Motivated by the recent attention on superluminal phenomena, we investigate the compatibility between faster-than-c propagation and the fundamental principles of relativity and causality. We first argue that special relativity can easily accommodate—indeed, does not exclude—faster-than-c signaling at the kinematical level. As far as causality is concerned, it is impossible to make statements of general validity, without specifying at least some features of the tachyonic propagation. We thus focus on the Scharnhorst effect (faster-than-c photon propagation in the Casimir vacuum), which is perhaps the most plausible candidate for a physically sound realization of these phenomena. We demonstrate that in this case the faster-than-c aspects are “benign” and constrained in such a manner as to not automatically lead to causality violations.

Faster-than-c signals, special relativity, and causality

SONEGO, Sebastiano;
2002-01-01

Abstract

Motivated by the recent attention on superluminal phenomena, we investigate the compatibility between faster-than-c propagation and the fundamental principles of relativity and causality. We first argue that special relativity can easily accommodate—indeed, does not exclude—faster-than-c signaling at the kinematical level. As far as causality is concerned, it is impossible to make statements of general validity, without specifying at least some features of the tachyonic propagation. We thus focus on the Scharnhorst effect (faster-than-c photon propagation in the Casimir vacuum), which is perhaps the most plausible candidate for a physically sound realization of these phenomena. We demonstrate that in this case the faster-than-c aspects are “benign” and constrained in such a manner as to not automatically lead to causality violations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11390/674658
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