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Subject: sci.physics.relativity Welcome - read this first!
This article was archived around: 20 Jun 2001 07:57:19 -0700
Posted-By: auto-faq 3.3 (Perl 5.006)
Last-modified: 1 December 1998
Maintainer: Nathan Urban (mail to email@example.com)
================ Welcome! to sci.physics.relativity ==================
This newsgroup is an open forum devoted to the discussion of scientific
issues involving the physics (and the underlying mathematics) of the
special and general theories of relativity. (These terms are usually
abbreviated in the group by the acronyms str and gtr, respectively.)
The contributors to this newsgroup constitute a diverse group of
laypeople, high school students, college students, graduate students,
engineers and other professionals, as well as physicists, astronomers,
computer scientists and mathematicians. All are united by an interest in
relativity theory, and all are welcome to contribute postings here.
This newsgroup is unmoderated, which means that anyone can post anything
here: there is no censorship of any kind, and no-one "runs" this group.
For this reason, it is important that everyone who participates in the
group should be familiar with and adhere voluntarily to the posting
guidelines suggested in the next section.
======================== Posting Guidelines ==========================
We welcome contributions from newcomers, including questions at all levels
of expertise. However, we do ask that "newbies" always check the FAQ (see
the next section) -before- posting any questions, because experience has
shown that chances are very good that a very similar question is answered
there. (The word FAQ is, after all, an acronym for "Frequently Asked
We particularly welcome posts of the following nature:
* questions about technical points in relativity theory, ranging from
the elementary (but no homework, please!) to the research level,
* answers to same, from people who have studied the subject and who
have their facts straight,
* discussion of new theoretical ideas, experiments, and observations
in relativistic astrophysics, cosmology, gtr, and quantum gravity.
Relativity is a big, big subject! You will find an extensive list of
possible topics for discussion in the FAQ (see next section).
"Wild and crazy ideas" are also acceptable, but please be sure to
check the FAQ before posting to avoid the embarrasment of posting
something based on a VCM (very common misconception).
Topics which are rarely if ever appropriate in this newsgroup include:
* general discussions of the scientific method (try sci.misc),
* philosophical discussions unrelated to relativity,
* theological discussions (try talk.origins),
* "scientific creationism" (try talk.origins).
A common sense rule for deciding whether a possible topic is likely to be
considered acceptable here is to remember that the name of this newsgroup
is sci[ence].physics.relativity. If it's not about science, it doesn't
belong here. If it is about science but has little to do with physics, it
doesn't belong here. If it is about physics but has little to do with
relativity, it doesn't belong here.
If you are replying to another post, please be sure to cut out all
irrelevant text, and to make every effort to ensure that it is clear who
said what. It may be advisable to lurk here for a while to see how
experienced posters accomplish this.
Cross-posting from sci.physics.relativity to other science newsgroups is,
in general, strongly discouraged. If you respond to a message which is
cross-posted to irrelevant groups, please remove the other groups from the
Newsgroup line in the header of your response, or use the Followup line in
the header to direct further followups to just one or two groups.
Cross-posting is -sometimes- acceptable if it is limited to at most two or
three other newsgroups, in each of which the topic is clearly acceptable
and is not considered overly speculative. For example, discussions about
black holes and cosmology can be cross-posted to sci.astro, but discussion
of faster-than-light travel or the twin paradox should be posted only to
sci.physics.relativity. In general, threads in this group should -not- be
crossposted to sci.physics, unless they involve quantum physics or grand
unification schemes which lie outside the topics suggested above.
Please note that the most effective posts are concise, clearly expressed,
and focus on a very specific point. It is always a good idea to re-read
what you have written (and to employ a spell-checker!) -before- posting
your message. It is also wise to make sure that your subject line
concisely and accurately describes the content of the message. Checking
to see that your margins line up can also help to make your post much
Finally, it is important to always bear in mind that some behavior is
decidedly -unwelcome- at any time in this newsgroup, including:
* spamming of any kind,
* cross-posting to large numbers of unrelated newsgroups,
* posting on wildly irrelevant topics,
* repeated postings of identical messages,
* abusive flaming.
Bottom line: if you wouldn't say it in front of your mother or your boss,
please don't say it here.
=================== The FAQ and Where to Find It =====================
The FAQ for sci.physics.relativity is available at a number of web sites
as an appendix to the FAQ for its parent group, sci.physics. You can
obtain the FAQ at
and at the following mirror sites:
The editor of the sci.physics.relativity FAQ is Nathan Urban, who may
be reached by email at
Please use this email address, and no other, for all FAQ-related
Every effort is made to ensure that the FAQ is well-organized, readable,
and useful to a wide variety of people. In particular, the nature of
the most frequent questions in this group has evolved over time, and
the FAQ is being updated to reflect these changes.
===================== The Charter of This Group ======================
This newsgroup was created in September 1996 with the following charter
(quoted in full):
Appropriate postings would include, but not be limited to:
1. Queries regarding special and general relativity
2. How to resolve relativity paradoxes
3. Black holes, wormholes and singularities
4. Big Bang and other cosmological models of space-time
5. Equivalence of mass and energy
6. The speed of light and gravity
7. Time dilation, space contraction, redshifts
8. Causality, and faster than light travel
9. The large and small scale structure of space-time
10. Discussion of the scope and validity of relativity
11. Viability of alternative theories to relativity
12. Experimental tests of Relativity
13. Gravitational waves
14. Theories and concepts which take us beyond relativity
The news group sci.physics.relativity will be open to
discussion on all levels. It will accept talk about
alternative theories and other controversial discussions
about relativity which would be outside the charter of
most other sci newsgroups, as well as more mainstream
discussion on physics as described by Einstein's theory
of relativity and modern research to develop more unified
theories combining relativity and quantum mechanics. This
reflects the kind of threads which are now popular in usenet
on the subject of relativity.
The Physics FAQ will be split and extended to create a new
relativity FAQ for this group. The FAQ introduction will
advise caution against cross-posting to other groups.
=========================== This Message =============================
This message is automatically reposted in sci.physics.relativity every two
weeks, and is occasionally updated by the editors. It incorporates
contributions by past and current editors of the sci.physics.relativity
FAQ. Any questions or comments on this message should be directed to the
We hope that you will find your participation in the group to be
enjoyable, informative, and productive!