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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 ...
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2answers
132 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
107 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

on causality and The Big Bang Theory

With the notion of causality, firmly fixed by GR, we derived the concept of a singular point from where space-time begun. Causality alone gives us the possibility to talk about a known past (i.e. ...
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3answers
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Extended Rigid Bodies in Special Relativity

I was reading Landau & Lifshitz's Classical Theory of Fields and I noticed that they mention that an extended rigid body isn't "relativistically correct". For example, if you consider a rigid ...
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0answers
107 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 ...
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2answers
157 views

On the distinction of past and future: could one theoretically reverse direction of particles and cause time to appear to go backwards?

Based on my understanding of physics after seeing The Distinction of Past and Future on Project Tuva, there is no distinction between past and future on a fundamental level- all particle interactions ...
2
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0answers
215 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
188 views

Causality in QFT from vanishing commutator and the EPR paradox

The question relates to this post. As shown in Peskin and Schroeder's introduction to quantum field theory p. 28., $$[\phi(x),\phi(y)] = 0 \;\;\mathrm{if}\;\; (x-y)^2<0$$, which implies the ...
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0answers
92 views

Is there any place for teleology in physics? [closed]

Most physicists absolutely hate the idea of teleology. They take it as an unquestionable article of faith that causality only runs in one direction, that is, from the past to the future. Is there any ...
2
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1answer
69 views

Ensuring globally hyperbolic geodesically-complete spacetimes

Let's say we have an incomplete spacetime A that is globally hyperbolic, does there necessary exist a globally hyperbolic completion? My guess is no, in which case what further restrictions can be ...
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1answer
188 views

Quantization surface in QFT

What does the Quantization Surface mean here? Reference: H. Latal W. Schweiger (Eds.) - Methods of Quantization
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1answer
1k views

How does the Feynman's $i\epsilon$-prescription make the Feynman propagator causal?

The Feynman propagator is non-vanishing outside the light cone, but still manages to be in accord with causality. How is this achieved? What does the $i\epsilon$-prescription have to do with this?
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4answers
609 views

Space-like and time-like: where do the names come from?

Space-like separated events are events that, in a well-chosen reference frame, can take place at the same time but never happen at the same location. On the other hand for time-like events, one can ...
5
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0answers
127 views

Why can apparent horizon be computed based on its local geometry?

Why can apparent horizon be computed based on its local geometry? In the paper titled Black Holes, Geometric Flows, and the Penrose Inequality in General Relativity by Hubert L. Bray, has been ...
3
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1answer
346 views

What does “all future lies within the event horizon” mean?

I was trying to find an answer as to why light does not escape black holes and I stumbled upon this Phys.SE question. In the answer it said that: "Since all future lies within the event horizon, ...
2
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1answer
95 views

causal sketches [closed]

I don't have much of an idea of how to draw causal sketches. I know that you need to work out the gradient of the light cones, which can be done using a given metric and using null vectors. But how do ...
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9answers
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Is causality a formalised concept in physics?

I have never seen a “causality operator” in physics. When people invoke the informal concept of causality aren’t they really talking about consistency (perhaps in a temporal context)? For example, if ...
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1answer
170 views

Observables still commute even if fields only anti-commute

In Peskin & Schroeder page 56, after introducing anti commutation relations for the fields instead of commutation relations (in order to fix the negative energy problem as well as to have proper ...
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2answers
2k views

How do electrons know which path to take in a circuit?

The current is maximum through those segments of a circuit that offer the least resistance. But how do electrons know beforehand that which path will resist their drift the least?
6
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1answer
664 views

Tachyonic antitelephone vs messaging through a wormhole

From the wikipedia article on tachyons: Most physicists think that faster-than-light particles cannot exist because they are not consistent with the known laws of physics.[3][5] If such particles ...
1
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1answer
143 views

How to make a black hole?

Many Physics discussions I have often conclude with: Well you will then form a black hole... My questions are: Is there a general recipe for making a black hole? If not, then can you list the ...
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2answers
330 views

Virtual photons as force mediators in QED - really?

If the photon is the force vector for EM interactions, e.g. electrons, how does each electron 'know' where the other one is so that it can send it a photon? I've thought about this for a while. I ...
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3answers
980 views

Does a Weak Energy Condition Violation Typically Lead to Causality Violation?

In the answer to this question: ergosphere treadmills Lubos Motl suggested a straightforward argument, based on the special theory of relativity, to argue that light passing through a strong ...
3
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2answers
309 views

Why does the Dopfer EPR experiment require coincidence counting?

Dopfer Momentum-EPR experiment (1998) seems to provide a interesting tweak in the EPR experiment. To read more details on this experiment, see: ...
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0answers
95 views

What is wrong in following arguments about connection of local gauge invariance and causality?

There is a question and corresponding downvoting of my answer, so I decided to ask this question. There is my answer on it: "...The most theories of free fields are invariant under global gauge ...
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1answer
341 views

Does cosmic censorship rule out stable toroidal black holes? How?

I'm having a hard time understanding what the arguments against stable toroidal black holes are saying. For many of these, I can't figure out if they're talking about: A non-rotating toroidal event ...
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2answers
1k views

Are random quantum phenomena happening without a cause?

In everyday life, most of us assumes every event and object has a cause in some sense. I am wondering if the same is true for quantum physics. Does the random nature of quantum phenomena mean they ...
6
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2answers
1k views

The Lagrangian in Scalar Field Theory

This is perhaps a naive question, but why do we write down the Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L}=\frac{1}{2}\eta^{\mu\nu}\partial_{\mu}\phi\partial_{\nu}\phi - \frac{1}{2}m^2\phi^2$$ as the simplest ...
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5answers
764 views

Light-like Interval

In SR, the interval $I$ between two spacetime events is called light-like if $I=0$. Griffiths in his Introduction to Electrodynamics book says that [page 503], If $I=0$ we call the interval ...
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0answers
262 views

Quantum Entanglement and Causality [duplicate]

How does Quantum Entanglement not violate the principle of relativity? Alice and Bob are working on an entangled system of electrons which is spaced long apart. Now if Alice measures one electron to ...
6
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2answers
602 views

Can special relativity distort the relative order in which events occur?

Pretend you are throwing darts at a dart board. You throw dart $d_1$ at time $t_1$. After you throw your first dart, you throw your second dart $d_2$ at time $t_2$. Given that $t_2 > t_1$ in a ...
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1answer
279 views

Retarded potential in gravitational field?

Is there a retarded potential concept in gravitational field similar to electromagnetic radiation?
3
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1answer
180 views

Going through a ring of black holes

Mathematician here with a speculative physical question -- feel free to boot me if the level isn't right. Suppose one finds, or builds, a constellation of several black holes arranged in a circle. ...
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2answers
715 views

What's wrong with this QFT thought experiment?

In quantum field theory, the propagator $D(x-y)$ doesn't vanish for space-like separation. In Zee's book, he claims that this means a particle can leak out of the light-cone. Feynman also gives this ...
5
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2answers
118 views

Which causal structures are absent from any “nice” patch of Minkowski space?

Which "causal separation structures" (or "interval structures") can not be found among the events in "any nice patch ($P$) of Minkowski space"?, where "causal separation structure" ($s$) should be ...
1
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1answer
136 views

Can the vanishing of the Riemann tensor be determined from causal relations?

Given a Lorentzian manifold and metric tensor, "$( M, g )$", the corresponding causal relations between its elements (events) may be derived; i.e. for every pair (in general) of distinct events in set ...
0
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1answer
119 views

Is this hypo-theoretical model of future prediction feasible? [closed]

First let me state that I am not, nor ever have I been, a physics student. I am working on an idea for a book I'm writing. This is a thought experiment that posits the existence of a computer system ...
6
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1answer
158 views

Causal structure of the inflationary multiverse

In the multiverse as it is described by eternal inflation, it is not clear to me what is its causal structure and in particular if the bubble-universes are causally connected. We start from a ...
4
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2answers
234 views

Superluminal particles with causality

What kind of CLASSICAL theories would allow to true (non-apparent) superluminal particles (beyond speed of light, BSOL) agreeing with causality to exist? I mean, are causal superluminal classical ...
1
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2answers
67 views

Solar Catastrophe [duplicate]

Consider all of sudden the sun vanishes. What would happen to planetary motion. Will it continue to move in elliptical path or move in a tangential to the orbit immediately after sun vanishes or move ...
0
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0answers
49 views

Do all the 4 forces of nature act at the same speed? [duplicate]

It is believed that gravity, the weakest of the four forces propagates at the speed of light, cf. e.g. this Phys.SE post. One would expect (perhaps erroneously) that the other, stronger, forces acted ...
5
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1answer
154 views

How soon that a force affect another object?

Imagine this scenario: I have 2 objects in vacuum without any force exerted upon them not even a possible gravitational force between them. Now if one of them gets a gravitational or magnetic force, ...
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1answer
111 views

Grandfather Paradox [closed]

This question related to the Grandfather Paradox. Assume that time travel to the past is a reality. What experiment/test could the time traveler perform in order to determine if he is in his own ...
6
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2answers
525 views

Causality and Quantum Field Theory

I have a problem with proof of causality in Peskin & Schroeder, An Introduction to QFT, page 28. To avoid confusion I use three vectors notation, rewriting the Eq. (2.53) for $y=0$ as follows: ...
5
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1answer
180 views

How is the direction of time determined in general relativity?

In special relativity every frame has its own unique time axis, represented in Minkowski diagrams by a fan-out of time vectors that grows infinitely dense as you approach the surface of the light cone ...
5
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3answers
430 views

How can we know, today, that there's something from 100 light-years from here?

In my understanding, to take a picture of something that is 100 light-years from here, our "camera" would have to travel 100 years at light speed, take the picture, send to us, and 100 years later we ...
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2answers
1k views

In QFT, why does a vanishing commutator ensure causality?

In relativistic quantum field theories (QFT), $$[\phi(x),\phi^\dagger(y)] = 0 \;\;\mathrm{if}\;\; (x-y)^2<0$$ On the other hand, even for space-like separation $$\phi(x)\phi^\dagger(y)\ne0.$$ ...
15
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5answers
2k views

The transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics

John Cramer’s transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics (TIQM) is billed as resolving the fuzzy agnosticism of the Copenhagen interpretation while avoiding the alleged ontological excesses of ...