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Subject: sci.physics.relativity Welcome - read this first!

This article was archived around: 20 Jun 2001 07:57:19 -0700

All FAQs in Directory: physics-faq
All FAQs posted in: sci.physics.relativity
Source: Usenet Version

Posted-By: auto-faq 3.3 (Perl 5.006) Archive-name: physics-faq/relativity-welcome Posting-Frequency: biweekly Last-modified: 1 December 1998 URL: http://www.corepower.com/~relfaq/relativity.html Maintainer: Nathan Urban (mail to relfaq@corepower.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 Questions".) 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 more readable. 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 http://www2.corepower.com:8080/~relfaq/relativity.html and at the following mirror sites: (USA) http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/relativity.html http://www.public.iastate.edu/~physics/sci.physics/faq/relativity.html http://hermes.astro.washington.edu/mirrors/physics/ http://www.weburbia.com/physics/relativity.html (UK) http://hepweb.rl.ac.uk/ppUK/PhysFAQ/relativity.html http://www.weburbia.demon.co.uk/physics/relativity.html (The Netherlands) http://www.xs4all.nl/~johanw/PhysFAQ/relativity.html (Germany) http://www.desy.de/user/projects/Physics/relativity.html (Taiwan) http://www.phy.ncku.edu.tw/mirrors/physicsfaq/relativity.html The editor of the sci.physics.relativity FAQ is Nathan Urban, who may be reached by email at relfaq@corepower.com Please use this email address, and no other, for all FAQ-related correspondence. 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): CHARTER: sci.physics.relativity 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 editors at relfaq@corepower.com We hope that you will find your participation in the group to be enjoyable, informative, and productive!