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Suppose, I am in an inertial frame of reference moving close to the speed of light. If I held a mirror in a direction of movement it would kick virtual particles from the vacuum into existence. Particles will draw some of the kinetic energy and I would feel a slight push on a mirror thus detecting movement in a certain direction, which I should not be able to do. Assumption that the only true inertial frame of reference is at rest with vacuum contradicts the statement that no privileged frame of reference exists. What is the logical error I made?

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  • $\begingroup$ The Unruh effect, if it actually exists, is related to this idea: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unruh_effect you might also read this link in relation to the existence (or otherwise) of virtual particles profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/… $\endgroup$ – user108787 Oct 3 '16 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ So quantum field theory with its vacuum quantum fluctuations has an absolute reference frame? This would be highly surprising. $\endgroup$ – freecharly Oct 3 '16 at 21:58
  • $\begingroup$ @freecharly No. The Unruh effect only happens if you accelerate, if I understand correctly. $\endgroup$ – DanielSank Oct 3 '16 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ I refer to Casimir effect and this experiment for particle production from vacuum arxiv.org/pdf/1105.4714.pdf. Experiment explanation in simple words here phys.org/news/2011-11-scientists-vacuum.html $\endgroup$ – Chupakabras Oct 4 '16 at 19:30
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Well, I was reffering to dynamic Casimir effect experiment for particle production from vacuum arxiv.org/pdf/1105.4714.pdf. After reading it more carefully I realized that it has nothing to do with uniformly moving mirrors. The dynamic Casimir force arises as a result of Unruh radiation which is related to acceleration. Special relativity is saved :D :D

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