On the page https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/266602 I have asked a question

Has the special theory of relativity been disproved theoretically i.e. logically?

with the content:

Here is the news: The special theory of relativity has been disproved theoretically http://bit.ly/1WTwbwF via @EurekAlertAAAS.

but it was soon closed because several people thought it was off-topic.

"We deal with mainstream physics here. Questions about the general correctness of unpublished personal theories are off topic, although specific questions evaluating new theories in the context of established science are usually allowed. For more information, see Is non mainstream physics appropriate for this site?." – CuriousOne, Diracology, John Rennie, lemon, Cosmas Zachos

The paper is published by the international peer-reviewed journal Physics Essays and the news is published by AAAS's EurekAlert. Both are credible sources for academic news and researches. If there is any problem with the news, EurekAlert would have removed the news for a long time, but it has been there for more than four months. EurekAlert has never been spreading hoaxes.

What's wrong with the question?

  • $\begingroup$ can you write the reference so we can go and search it? the link looks dangerous to click $\endgroup$
    – user65081
    Jul 11, 2016 at 21:28
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ 1) Physics Essays is a well-known crackpot journal. Its impact factor is a ridiculous 0.2, probably mostly from self-citations. 2) The article you linked is not from EurekAlert, it's from an outside contributor. It comes with a disclaimer at the bottom saying that EurekAlert has nothing to do with the content. The actual source is "The NAC Society", a crackpot organization run by a single person. 3) You can find blog commentary on this situation here. $\endgroup$
    – knzhou
    Jul 11, 2016 at 21:29
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I really don't see what about "non-mainstream physics is off-topic here" requires further elaboration. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Jul 11, 2016 at 21:32
  • $\begingroup$ Not to mention that credible media falls for crackpot science all the time! I'm still ashamed about how the MIT Press had this glowing review of a crackpot's "quantized inertia" theory. You really need to see it and judge it for yourself. $\endgroup$
    – knzhou
    Jul 11, 2016 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ Btw, the major issue here is that the author insists that the data shows that light travels in a medium, known as the aether. The author must have mighty cherry picked their data. Experiments done around the 1900s basically disproved the plausibility of aether as a medium for light, and every single experiment ever done since has continued to provide more datapoints showing that aether based theories do not work. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Jul 11, 2016 at 22:26
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You show no interest in disclosing your reactions to the paper, only announcing it and getting physicists to look at it. The paper is described as being authored by Dr Xinhang Shen, President of NAC Geographical Products Inc of Canada, which appears to have its HQ in Toronto. This is your only post on Physics Stack Exchange, and your username is Toronto. Co-incidence? Are you in fact Dr Xinhang Shen? $\endgroup$ Jul 11, 2016 at 23:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hi Toronto: Are you in anyway related to the author of the linked article? For your information, Physics.SE has a policy that it is OK to cite oneself, but it should be stated clearly and explicitly in the post itself, not in attached links. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic Mod
    Jul 12, 2016 at 7:54
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I am Xinhang Shen. What I really want is to have a debate about relativity because there are still many people (more accurately most people) believing it. I would like to see your refutation directly related to my points presented on the paper rather than unrelated arguments. Here are two lhe links: eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-03/ngpi-tst030116.php and physicsessays.org/browse-journal-2/product/… $\endgroup$
    – Toronto
    Jul 14, 2016 at 14:26

2 Answers 2


Aside from all that's been said in the comments, this question would (in my opinion) be off-topic even if the paper were clearly mainstream and had been published in a major journal --- because there is absolutely no indication that you actually attempted to read the paper before asking this question.

A question about how the statement in paragraph 7 follows from the statements in paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 might be on topic. A question along the lines of "What is in this paper?" seems to me to be totally out of bounds.


Note that the introductory tour of the site states:

Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics and astronomy.

This doesn't mean that we won't answer questions from non-physicists, but it does mean that we expect the same sort of effort to be put into the question as we'd expect from a physicist.

In this case you have cited one of the many, many Einstein was wrong articles floating around the Internet but you have made no attempt to look into the article yourself. So your question boils down to:

Here's an article claiming Einstein was wrong

which isn't even a question, though to be charitable there is the implied question of whether the article is correct or not.

The reason we (well I) closed this is that there is no shortage of crackpots out there and if we spent our time debunking their claims we'd have no time left for doing any physics. That doesn't mean we completely rule out such questions, but you have to show some effort first. For example your question could have been along the lines of:

I've read a paper by Joe Bloggs in the Journal of Irreproducible Results and on page 4 he claims that blah blah and I don't see how his follows from equation 666.

Even then I suspect you'd find little enthusiasm among the site members to spend their time looking into the more, erm, esoteric claims but at least the question wouldn't be instantly closed.

Your profile doesn't give any clues about your background, and it may well be that you haven't sufficient experience to read the paper for yourself. If so you could try asking in the chat room or you could try on one of the many less rigorous sites where people are willing to discuss this sort of thing.

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry that I did not explicitly mention that I am the author of the paper "Challenge to the special theory of relativity" which has been published on credible journal. What I want to see is your comments or refutation of my points. $\endgroup$
    – Toronto
    Jul 14, 2016 at 16:56

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