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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 ...
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1answer
103 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
140 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 ...
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1answer
122 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 ...
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2answers
5k views

Does magnetic propagation follow the speed of light?

Does magnetic propagation follow the speed of light? E.g. if you had some magnet of incredible strength and attached an iron wire that is one light year long to it, would the other end of the iron ...
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2answers
511 views

What would happen if some signal could move faster than light?

The two postulates of STR doesn't say that any signal cannot move faster than light. It also doesn't assert that any signal except light cannot have velocity equals to that of light. So at the very ...
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3answers
891 views

Why is causality preserved in special relativity?

PART 1: I was reading the article Relativity of simultaneity Wikipedia. I couldn't understand this line: "if the two events are causally connected ("event A causes event B"), the causal order is ...
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1answer
258 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 ...
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4answers
248 views

Principle of locality

Why does the principle of locality have so such great importance in physics that theory should be consistent with it?
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0answers
97 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 ...
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2answers
894 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
163 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 ...
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2answers
209 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 ...
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0answers
136 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 ...
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1answer
83 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 ...
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2answers
153 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 ...
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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 ...
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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
1k views

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
110 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
171 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 ...
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0answers
233 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
197 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
98 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 ...
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1answer
76 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
193 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
839 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 ...
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0answers
128 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
365 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
votes
1answer
98 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
1k views

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
182 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
3k 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
701 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 ...
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1answer
148 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
365 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
1k 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 ...
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2answers
334 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
365 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 ...
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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
815 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
293 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 ...
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2answers
646 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
303 views

Retarded potential in gravitational field?

Is there a retarded potential concept in gravitational field similar to electromagnetic radiation?