This question:

Is there a scientifically sound faster-than-light travel system for a spaceship?

Has a close vote for off topic.

I'm not convinced it's off topic as the method of FTL would have massive effects when universe building (which is a part of world building). Equally though I can see how it isn't directly world building...so any thoughts?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I sent the close vote, but when I thought that question would be valid at Pyshics.SE I later looked at the site help center and saw that it would not be. I would retract it if I could. $\endgroup$
    – DonyorM
    Sep 21 '14 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ @DonyorM Did you try? You should be able to, by clicking the "close" action link and then "Retract my vote" or whatever the button says exactly. Note that you won't be able to VTC the question again if you do that. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Sep 21 '14 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ Oops, I'll go do that. $\endgroup$
    – DonyorM
    Sep 22 '14 at 1:40
  • $\begingroup$ Update: We now have a ftl tag. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868 Mod
    Apr 18 '15 at 16:14

Not every world needs to be perfectly physically accurate, or even follow the same physics as our universe. However, it is a natural part of world building to want to understand the science underlying concepts you want to play with - even if you don't want to stick to the restrictions. For example if I want to write a story that must involve faster than light travel, then I'm going to do it regardless of whether it is physically realistic. However, it would still be very useful to me to gain an understanding of what is already possible, so that I can limit the amount of rule bending and make sure those rules that I do bend do not detract from the story too much.

So I definitely see faster than light and physics questions in general as on topic. Sometimes they can't be asked on physics stack exchange because that concerns our universe and current rather than future science. Even when they would be a good fit for physics stack exchange, that needn't make them off topic here.


Real science details could be off-topic sometimes since they can be better suited for physics.se.com but everything else is on-topic since universe-building is part of world-building. There would be no Asimov's Foundation, no Herbert's Dune, no Star Trek, no Star Wars, no Babylon 5, no Stargate, no Transformers without some kind of FTL.


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