Questions tagged [faster-than-light]

"Faster-than-light", also known as superluminal velocities, refers to any sort of travel at a speed greater than the speed of light. Prohibited in mainstream physics due to the Special theory of relativity.

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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). ...
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Alcubierre Drive - Clarification on relativistic effects

On the Wikipedia article on the Alcubierre drive, it says: Since the ship is not moving within this bubble, but carried along as the region itself moves, conventional relativistic effects such as ...
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What if photons are not the fastest particles?

Einstein originally thought that special relativity was about light and how it always travelled at the same speed. Nowadays, we think that special relativity is about the idea that there is some ...
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Can't quantum teleportation be superluminal some percentage of times?

I apologize if this is a really silly question. In the (textbook) quantum teleportation algorithm, in the step right after Alice has measured her system but before she has sent her classical ...
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Einstein's special relativity beyond the speed of light

Could someone with access to this paper, which claims to have new transformations between frames with relative motion faster than light which are supposedly consistent with special-relativity, say ...
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If neutrinos travel faster than light, how much lead time would we have over detecting supernovas?

In light of the recent story that neutrinos travel faster than photons, I realize the news about this is sensationalistic and many tests still remain, but let's ASSUME neutrinos are eventually proven ...
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How can the diameter of the universe be so big, if nothing can go faster than light? [duplicate]

The following are facts of the prevailing cosmological model. The age of the universe is about 13.772 billion years. Nothing with mass can exceed the speed of light. The diameter of the observable ...
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Why can't a spaceship accelerate for ever? Since there is no friction in space

I have seen many answers like: because we don't have infinite energy, because of gravity, because it is impossible, because of physics. But they don't really answer my question.. I mean if there is ...
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Does the Alcubierre drive have a theoretical upper speed limit?

Every now and then, it's claimed that the Alcubierre drive has an upper speed limit. While superluminal, this is often brought up as an argument why such a drive, even if it were to turn out to be ...
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Tachyons and Photons

Is there a particle called a "tachyon" that can travel faster than light? If so, would Einstein's relativity be wrong? According to Einstein no particle can travel faster than light.
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Variation of delayed choice quantum eraser

Let me base the discussion on the pictorial description of the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment on wikipedia. First suppose that we do precisely the same thing with the lower parts of the ...
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Feynman's path integral formulation and faster-than-light paths

In Brian Greene's book "The elegant Universe", he talks about the double slit experiment and Feynman's interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. According to the book, Feynman said that one vaild ...
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Quantum entanglement as practical method of superluminal communication

As I understand it (from a lay physics perspective), quantum entanglement has been experimentally demonstrated - it is a reality. As I understand it, you can measure something like the spin of an ...
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Does time dilation mean that faster than light travel is backwards time travel? [duplicate]

Ok. So my question is, I've always heard it that Faster Than Light travel is supposedly backwards time travel. However, the time dilation formula is $$T=\frac{T_0}{\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}}$$ And while it ...
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Why can't massless particle exceed speed of light?

Why massless particle can't exceed speed of light?
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Are Electromagnetic Waves The Only Means of Transmitting Information?

We've been using EMF to transmit energy (information) for over a century. I was wondering is there any other way to send a message on long distances, even faster than EMF waves can travel? For example ...
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How can neutrinos “beat light”?

Article in the CERN newsletter "symmetry breaking" has the following statement: "Neutrinos are often the first particles to bring news of events in space to Earth, beating even light.". What does this ...
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Will free-fall object into black hole exceed speed of light $c$ before hitting black hole surface?

In Newtonian mechanics, if we throw an object in against direction of gravity with speed $v$ and it achieve max height of $h$. Now if we allow object to fall from that height $h$, it will eventually ...
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Alongside a light ray (in another medium)

It is a said fact that the speed of light is insurmountable. But can the validity of this fact be questioned in another medium? If I pass a beam of light in, say water (here the light speed is ...
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Does entanglement not immediately contradict the theory of special relativity? [duplicate]

Does entanglement not immediately contradict the theory of special relativity? Why are people still so convinced nothing can travel faster than light when we are perfectly aware of something that does?...
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Will acceleration rate of expansion of space become faster than speed of light?

From watching cosmology lectures, it seems that the space between galaxies is expanding at an accelerating rate, my question is since it is the space that is (acceleratingly expanding), the special ...
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A vertical variation of modern versions of Michelson-Morley

For almost a year now, I have been in the uncomfortable position of having an idea. However, there is one nice thing about this idea. It makes a concrete, exact and relatively easy to test physical ...
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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 ...
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Can the increase in thickness of a piece of paper which can be folded infinitely surpass the speed of light? [closed]

Supposing I have a piece of paper that can be folded infinitely. In the first $5 \, \mathrm{s}$, I fold it to twice its thickness. In the next $5 \, \mathrm{s}$, I fold it to 4 times. If I fold it to ...
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Why can't we break the speed of light in vacuum? [duplicate]

I was wondering what could be a possible reason/reasons because of which we cannot break the speed of light barrier. I was reading this where they stated that, Quantum Action Is 10,000 Times Faster ...
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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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Special Relativity and $E = mc^2$

I read somewhere that $E=mc^2$ shows that if something was to travel faster than the speed of light then they would have infinite mass and would have used infinite energy. How does the equation show ...
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Special Relativity Second Postulate

That the speed of light is constant for all inertial frames is the second postulate of special relativity but this does not means that nothing can travel faster than light. so is it possible the ...
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No FTL information implies no FTL travel?

The general consensus in the scientific community is that it is impossible to transmit information faster than light. There is also speculation that it might be possible to open wormholes or travel ...
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How can a particle in a medium ever travel faster than light? [duplicate]

In some media, mass-carrying particles can go faster than light: Cherenkov radiation, ... is electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle... passes through a dielectric medium at a ...
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“FTL” Communication with Quantum Entanglement? [duplicate]

Can quantum entanglement make sending a message, whether audio, video, or even Morse code, instantaneous between two points (faster than it could travel normally at the speed of light)? Let me first ...
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So is quantum entanglement actually FTL “communication” or is it mundane pre-determination?

I have to say right off the bat, I'm a little frustrated that there seem to be very contradictory answers about this, at least to a layman like me. If two particles are entangled and you separate them ...
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Is this news article about quantum radar legit? [duplicate]

From https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/quantum-radar-stealth-aircraft/ In principle, a quantum radar functions like a regular radar — only that instead of sending out a single beam of ...
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Pendulum moving faster than speed of light

In classical mechanics, the period $T$ of a pendulum is given by $$ T = 2\pi\sqrt{\frac{l}{g}},$$ where $g$ is the gravitational field and $l$ the length of the rope attaching the bob to the pivot. ...
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Does quantum mechanics allow faster than light (FTL) travel?

Let's suppose I initially have a particle with a nice and narrow wave function[1] (I will leave these unnormed): $$e^{-\frac{x^2}{a}}$$ where $a$ is some small number (to make it narrow). Let's also ...
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If the universe is expanding faster than light speed does that mean that stars can intercept/overtake light photons that they have previously emitted?

If parts of the universe are accelerating faster than the speed of light does that mean that stars can catch up with and overtake the light photons that they have previously emitted traveling in the ...
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EPR-type experiments and faster-than-light communication using interference effects as signaling mechanism

I understand that faster-than-light communication is impossible when making single measurements, because the outcome of each measurement is random. However, shouldn't measurement on one side collapse ...
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Can entanglement be explained as a consequence of conservation laws?

This article at NewScientist magazine (subscription required) describes entangling photons by passing them through a half silvered mirror. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21929282.100-quantum-...
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What's going on along the “sides” of an Alcubierre warp bubble?

The models/depictions I've seen of warp bubbles show space compressed ahead of the bubble and expanded behind, so that the space inside the bubble moves with respect to the space outside. If that is ...
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Alcubierre warp bubble effect on gravity and space

I read the question Faster-than-light communication using Alcubierre warp drive metric around a single qubit?, and these questions came to mind: What kind of impact would an Alcubierre warp bubble ...
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Can photons travel faster than $c$? (Feynman Lectures)

I apologise for the very non-technical nature of this question. I am new to QED and perhaps am interpreting things in the wrong way, but I'll ask anyway, and hopefully someone can provide a non-...
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Special Relativity, 2nd Postulate — Why? [duplicate]

As a lowly physics undergrad who has been chewing on this 2nd postulate of special relativity for a year or more, I simply can't wrap my head around reasons why it is true or how Einstein might have ...
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What's the problem with light traveling at speed higher than $c$?

I'm trying to understand how Einstein concluded that time is relative based on thought experiments such as a torch attached to the end of a rocket. Based on answers to questions like this one, this ...
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Expansion of the Universe, will light from some galaxies never reach us?

Is it true that the light from some galaxies will never reach us? The explanation for that is that the Universe expanding faster than the speed of light. But, if the speed of light is constant in ...
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Does collapse of wave function to a momentum eigenstate violate speed of light restriction?

Let's consider a free system where the Hamiltonian is $\hat{p}^2/2m$. At time $t=0$, we start with a state at position $x$. An instantaneous time $\delta t$ later, where $\delta t\rightarrow 0$, we ...
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Why can a particle have a nonzero amplitude outside its forward light-cone?

I'm having trouble grasping an idea that I think that is a very basic part of  quantum field theory. Many introductory QFT resources I have consulted often pose the following question: What is ...
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What happens if you let a cable roll slip into a black hole?

Does the cable roll spin faster the more cable goes into the black hole in reference of a observer standing next to it? Can gravity pull the cable that it exceed the speed of light inside a black hole ...
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Faster than light messages (paradox resolution)

I have a thought experiment which in my understanding leads to faster than light messaging, and I had hoped the physics.SE community could help me resolve it. I should say that most of my ...
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Controllable faster-than-light phase velocity

This is not another question about faster-than-light travel or superluminal communication. I totally appreciate the speed limit capped by physical laws (or theories.) Just curious, since there is no ...
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What if a faster-than-light particle is found?

What will be the consequence (severe ones) on laws of physics if a particle that travels faster than light is discovered? I am looking for a more general answer so that a high school student would be ...