Timelike Curves) without weak energy condition violation. If this is true, where do the light cones ...
0
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0answers
30 views

Virtual Particles and Causation [duplicate]

Sometimes when people debate what type of cause a universe with a beginning may have Virtual Particles has been used as an example of a thing that can arise without a cause. So my question would be ...
1
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4answers
225 views

Principle of locality

Why does the principle of locality have so such great importance in physics that theory should be consistent with it?
0
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0answers
95 views

Does causality alone resolve the mathematical ambiguity of expressing physical systems?

Newton's 2nd law of motion is most often written in the differential form $\sum F = {dp \over dt} $ but can also be expressed in an integral form $ p = \int\sum F dt $ Each form of expressing ...
4
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2answers
812 views

What does “causally connected” or “causes” really mean?

In a different thread, a user stated the following in respect of events preceding or following other events: However, if the two events are causally connected ("event A causes event B"), the ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Time travel outside of light cone without causality violation

If one is able to travel into the past but at a spatial distance that puts him outside of his own past light cone would this be considered a causality violating trip? Looking at a Minkoski diagram, it ...
3
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2answers
212 views

Feynman's $i \epsilon$ prescription in loop expansion

I have some questions about the $i\epsilon$ factor in Feynman diagrams. First, what is the physical meaning of $i\epsilon$ in loop amplitudes. Second, how does it ensures unitarity? And third, Dyson ...
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1answer
162 views

Are there any causeless phenomena from the mainstream physical viewpoint? [closed]

EDIT: The orginal version did not produce any answers about physics. I know what life is, I have studied that for decades. I wanted to hear how the border between matter and spirit looks from the ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

Superluminal travel without time travel

Can superluminal travel or communication be possible without leading to the possibility of closed timelike curves (CTCs) and causality violations? I have seen conflicting opinions regarding this ...
1
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0answers
133 views

Big Bang, Heat Death, and cause and effect

If the Universe has two 'end points', one being the Big Bang, and the other being heat death, is there anything in the laws of physics which forbid a random fluctuation in the heat death state from ...
7
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2answers
258 views

A question about causality and Quantum Field Theory from improper Lorentz transformation

Related post Causality and Quantum Field Theory In Peskin and Schroeder's QFT p28, the authors tried to show causality is preserved in scalar field theory. Consider commutator $$ [ \phi(x), \phi(y) ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

A meaningful distinction between determinism and causality

Causality is generally accepted to be a fundamental physical principle. But quantum mechanics is acausal (e.g. there is no 'why' as to the result of a measurement of the position of a particle in an ...
3
votes
2answers
142 views

How much of Minkowski spacetime structure can be recovered from its causal structure?

A beginner's question: I have always understood that (four-dimensional) Minkowski spacetime can be recovered up to a constant factor—i.e. 'up to a dilation' or 'up to global scale'—from its causal ...
5
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1answer
108 views

“Imaginary” Perfect Time

In the definition (in one spatial dimension) of $\Delta \tau$ there is the relation: $(\Delta \tau)^2 = (\Delta t)^2 - (\Delta x)^2$ which is invariant. If $(\Delta x)^2 > (\Delta t)^2$ then there ...
1
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0answers
109 views

Does nonlocal theory violate causality?

Let's talk about two kinds of nonlocal theories. The first one frequently derives from integrating out part of the degrees of freedom to obtain a kind of effective theory. Probably, we get an integral ...
2
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0answers
223 views

Huggins Displacement Theory and Retrocausality

I was looking at the Wikipedia entries on Time Travel and the Grandfather paradox and noticed a paragraph on the so-called Huggins Displacement Theory. I haven't been able to find the source although ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Can Information Travel Faster Than The Speed Of Light? [duplicate]

Many believe that nothing can travel faster than speed of light, not even information. Personally, i think theoretically information can. Consider this following imaginary experiment: Imagine we are ...
6
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2answers
205 views

Speed of gravity in cosmological codes and ephemeris generation

There are few questions in Phys.SE concerning the speed of gravity, and the answers are traditionally that the speed of gravity equals to the speed of light. But in that case I have three more ...
3
votes
1answer
154 views

Regarding the possibility of Closed Timelike Curves

I've been looking a lot at Closed Timelike Curves, and how if a theory allows for these curves it doesn't respect causality. I understand that about the curves themselves (Grandfather Paradox), but ...
0
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5answers
269 views

How to determine “timelike”-ness without using a coordinate system?

It has been stated here that: we can say, without introducing a coordinate system, that the interval associated with two events is timelike, lightlike, or spacelike. This assertion appears at ...