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2
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2answers
181 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
32 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
48 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
143 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
75 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
103 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
272 views

Time-ordering in QFT

In Srednicki QFT page 37. In the derivation of LSZ reduction formula, he introduces the time-order operator $T$, so no time-dependent creation/annihilation operators are left in the transition ...
16
votes
3answers
1k 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
4answers
95 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 ...
1
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1answer
62 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
338 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 ...
1
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3answers
272 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
1
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4answers
107 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
54 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
85 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
788 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 ...
48
votes
7answers
4k views

The speed of gravity?

Sorry for the layman question, but it's not my field. Suppose this thought experiment is performed. Light takes 8 minutes to go from the surface of the Sun to Earth. Imagine the Sun is suddenly ...
2
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0answers
64 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 ...
-9
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1answer
109 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
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1answer
79 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
133 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
107 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) ...
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0answers
66 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
48 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
87 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
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
6
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2answers
936 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. ...
5
votes
3answers
546 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
74 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 ...
0
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2answers
90 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
votes
0answers
127 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 ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

What criteria distinguishes causality from retrocausality?

The brilliant philosopher David Hume remarked that if two events are always found to be correlated to each other with one event happening prior to the other, we call the earlier event the cause and ...
0
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0answers
23 views

It's commonly said that the existence of antiparticles “saves causality”. How? [duplicate]

The way I've always thought about is something like this: If measurements of space and time are essentially indeterminate (indeterminacy principle), then an entity "traveling at less than the speed of ...
3
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1answer
256 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
93 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
81 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
votes
1answer
43 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 ...
5
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1answer
167 views

Quantization surface in QFT

What does the Quantization Surface mean here? Reference: H. Latal W. Schweiger (Eds.) - Methods of Quantization
4
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1answer
708 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?
1
vote
4answers
175 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
110 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
votes
1answer
235 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
69 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 ...
9
votes
9answers
991 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
105 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 ...
6
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2answers
1k 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
451 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 ...