darky999

2015-Oct-17, 02:46 PM

First post on this forum - go easy!

I do have a PhD in real life, but in Superconductors (and NOT the theoretical side, I was a practical scientist), not theoretical physics. So I ask the below with some science knowledge, but i'm certainly not an expert.

The question is does the finite nature of the speed of light have anything to do with the quantum vacuum, and the constant creation/annihilation of particle/anti-partical pairs? It struck me that there is firstly no way this was an original thought (and some digging got me this recent paper from 2013: http://epjplus.epj.org/images/stories/news/2013/epj_d_2a-03-13.pdf which also references a 1957 paper by Dicke - R.H. Dicke, Rev. Mod. Phys. 29, 363 (1957) ), however I thought it would be a fascinating discussion.

My initial thought was that c is finite due to these quantum particles giving a form of ‘drag’ on the photons, perhaps c is infinite in a real ‘total’ vacuum (which we think is not possible to have). The above paper is more nuanced of course and talks about ultra-short range, but much longer than planck length, fluctuations.

Yet it’s a fairly obvious viewpoint if one considers the ‘fact’ that the speed of light, plus the permeability & permittivity of free space are numbers that have no derivation, they are what they are. Which is really quite unsatisfying. I have no idea if this is all easily explained, however I suspect it is not if there is a 2013 paper from proper scientists that is seriously discussing having a variable c, and also proposes an experiment to measure this.

Any thoughts much appreciated!

I do have a PhD in real life, but in Superconductors (and NOT the theoretical side, I was a practical scientist), not theoretical physics. So I ask the below with some science knowledge, but i'm certainly not an expert.

The question is does the finite nature of the speed of light have anything to do with the quantum vacuum, and the constant creation/annihilation of particle/anti-partical pairs? It struck me that there is firstly no way this was an original thought (and some digging got me this recent paper from 2013: http://epjplus.epj.org/images/stories/news/2013/epj_d_2a-03-13.pdf which also references a 1957 paper by Dicke - R.H. Dicke, Rev. Mod. Phys. 29, 363 (1957) ), however I thought it would be a fascinating discussion.

My initial thought was that c is finite due to these quantum particles giving a form of ‘drag’ on the photons, perhaps c is infinite in a real ‘total’ vacuum (which we think is not possible to have). The above paper is more nuanced of course and talks about ultra-short range, but much longer than planck length, fluctuations.

Yet it’s a fairly obvious viewpoint if one considers the ‘fact’ that the speed of light, plus the permeability & permittivity of free space are numbers that have no derivation, they are what they are. Which is really quite unsatisfying. I have no idea if this is all easily explained, however I suspect it is not if there is a 2013 paper from proper scientists that is seriously discussing having a variable c, and also proposes an experiment to measure this.

Any thoughts much appreciated!