Tachyons and Fundamental Symmetries

A special issue of Symmetry (ISSN 2073-8994). This special issue belongs to the section "Physics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 8268

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Department of Physics, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO, USA
Interests: quantum electrodynamics; large-order perturbation theory; atomic physics and dynamic processes; laser physics; general relativity
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Department of Physics, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA
Interests: neutrinos as tachyons; alternate neutrino models; supernova neutrinos; physics education

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Department of Physics, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA
Interests: neutrino symmetries; neutrino cosmology, and generalizations of quantum mechanics

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Guest Editor
Department of Physics, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Interests: tachyons; neutrinos (masses, oscillations); quantum spin correlations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is well known that tachyons (hypothetical particles traveling faster than light) are among the most intriguing and, perhaps, most controversial concepts recently discussed in the literature. We believe that it could be in the interest of the wider theoretical community to discuss tachyons and their role in fundamental symmetries in a Special Issue. Tachyons may be “unphysical" for many physicists because of their necessarily unusual properties. Indeed, one advantage claimed by the superstring compared to the bosonic string is that supersymmetry eliminates states with spacelike momenta. Notwithstanding this situation, however, theoretical arguments that would definitively rule them out are matters of ongoing debate, and the possibility of tachyons remains viable. From an experimental perspective, if tachyons exist, either they are yet to be discovered, or, if they are among the inhabitants of the Standard Model, there is one possible candidate—namely, the neutrino. While no extraordinary evidence exists to support this latter possibility, as long as only upper limits exist for the magnitude of the neutrino mass, and no neutrinos have been proven to have v < c, some (or all) neutrinos may indeed be tachyons. The strong tension between appearance and disappearance scintillation data, not resolvable by adding sterile neutrinos, suggests that radical rethinking of the neutrino mass hierarchy may be necessary, even perhaps including tachyonic neutrino states, which, as some theories indicate, might also provide understanding of the nature of dark energy. Based on the existing literature, other areas of relevance in supplying evidence pointing to tachyonic neutrinos would include supernovae, cosmic ray physics, and CPT or Lorentz-invariance violation. Some possible candidates for new neutrino models will involve Lorentz or CPT violation, while others will involve tachyonic neutrinos. In fact, there are already experimental indications of possible CPT violation coming out of some experiments. Areas of interest might include:

  • Lorentz-violating extensions of the Standard Model;
  • Pseudo-Hermitian Dirac neutrino models;
  • Theoretical arguments against tachyons;
  • Empirical evidence favoring or opposing tachyonic neutrinos;
  • Quantization schemes for tachyons and connections to string theory;
  • Tachyonic neutrinos and Lorentz and CPT violation;
  • Specific neutrino models including tachyons;
  • New symmetry principles accommodating tachyons;
  • Phenomenological oddities and astrophysical observations;
  • Tachyons and Tolman's Paradox.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich D. Jentschura
Prof. Dr. Robert Ehrlich
Prof. Dr. Alan Chodos
Prof. Dr. Jacek Ciborowski
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 474 KiB  
Article
A Transformation Factor for Superluminal Motion That Preserves Symmetrically the Spacetime Intervals
by Diego Roldán and Francisco Roldán-Aráuz
Symmetry 2023, 15(6), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym15061177 - 31 May 2023
Viewed by 1579
Abstract
While superluminal phenomena are not empirically substantiated, they present an intriguing hypothetical case. For this speculative framework, the Lorentz transformations would necessitate a revision: instead of the standard γ(xvt), the absolute value of x ought [...] Read more.
While superluminal phenomena are not empirically substantiated, they present an intriguing hypothetical case. For this speculative framework, the Lorentz transformations would necessitate a revision: instead of the standard γ(xvt), the absolute value of x ought to be expressed as γ(vtx), because if v were to exceed c, then the interval vt traversed by the superluminal frame S would surpass the distance covered by light. Under the postulates of relativity, the subluminal scenario leads to the conventional Lorentz factor. Meanwhile, the superluminal scenario introduces an alternative transformation factor that accounts for the presence of the speed of light (c) barrier. This factor is also invariant within Minkowski spacetime, meaning it symmetrically preserves spacetime intervals. The details of this derivation become more evident when using a reverse coordinate system. This result is not, per se, evidence for the existence of superluminal phenomena, but it does allow us to speculate with a new argument about the possibility of their existence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tachyons and Fundamental Symmetries)
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10 pages, 333 KiB  
Article
Dispersion of Ultrarelativistic Tardyonic and Tachyonic Wave Packets on Cosmic Scales
by José Nicasio and Ulrich D. Jentschura
Symmetry 2022, 14(12), 2596; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14122596 - 08 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 832
Abstract
We investigate the time propagation of tachyonic (superluminal) and tardyonic (subluminal, ordinary) massive wave packets on cosmic scales. A normalizable wave packet cannot be monochromatic in momentum space and thus acquires a positional uncertainty (or packet width) that increases with travel distance. We [...] Read more.
We investigate the time propagation of tachyonic (superluminal) and tardyonic (subluminal, ordinary) massive wave packets on cosmic scales. A normalizable wave packet cannot be monochromatic in momentum space and thus acquires a positional uncertainty (or packet width) that increases with travel distance. We investigate the question of how this positional uncertainty affects the uncertainty in the detection time for cosmic radiation on Earth. In the ultrarelativistic limit, we find a unified result, δx(t)/c3=m2δpt/p03, where δx(t) is the positional uncertainty, m is the mass parameter, δp is the initial momentum spread of the wave function, and p0 is the central momentum of the wave packet, which, in the ultrarelativistic limit, is equal to its energy. This result is valid for tachyons and tardyons; its interpretation is being discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tachyons and Fundamental Symmetries)
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8 pages, 252 KiB  
Article
Tachyons as a Consequence of Light-Cone Reflection Symmetry
by Alan Chodos
Symmetry 2022, 14(9), 1947; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14091947 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1021
Abstract
We introduce a new symmetry, light-cone reflection (LCR), which interchanges timelike and spacelike intervals. Our motivation is to provide a reason, based on symmetry, why tachyons might exist, with emphasis on application to neutrinos. We show that LCR, combined with translations, leads to [...] Read more.
We introduce a new symmetry, light-cone reflection (LCR), which interchanges timelike and spacelike intervals. Our motivation is to provide a reason, based on symmetry, why tachyons might exist, with emphasis on application to neutrinos. We show that LCR, combined with translations, leads to a much larger symmetry. We construct an LCR-invariant Lagrangian and discuss some of its properties. In a simple example, we find complete symmetry in the spectrum between tachyons and ordinary particles. We also show that the theory allows for the introduction of a further gauge invariance related to chiral symmetry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tachyons and Fundamental Symmetries)
12 pages, 257 KiB  
Article
A Consistent Theory of Tachyons with Interesting Physics for Neutrinos
by Charles Schwartz
Symmetry 2022, 14(6), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14061172 - 07 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2668
Abstract
Working strictly within the physics theories of Special and General Relativity, I have produced a series of studies developing a consistent mathematical description of tachyons, using both classical and quantum frameworks for particles and fields. The most important choices throughout this work concern [...] Read more.
Working strictly within the physics theories of Special and General Relativity, I have produced a series of studies developing a consistent mathematical description of tachyons, using both classical and quantum frameworks for particles and fields. The most important choices throughout this work concern the question of which habits from the study of ordinary particles (those that are restricted to velocities less than that of light) should be kept and which should be changed. The first part of this paper notes an alternative set of theories wherein that question is answered differently from the choices of this author; and the results of that are severe in terms of physical symmetry. Following that is a broad summary of what has been accomplished in this work: this starts with the recognition that low energy tachyons will create large gravitational fields through the space-components of the energy-momentum tensor and leads to studying properties of the cosmic neutrino background. Lastly there is a discourse on the various arguments that have been given against the very possibility for tachyons to exist. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tachyons and Fundamental Symmetries)
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Review

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22 pages, 1037 KiB  
Review
A Review of Searches for Evidence of Tachyons
by Robert Ehrlich
Symmetry 2022, 14(6), 1198; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14061198 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 5991
Abstract
Here, we review searches for empirical evidence for the existence of tachyons, superluminal particles having m2<0. The review considers searches for new particles that might be tachyons, as well as evidence that neutrinos are tachyons from data that may [...] Read more.
Here, we review searches for empirical evidence for the existence of tachyons, superluminal particles having m2<0. The review considers searches for new particles that might be tachyons, as well as evidence that neutrinos are tachyons from data that may have been gathered for other purposes. Much of the second half of the paper is devoted to the 3+3 neutrino model including a tachyonic mass state, which has empirical support from a variety of areas. Although this is primarily a review article, it contains several newly identified results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tachyons and Fundamental Symmetries)
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