Not-So-Faster-Than-Light Particles and the GZK Cutoff: Philosophical Considerations of Wayward Travels

As promised, I am posting some of my philosophy of physics ideas that aren’t as well formulated.  Click here.  The idea in the attached paper is that there are a number of large-scale phenomena that might suggest that the notion of “travelling” might not be so well defined.  In the time to come, I will be blogging about Wesley Salmon’s “at-at” theory, which has been universally embraced by nearly all philosophers and, almost assuredly, every physicist holding a university position.  This paper, “Not-So-Faster-Than-Light Particles and the GZK Cutoff: Philosophical Considerations of Wayward Travels,” is really a shot in that direction, contra “at-at” theory.  The “at-at” theory says that an object moving from point A and B occupies each spatial point, xi (i = 1, 2,…,n), at some corresponding point in time, tj (j = 1, 2,…,n), satisfying the following two criteria: 1) i=j, 2) the object occupies each contiguous location en route to the final point, and 3) this set, the set of contiguous locations, is the unique set such that distance is minimized between point A and B.  This isn’t what happens in quantum mechanics, and I think this only approximately happens on the large scale, for objects with sufficiently low energy.  The GZK limit (a.k.a. cutoff) is a good instance in which this might be demonstrable.

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October 20, 2012 · 6:48 pm

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