Will someone please explain Tachyons to me?
Let me explain my confusion. I looked it up in my dictionary once (interesting note too–I wasn’t even looking for the term, I just came across it). It says Tachyons are theoretical subatomic particles, with faster-than-light speed, and only “imaginary” mass. What on earth does that mean? How is mass ever “imaginary”?
Also, there seems to be some disagreement over whether or not they even exist. What is the consensus about that now? They go faster than the speed of light. That would mean they go backwards in time. Is that even possible?
And finally, and there is something on perhaps a slightly lighter note (though I use the term loosely–I am serious when I bring up this fact). Tachyons are brought up quite often, in the fictional Star Trek series (in TNG, they mention in practically every episode, I think). Well, you know, Star Trek is often correct in forecasting the future. More so than any other work of fiction, in the sci-fi genre. How does this fact fit into the discussion?
Please address my question/s succinctly. But please explain it in a simple language we all can comprehend (we’re not all tech geniuses–although we all probably have read Stephen Hawking’s books). Thank you for your understanding.