Gauge bosons are the fundamental force carriers of nature. Consider a silly quantum mechanical particle which is the gauge boson for no force at all. By definition, it does not interact with anything. This “noton” has zero mass, just like the photon, but cannot couple to any particles in the standard model. By construction, it could never be detected by any experimental apparatus.
The photon mediates all electromagnetic forces, as the graviton mediates all gravitational forces. In quantum field theory, these particles interact with the vacuum in a bizarre way. This can be seen experimentally in the running of the coupling constant. Gravity is weaker than electromagnetism because the graviton couples to the vacuum more weakly than the photon does. Denote this vacuum energy coupling to be a physical parameter of a particle. The noton would have zero vacuum energy coupling, just as the photon has zero baryonic mass.
The noton is a quantum mechanical particle which can never be observed. Therefore, it is free to tunnel instantaneously at an infinite speed without violating causality. Nobody could ever observe this particle’s ridiculous trajectory! If this is true, perhaps the speed of light should not be considered the fundamental speed limit of particles. Particles can move faster than c, but if one uses an electromagnetic probe to detect it, then it can never observe any particle moving faster to c.
What does this say about the speeds of the graviton and the gluon? The noton has zero vacuum energy coupling and can move at infinite speeds. If the graviton has a smaller vacuum energy coupling than the photon, does this mean that the graviton can move faster than the photon? What does this say for LIGO’s detection of gravitational waves? This would imply that their triangulation analyses are performed incorrectly.
Before jumping the gun, it could be possible that the graviton and the photon’s vacuum energy coupling have a finite, infinitesimal, or zero difference with the inclusion of the noton. From a philosophical perspective however, I do not understand why particles should have a fundamental speed limit. I do believe photons do, since their collisions with the vacuum slow them down from tunneling infinitely fast. Every particle wishes to tunnel instantly, but its collisions with the environment slow it to a finite speed.
If this is taken further, the vacuum energy coupling can be thought of as a new type of mass term, describing why the particle has a fundamental speed limit. Since E=mc^2 and c is large in our universe, this energy would always give a negligible mass term in any measurement in comparison to a particle with baryonic mass. Perhaps the photon does have an infinitesimal mass term which is undetectable by any experiment on earth.
I claim that this “toy model theory” allows for superluminal speeds of particles without violating causality. If this toy model is valid in any way, then certainly the Scharnhorst effect occurs in nature.
From here, a new modified special relativity must be created, which I am currently calling “Renormalized Special Relativity”. This theory allows for different particles to have different light cones based on which force they mediate. Fortunately, all of the massless particles are the gauge bosons and only interact directly with one force, which does not give any ambiguity for which light cone the particle would follow. One particular interest would be the study of neutrinos with mass smaller than the vacuum energy coupling of a photon, which may give rise to photon decay.
MORE TO COME on a more elaborate development of renormalized special relativity.
Furthermore, what implications does this have for information theory? Could non-electromagnetic effects be used for ultrafast signals? Gravitons can probe the early universe before the CMB, perhaps they also deliver it faster? What does this mean for the age of the universe? Is it possible for the universe to be infinitely old in this construction? Okay now I should stop thinking.
Ahh has someone beat me to it?! http://www.livescience.com/38533-photons-may-emit-faster-than-light-particles.html
- The problem with infinity (plus.maths.org)