On Seeing the Superluminals
Galilean Electrodynamics, Editor and Publisher
Last modified: May 10, 2006
This paper responds to the Garelick paper “Particles traveling faster than the speed of light”, which is also in the program. Since the time of Einstein, there has existed a not-so-visible community of serious scholars working on candidate revisions for Einstein’s Special Relativity Theory (SRT) in order to expand its scope beyond point particles and light signals, to handle complex systems; i.e., systems involving extended bodies, arbitrary accelerations and rotations, and speeds not necessarily limited to light speed. I am a member of that community, and this paper is partly a bit of oral history about the community, and partly a progress report on my own researches. I first had contact with the community as a student at M.I.T. (a pretty respectable school). I didn’t get into it then, but later at work, I got into SRT-related projects, some of which even had a bit of government funding. It may have been verboten in the world of physics, but in the world of engineering it was pragmatic to think about revising SRT. Eventually, I set up shop as a publisher for the SRT dissident community. By now I think I know how the revision should go. It begins with Einstein’s second postulate; namely, that light speed is a constant, now called ‘c’, regardless of source or receiver motion, so long as the coordinate frame for the propagation scenario is not rotating or otherwise accelerating. Revising that postulate in a way that is harmonious with the phenomenology of non-local action and time reversal symmetry of the sort that occurs at the quantum level produces a covering theory that includes relationships from SRT, but with a broader context that admits, among other things, the superluminals.