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The quantum vacuum as the origin of the speed of light
Marcel Urban1, François Couchot1, Xavier Sarazin1a and Arache Djannati-Atai2
1 LAL, Université Paris-Sud,
2 APC, Université Paris Diderot, CNRS/IN2P3, Paris, France
a e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received in final form: 16 January 2013
Published online: 21 March 2013
We show that the vacuum permeability μ0 and permittivity ϵ0 may originate from the magnetization and the polarization of continuously appearing and disappearing fermion pairs. We then show that if we simply model the propagation of the photon in vacuum as a series of transient captures within these ephemeral pairs, we can derive a finite photon velocity. Requiring that this velocity is equal to the speed of light constrains our model of vacuum. Within this approach, the propagation of a photon is a statistical process at scales much larger than the Planck scale. Therefore we expect its time of flight to fluctuate. We propose an experimental test of this prediction.
Key words: Quantum Optics
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag 2013