Speculative Superluminal Regime for Relativistic Addition of Velocities

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Using Einstein's theory of special relativity, suppose that two observers (red points at the top) are in relative motion with velocities and relative to an observer at rest, with velocities comparable with the speed of light. Each observer sees that the distance to the other changes, but not at the rate [1], and they never move apart by more than the velocity of light. In [2] Hill and Cox have extended the mathematical framework of special relativity to describe motion at speeds faster than light, but this is not necessarily physically meaningful.


The plots show the curve for a fixed value , and the red dot shows a particular value of .


Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (February 2013)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



The formula for the addition of collinear velocities and is


where the value of the speed of light is taken to be 1. The regions in the 3D plot are colored as follows:


[1] Wikipedia. "Velocity-Addition Formula." (Feb 11, 2013) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velocity-addition_formula.

[2] J. M. Hill and B. J. Cox, "Einstein's Special Relativity beyond the Speed of Light," Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 468, 2012 pp. 4174–4192. doi:10.1098/rspa.2012.0340.

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