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Relativity and FTL Travel FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Relativity and FTL Travel.

This FAQ about Relativity and FTL Travel was compiled and written by Jason W. Hinson jason@physicsguy.com with numerous contributions by others.

Copyright(C) 1995, Jason W. Hinson. This document, including all of its parts, is not in the public domain. Permission to distribute this document in its entirety (unedited and including this copyright notice) is granted, provided no fees are charged for the distribution beyond charges for downloading and/or connection time from a commercial information service. Permission to distribute a partial version of this document containing only this introduction along with parts I and IV is also granted under the same restrictions. Publication of any part of this document in a magazine or journal (in any media format) must be approved by the author.
Star Trek(R) , Star Trek: The Next Generation(R) , and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine(R) are trademarks of Paramount Pictures registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Star Trek: Voyager(TM) is a trademark of Paramount Pictures.

-0.1 What is this FAQ About, and Who Should Read It (Relativity and FTL Travel)
-0.2 Edition Information (Relativity and FTL Travel FAQ)
-0.3 The Versions (Relativity and FTL Travel FAQ)
-1. An Introduction to Special Relativity (Relativity and FTL Travel)
-1.1 Relativity Terminology (Relativity and FTL Travel)
-1.2 Reasoning for its Existence (Special Relativity)
-1.3 Time Dilation and Length Contraction Effects (Special Relativity)
-1.4 Introducing Gamma (Special Relativity)
-1.5 Energy and Momentum Considerations (Special Relativity)
-1.5.1 Rest Mass versus "Observed Mass" (Special Relativity)
-1.5.2 The Energy and Momentum of a Photon (Where m = 0) (Special Relativity)
-1.6 Experimental Support for the Theory (Special Relativity)
-2. Space-Time Diagrams
-2.1 What are Space-Time Diagrams?
-2.2 Time as Another Dimension (Space-Time Diagrams)
-2.3 Basic Information About the Diagrams we will Construct (Space-Time Diagrams)
-2.4 Constructing One for a "Stationary" Observer (Space-Time Diagrams)
-2.5 Constructing One for a "Moving" Observer (Space-Time Diagrams)
-2.6 A Quick Comparison of the two Observers (Space-Time Diagrams)
-2.7 Interchanging "Stationary" and "Moving" (Space-Time Diagrams)
-2.8 "Future", "Past", and the Light Cone (Space-Time Diagrams)
-3. Completing the Space-Time Diagram Discussion
-3.1 Comparing Time for O and O' (Space-Time Diagrams)
-3.2 Comparing Space for O and O' (Space-Time Diagrams)
-3.3 Once Again: The Light Cone (Space-Time Diagrams)
-4. Paradoxes and Solutions (Relativity and FTL Travel)
-4.1 The "Twin Paradox" (Relativity and FTL Travel)
-4.1.1 Viewing it with a Space-Time Diagram (Twin Paradox)
-4.1.4 Some Additional Notes (Relativity and FTL Travel - Paradoxes and Solutions)
-4.2 The "Car and Barn Paradox" (Relativity and FTL Travel)
-4.2.1 Viewing it with a Space-Time Diagram (Car and Barn Paradox)
-4.2.2 The explanation (Car and Barn Paradox)
-5. Introduction to General Relativity
-5.1 Reasoning for its Existence (General Relativity)
-5.2 The "New Inertial Frame" (General Relativity)
-5.3 The Global Break-Down of Special Relativity (General Relativity)
-5.4 Manifolds, Geodesics, Curvature, and Local Flatness (General Relativity)
-5.5 The Invariant Interval (General Relativity)
-5.6 A Bit About Tensors (General Relativity)
-5.7 The Metric Tensor and the Stress-Energy Tensor (General Relativity)
-5.8 Applying these Concepts to Gravity (General Relativity)
-5.8.1 The Basic Idea (General Relativity)
-5.8.2 Some Notes on the Physics and the Math (General Relativity)
-5.8.3 First Example: Back to SR (General Relativity)
-5.8.4 Second Example: Stars and Black Holes (General Relativity)
-5.9 Experimental Support for GR (General Relativity)
-6. Introduction to the FTL Discussion
-6.1 A Few Notes On The Meaning of FTL Travel
-7. The First Problem: The Light Speed Barrier (Relativity and FTL Travel)
-7.1 Effects as One Approaches the Speed of Light
-8. The Second Problem: FTL, Causality, and Unsolvable Paradoxes
-8.1 What is Meant Here by Causality and Unsolvable Paradoxes (Relativity and FTL Travel)
-8.2 How FTL Travel Implies Violation of Causality
-8.3 How We Get Unsolvable Paradoxes (Relativity and FTL Travel)
-9. FTL Concepts with these Problems in Mind
-9.1 Tachyons (Without Special Provisions)
-9.2 Using a Special Field/Space/etc. (W/o Special Provisions) (Relativity and FTL Travel)
-9.3 "Folding" Space (Without Special Provisions)
-9.4 Space-Time Manipulation (Without Special Provisions)
-9.5 Special Provisions (Relativity and FTL Travel)
-9.5.1 Parallel Universes
-9.5.2 Consistency Protection (Relativity and FTL Travel)
-9.5.3 "Producing" Restricted Space-Time Areas
-9.5.4 A Special Frame of Reference for the purpose of FTL Travel
-10. Some Comments on FTL Travel in Star Trek
-10.1 Which Provision is Best for Explaining Warp Travel
-10.2 Subspace as a Special Frame of Reference
-10.3 The "Picture" this Gives Us of Warp Travel
-10.4 Some Notes on Non-Warp FTL Travel and Time Travel in Trek
-10.5 To sum up... (Relativity and FTL Travel)
-11. Conclusion (Relativity and FTL Travel)

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