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Q & A: cosmic tachyons?

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
I have done some research about "Tachyons", and was struck by the fact that most of the phenomenon in Astro- and Quantum Physics can be explained with the help of tachyons... even Big Bang and Big Crunch. What are your views on this theory?
- Harsh (age 19)
New Delhi, India
A:
What theory?

We don't know of any theory in which tachyons help explain the Big Bang, nor do we know of any evidence that there will be a Big Cruch, with or without tachyons.

There are severe logical problems with theories in which tachyons can interact with ordinary matter in anything like a conventional way. The reason is that tachyons travel backwards in time in just as many reference frames as they travel forward in time. One could then use a string of tachyons to send meassages to ones own past, leading to all sorts of science-fiction issues concerning causal loops- e.g whether you could prevent your own birth.

To the best of our knowledge, the closest to a respectable use of tachyons in a theory is the attempt of P. Pearle to construct a theory of the non-local collapse of quantum states in the 'measurement' process. The random nature of quantum measurement results prevents them from carrying signals and hence avoids logical paradoxes. Such theories are not yet very well devolped and are very hard to test.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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