June 22, 2006

Some people use tachyon energy to heal. In 2003 a client brought me some of these special colored 'chips' made with tachyon energy that are carried, worn as jewelry, or sewed into clothing, alone or in combinations, with claims of great healing.

You know it all comes down to mind over matter, as this is a consciousness experiment, and all goes to our thought projections and comprehension, but I guess it can't hurt to try a new modality from time to time.

Not sure if I buy into this type of tachyon healing theory ... whatever works. If you are ready ... anything will work.

A tachyon is a particle with space-like four-momentum. If its energy and momentum are real, its rest mass is imaginary. One curious effect is that, unlike ordinary particles, the speed of a tachyon increases as its energy decreases. This is a consequence of special relativity because the tachyon, in theory, has a negative squared mass.

According to Einstein, the total energy of a particle contains a contribution from the rest mass (the "rest mass-energy") and a contribution from the body's motion, the kinetic energy. If *m* denotes the *rest mass,* then the total energy is given by the relation.

We take this relation to be valid for either tachyons or regular particles ("tardyons"). For ordinary matter, this equation shows that E increases with increasing velocity, becoming arbitrarily large as v approaches c, the speed of light. If m is imaginary, on the other hand, the denominator of the fraction must also be imaginary to keep the energy a real number (since a pure imaginary divided by another pure imaginary is real).

The denominator will be imaginary if the quantity inside the square root is negative, which only happens if v is larger than c. Therefore, just as tardyons are forbidden to break the light-speed barrier, so too are tachyons forbidden from slowing down to below light speed.

The existence of such particles would pose intriguing problems in modern physics. For example, taking the formalisms of electromagnetic radiation and supposing a tachyon had an electric charge - as there is no reason to suppose a priori that tachyons must be either neutral or charged - then an accelerating tachyon must radiate electromagnetic waves, just like ordinary charged particles do.

However, as we have seen, reducing a tachyon's energy increases its speed, and so in this regime a small acceleration would produce a larger one, leading to a run-away effect similar to an ultraviolet catastrophe. Some modern presentations of tachyon theory have demonstrated the possibility of a tachyon with a real mass.

In 1973, Philip Crough and Roger Clay reported a superluminal particle apparently produced in a cosmic ray shower (an observation which has not been confirmed or repeated).

This possibility has prompted some to propose that each particle in space has its own relative timeline, allowing particles to travel back in time without violating causality. Under this model, such a particle would be a "tachyon" by virtue of its apparent superluminal velocity, even though its rest mass is a real number.

Causality

The property of causality, a fundamental principle of quantum field theory - theoretical particle physics, poses a problem for the physical existence of tachyons.

If a tachyon were to exist and were allowed to interact with ordinary (time-like) matter, causality could be violated: roughly, there would no longer be a way to tell the difference between the future and the past along the world line of a given piece of ordinary matter. A particle could send energy or information into its own past, forming a so-called causal loop - predestination paradox.

This would lead to logical paradoxes such as the grandfather paradox, unless the theory were set up in such a way as to prevent them.

At present, such a fix is not known: for example, the Novikov self-consistency principle - paradox in time travel - has not been obtained within a quantum field theory, but has to be imposed by hand.

At the very least the principle of special relativity would have to be discarded.

Other avenues of speculation involve parallel universes - the Many-worlds interpretation.

One can imagine a scenario in which sending energy or information back in time causes history to diverge into two distinct tracks, one in which events reflect the altered information and one in which they do not. In the theory of general relativity, it is possible to construct space times in which particles travel faster than the speed of light, relative to a distant observer. One example is the Alcubierre metric. However, these are not tachyons in the above sense, as they do not exceed the speed of light locally.

Field and string theories

In quantum field theory, a tachyon is a quantum of a field - usually a scalar field - whose squared mass is negative.

The existence of such a particle implies the instability of the space-time vacuum because the energy of the vacuum has a maximum rather than a minimum (at least with respect to the tachyonic direction). A very small impulse will lead the field to roll down with exponentially increasing amplitudes: it will induce tachyon condensation.

The Higgs mechanism is an elementary example, but it is important to realize that once the tachyonic field reaches the minimum of the potential, its quanta are not tachyons anymore but rather Higgs bosons that have a positive mass.

Even for tachyonic quantum fields, the field operators at space like separated points still commute (or anticommute).

Tachyons arise in many versions of string theory.

In general, string theory states that what we see as "particles" - electrons, photons, gravitons and so forth - are actually different vibrational states of the same underlying string. The mass of the particle can be deduced from the vibrations which the string exhibits; roughly speaking, the mass depends upon the "note" which the string sounds. Tachyons frequently appear in the spectrum of permissible string states, in the sense that some states have negative mass-squareds, and therefore imaginary masses.

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