Feb 10, 2016

Tachyon physics with trapped ions

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

It has been predicted that particles with imaginary mass, called tachyons, would be able to travel faster than the speed of light. There has not been any experimental evidence for tachyons occurring naturally. Here, we propose how to experimentally simulate Dirac tachyons with trapped ions. Quantum measurement on a Dirac particle simulated by a trapped ion causes it to have an imaginary mass so that it may travel faster than the effective speed of light. We show that a Dirac tachyon must have spinor-motion correlation in order to be superluminal. We also show that it exhibits significantly more Klein tunneling than a normal Dirac particle. We provide numerical simulations of realistic ion systems and show that our scheme is feasible with current technology.

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