The Quantum Principle of Relativity

The evolution of probabilities and the "impossible" phenomena of quantum mechanics may have their origins in the special theory of relativity, as suggested by physicists from universities in Warsaw and Oxford. Credit: FUW

According to theorists from universities in Warsaw and Oxford, the most important features of the quantum world may result from the special theory of relativity, which until now seemed to have little to do with quantum mechanics.

They have proved that the features of quantum mechanics determining its uniqueness and its non-intuitive exoticism can be explained within the framework of the special theory of relativity. 

Albert Einstein based the special theory of relativity on two postulates. The first is known as the Galilean principle of relativity which states that physics is the same in every inertial system. The second postulate, formulated on the result of the famous Michelson-Morley experiment, imposed the requirement of a constant velocity of light in every reference system.

The special theory of relativity is a coherent structure that allows for three mathematically correct types of solutions: a world of particles moving at subluminal velocities, a world of particles moving at the velocity of light and a world of particles moving at superluminal velocities. This third option has always been rejected as having nothing to do with reality.

What happens if we take seriously not part of the special theory of relativity, but all of it, together with the superluminal system? We expected cause-effect paradoxes. Meanwhile, we saw exactly those effects that form the deepest core of quantum mechanics, according to this team of researchers.

Taking into account a superluminal system, it is possible—at least theoretically—to derive some of the postulates of quantum mechanics from the special theory of relativity.

The article has been published in the New Journal of Physics. (Phys.org)

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