Q: Where should I look if I can't find the answer here?
A: FAQs are available via ftp from rtfm.mit.edu.
******* physics *******
- the following
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 email@example.com (Scott I. Chase).
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 ****
- e-mail * on any comment concerning the FAQ list.
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 (220.127.116.11).
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).
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"?
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? *
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?
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?
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?
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?
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'? *
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.