Monday, September 26, 2011

Faster Than Light

"Despite the hubbub – the journalists jostling for that final refill of wine, the smoke, the noise and confusion – I couldn’t help noticing how Professor Randall kept stroking the explosives pack strapped to her astonishing piece of equipment.

It was a balmy evening here at CERN, scene for one of the most momentous press conferences ever. They had decided to hold it on the Press Center Balcony, overlooking Lake Geneva. The final rays of the setting sun cast a pale fire upon the mountain tops, while in the deep indigo sky the first stars were coming into view.

‘Ladies and gentlemen of the press,’ Professor Randall began, ‘tonight you will see the most astonishing confirmation of superluminal communication, a journey which began with the discovery of neutrinos travelling faster than light here in CERN back in 2011. Over the years we have improved the equipment and I can announce today that we have achieved practically instantaneous communication over interplanetary distances.’"

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This article sketches a scenario of faster-than-light communication and shows how it translates into 'backwards-in-time' communications. This doesn't lead to paradox - it's possible to construct the relevant spacetime diagram which I do in the story. But for the scenario as a whole to work, blatant violations of the second law of thermodynamics need to occur - on a par with watching a smashed egg on the floor reassemble and fly back to a pristine state on the kitchen table.

As has been noted by many authors, the direction of time is linked to the direction of increasing entropy.