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.

    Rabid Reads: "Flash Forward" by Robert J. Sawyer

  • 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.

    Spock Must Die

  • 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.

    SF Fanatic: I Am Not A Fan Of Fantasy, Here's Why

  • 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.

    Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts of Empire

  • 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.

    Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts of Empire

  • “Number One, prepare for the possibility of using shuttles to set up a tachyon detection grid if we have to.”

    Star Trek The Next Generation®

  • 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.

    Recasting Watchmen: Ralph, Javier, Cameron and Demi, You Shoulda Done It!

  • Due to a tachyon bombardment created by Ozymandias, he doesn't, in fact, have the ability to see the future.

    Chez Pazienza: The Glenn Beck Show Generator

  • (If you are in a hurry, I think the tachyon ones arrive before you order them.)

    Want a Nice Gift for that Special Someone?

  • When 260 physicists gathered for a recent conference at the University of Michigan, they chatted in their usual vocab: compactification, tachyon condensation, flop transition.

    Physics Envy


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  • A generic name for hypothetical particles that travel faster than the speed of light and have an imaginary rest mass. (Wikipedia)

    May 23, 2008