Q: Where should I look if I can't find the answer here?

A: FAQs are available via ftp from rtfm.mit.edu.

******* physics *******

Sci.Physics is an unmoderated newsgroup dedicated to the discussion

of physics, news from the physics community, and physics-related social issues. People from a wide variety of non-physics backgrounds, as well as students and experts in all areas of physics participate in the ongoing discussions on sci.physics. Professors, industrial scientists, graduate students, etc., are all on hand to bring physics expertise to bear on almost any question. But the only requirement for participation is interest in physics, so feel free to post -- but before you do, please do

the following

This Frequently Asked Questions List is posted monthly, at or near

the first of the month, to the Usenet newsgroup sci.physics in an attempt to provide good answers to frequently asked questions and other reference material which is worth preserving. If you have corrections or answers to other frequently asked questions that you would like included in this posting, send E-mail to sichase@csa2.lbl.gov (Scott I. Chase).

Index of Subjects

1. An Introduction to Sci.Physics 2. Gravitational Radiation 3. Energy Conservation in Cosmology and Red Shift 4. Effects Due to the Finite Speed of Light 5. The Top Quark 6. Tachyons 7. Special Relativistic Paradoxes

(a) The Barn and the Pole (b) The Twin Paradox

8. The Particle Zoo 9. Olbers' Paradox

10. What is Dark Matter? 11. Hot Water Freezes Faster than Cold! 12. Which Way Will my Bathtub Drain? 13. Why are Golf Balls Dimpled? 14. Why do Mirrors Reverse Left and Right? 15. What is the Mass of a Photon? 16. How to Change Nuclear Decay Rates 17. Baryogenesis - Why Are There More Protons Than Antiprotons? 18.*Time Travel - Fact or Fiction? 19.*The Nobel Prize for Physics 20. Open Questions 21. Accessing and Using Online Physics Resources

**** math ****

This is a list of frequently asked questions for sci.math (version 3.5). Any contributions/suggestions/corrections are most welcome. Please use

Changes of version will be important enough to deserve reading the FAQ list again. Additions are marked with a # on the table of contents. Still you may kill all versions of FAQ using the * wildcard. (Ask your local unix guru for ways to do so). The FAQ is available via ftp in rtfm.mit.edu (

The list of contributors to this FAQ list is to large to include here; but thanks are due to all of them (you know who you are folks).

Table of Contents

1Q.- Fermat's Last Theorem, status of .. 2Q.- Four Colour Theorem, proof of .. 3Q.- Values of Record Numbers 4Q.- General Netiquette 5Q.- Computer Algebra Systems, application of .. 6Q.- Computer Algebra Systems, references to .. 7Q.- Fields Medal, general info .. 8Q.- 0^0=1. A comprehensive approach .. 9Q.- 0.999... = 1. Properties of the real numbers ..

10Q.- Digits of Pi, computation and references .. 11Q.- There are three doors, The Monty Hall problem .. 12Q.- Surface and Volume of the n-ball 13Q.- f(x)^f(x)=x, name of the function .. 14Q.- Projective plane of order 10 .. 15Q.- How to compute day of week of a given date .... 16Q.- Axiom of Choice and/or Continuum Hypothesis? 17Q.- Cutting a sphere into pieces of larger volume 18Q.- Pointers to Quaternions

*********** weird stuff ***********

This is the sci.skeptic FAQ. It is intended to provide a factual base for most of the commonly discussed topics on sci.skeptic. Unfortunately I don't have much time to do this in, and anyway a FAQ should be the Distilled Wisdom of the Net rather than just My Arrogant Opinion, so I invite submissions and let all the net experts out there fill in the details. Submissions from any point of view and on any sci.skeptic topic are welcomed, but please keep them short and to the point. The ideal submission is a short summary with one or two references to other literature. I have added comments in square brackets where I think more information is particularly needed, but don't let that stop you sending something else.


0.1: What is sci.skeptic for? 0.2: What is sci.skeptic not for? 0.3: What is CSICOP? Whats their address? + 0.4: What is "Prometheus"? 0.5: Who are some prominent skeptics? + 0.6: Aren't all skeptics just closed-minded bigots? 0.7: Aren't all paranormalists just woolly-minded fools? 0.8: What is a "conspiracy theory"?

The Scientific Method

1.1: What is the scientific method? 1.2: What is the difference between a fact, a theory and a hypothesis? 1.3: Can science ever really prove anything? 1.4: If scientific theories keep changing, where is the Truth? 1.5: What evidence is needed for an extraordinary claim? 1.6: What is Occam's Razor? 1.7: Galileo was persecuted, just like researchers into <X> today. 1.8: What is the "Experimenter effect". 1.9: How much fraud is there in science? * 1.9.1: Did Mendel fudge his results? *

Psychic Powers

2.1: Is Uri Geller for real? * 2.2: I have had a psychic experience. + 2.3: What is "sensory leakage"? 2.4: Who are the main psi researchers? + 2.5: Does dowsing work? + 2.6: Could psi be inhibited by the presence of skeptics?

UFOs/Flying Saucers

3.1 What are UFOs? 3.1.1: Are UFOs alien spacecraft? 3.1.2: Are UFOs natural phenomena? 3.1.3: But isn't it possible that aliens are visiting Earth? 3.2: Is it true that the US government has a crashed flying saucer?

(MJ-12)? +

3.3: What is "channeling"? 3.4: How can we test a channeller? 3.5: I am in telepathic contact with the aliens. 3.6: Some bozo has just posted a load of "teachings" from a UFO. What

should I do?

3.7: Are crop circles made by flying saucers? 3.7.1: Are crop circles made by "vortices"? 3.7.2: Are crop circles made by hoaxers? 3.7.3: Are crop circles radioactive? 3.7.4: What about cellular changes in plants within crop circles? 3.8: Have people been abducted by UFOs? 3.9: What is causing the strange cattle deaths? * 3.10: What is the face on Mars? 3.11: Did Ezekiel See a Flying Saucer?

Faith Healing and Alternative Therapies

4.1: Isn't western medicine reductionistic and alternatives holistic? + 4.2: What is a double-blind trial? What is a placebo? 4.3: Why should scientific criteria apply to alternative therapies? 4.4: What is homeopathy? + 4.5: What is aroma therapy? 4.6: What is reflexology? + 4.7: Does acupuncture work? 4.8: What about psychic surgery? 4.9: What is Crystal Healing? 4.10: Does religious healing work? + 4.11: What harm does it do anyway?

Creation versus Evolution

5.1: Is the Bible evidence of anything? + 5.2: Could the Universe have been created old? 5.3: What about Carbon-14 dating? 5.4: What is "dendrochronology"? 5.5: What is evolution? Where do I find out more? 5.6: The second law of thermodynamics says.... 5.7: How could living organisms arise "by chance"? 5.8: But doesn't the human body seem to be well designed? 5.9: What about the thousands of scientists who have become Creationists?


6.1: Is fire-walking possible? 6.2: Can science explain fire-walking?

New Age

7.1: What do New Agers believe? 7.2: What is the Gaia hypothesis? 7.3: Was Nostradamus a prophet? 7.4: Does astrology work? * 7.4.1: Could astrology work by gravity? * 7.4.2: What is the `Mars Effect'? *

Strange Machines: Free Energy and Anti-Gravity

8.1: Why don't electrical perpetul motion machines work? 8.2: Why don't magnetic perpetual motion machines work? 8.3: Why don't mechanical perpetual motion machines work? 8.4: Magnets can levitate. Where is the energy from? 8.5: But its been patented! 8.6: The oil companies are conspiring to suppress my invention 8.7: My machine gets its free energy from <X> 8.8: Can gyroscopes neutralise gravity? 8.9: My prototype gets lighter when I turn it on.


9.1: What about these theories on AIDS? 9.1.1: The Mainstream Theory 9.1.2: Strecker's CIA Theory 9.1.3: Duesberg's Risk-Group Theory

lib/DbaDatabase.php:134: Warning: dba_replace() [<a href='function.dba-replace'>function.dba-replace</a>]: You cannot perform a modification to a database without proper access