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Local News
Will there ever be a physics term greater than 'tachyonic antitelephone?' According to this message from the future, the answer is 'no.'
Title text: Will there ever be a physics term greater than 'tachyonic antitelephone?' According to this message from the future, the answer is 'no.'

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: More detail on quantum mechanics needed.

Typical news broadcasts are divided into local, national, and global news segments. The broadcast in this comic has been broken into real local, (about city council election) and a new type of news; nonlocal. Rather than focusing on national or global news, the nonlocal segment deals with news of a nonlocality nature; more likely dealing with causal nonlocality.

A "tachyon" is a theoretical or thought-experiment particle which travels faster than the speed of light. It has many strange properties, including being able to go back in time. This is how the newscaster is able to send a beam back in time to kill her past self. The comic does not explain the paradox of how someone who died in the past could still be alive. This is just one of many paradoxes that arises as soon as some kind of time travel is involved, a recurring theme in xkcd. Alternatively, it could be referring to a message from the future, where the newsanchor kills a version of her after the present but before the tachyon beam is created.

A Tachyonic antitelephone is a theoretical device which would allow messages to be sent to the past. The title text, citing a message sent to the past, informs us that physics will indeed never have a term greater than "Tachyonic antitelephone".

Transcript

[A blonde female news anchor is sitting behind a table with her arms resting on the tabletop.]
Newscaster: In local news, city council elections were held today.
Newscaster: In nonlocal news, I killed my past self with a tachyon beam.


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