Possibility of Faster-Than-Light Particles

Phys. Rev. 159, 1089 – Published 25 July 1967
G. Feinberg


We consider the possibility of describing, within the special theory of relativity, particles with spacelike four-momentum, which therefore have velocities greater than that of light in vacuum. The usual objections to such particles are discussed, and they are found to be unconvincing within the framework of relativistic quantum theory. A quantum field theory of noninteracting, spinless, faster-than-light particles is described. The field theory is Lorentz-invariant, but must be quantized with Fermi statistics. The associated particle theory has the property that the particle number is not Lorentz-invariant, and the no-particle state is not Lorentz-invariant either. Nevertheless, the principle of relativity is satisfied. The Lorentz invariance implies a relation between emission and absorption processes, in contradiction to the usual case. Some comments are made about the problem of introducing interactions into the field theory. The limiting velocity is c, but a limit has two sides.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRev.159.1089

  • Received 20 February 1967
  • Published in the issue dated July 1967

© 1967 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

G. Feinberg*

  • The Rockefeller University, New York, New York

  • *Permanent address: Department of Physics, Columbia University, New York, New York.

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