Fortunately, no questions of this sort have been asked yet. I suppose it will happen sometime, but I have no idea how we should respond. We could simply mark for deletion, but this will only cause the original poster to ask why we did so and argue further.

As a short term member of Physics Forums, I found quite a bit of flame wars between physicists and new users with warped ideas. Topics included optimization questions for their perpetual motion machine that would supposedly make them millions, hollow earth theorists, moon landing conspiracy theorists, and even people who were apparently from the future.

So how can we handle these topics to avoid chaos threads?

  • $\begingroup$ Was this in reference to one of my questions because I certainly didn't mean that I thought I'd solved every wonder of the universe, infinitely far from it. $\endgroup$
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Nov 2, 2010 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Jonathan: Not at all. You're good. :) $\endgroup$
    – Vortico
    Commented Nov 2, 2010 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ You are just a member of conspiracy, as all secret lobbyists working for a power plant and oil corporations ;-) $\endgroup$
    – user68
    Commented Nov 3, 2010 at 0:33
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ We could point people to xkcd.com/808 ;-) $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Commented Nov 7, 2010 at 8:15
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @David Zalasky: Anyone else getting the feeling we could solve all our problems with a xkcd comic? $\endgroup$
    – Malabarba
    Commented Dec 21, 2010 at 18:30

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't automatically consider question about perpetum mobiles as hoax questions. If the question really includes a "So, I considered [some facts], but I can't find a flaw. Why doesn't it work?" it might be acceptable. But real hoax questions and "Hey, I solved all problems in the world" (<- what's the question here?) should be closed as "not a real question". We should keep them as a warning to jesters unless they take overhand.

update First (valid) question: What is the fallacy in this infinite motion machine?

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Ah yes, absolutely. I can see how "I can't find a flaw" questions should be acceptable. Also, if a user continually disagrees with our statement about how it is impossible, it should be closed as you said. $\endgroup$
    – Vortico
    Commented Nov 2, 2010 at 22:35

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