from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A hypothetical subatomic particle that always travels faster than the speed of light.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A hypothetical particle that travels faster than the speed of light.
- n. A flaw in a physical theory that predicts the existence of tachyons or similar paradoxical results. Compare with ghost.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
While someone who actually has a clue what a tachyon is will feel more comfortable with the terminology, Sawyer leaves enough elbow room for non-scifi fans.
If there is an elementary particle, or wavicle, of thought, a faster-than-light one like the tachyon might be a good candidate for the honor.
Of course, it's the same for SF: Star Trek taught us that just about any problem whatsoever can be solved by a single talented engineer who builds a novel theory from scratch in 15 minutes and then reverses the tachyon beam.
Starfleet had long ago established a host of technologies along the Federation side of the Neutral Zone to unmask cloaked Romulan vessels: subspace listening posts, gravitic sensors, tachyon detection grids.
And not only did the crew of Robinson continually check those monitoring stations for breaches and breakdowns, but during the eight months of their guard duty, they had deployed a new array of probes along the territory they patrolled, and at random intervals, they activated their own tachyon network.
“Number One, prepare for the possibility of using shuttles to set up a tachyon detection grid if we have to.”
And unfortunately for him, Dr. Manhattan is a soulless and dead-eyed bore — words like “tachyon” are just not said in anything other than a Ben Stein-like monotone.
Due to a tachyon bombardment created by Ozymandias, he doesn't, in fact, have the ability to see the future.
(If you are in a hurry, I think the tachyon ones arrive before you order them.)
When 260 physicists gathered for a recent conference at the University of Michigan, they chatted in their usual vocab: compactification, tachyon condensation, flop transition.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.