No-Way Physics And Science Fiction

The physics of impossibility goes by a variety of names, including no-way physics. These names refer to physical principles that simply can't be contravened or gotten around.

Robert P. Crease, chairman of the philosophy department at Stony Brook University and historian at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, wrote an interesting piece on this topic at Physics Web. He says in part:

No-way physics produces a special kind of dissatisfaction, involving the collision of science with our hopes and dreams of limitless energy, of superluminal travel, of pinning things to specific places at specific times. Humans seem hard-wired to have such hopes, and hard-wired to balk at the science that dashes them...

Science fiction writers seem hard-wired to balk at "no-way physics" as well. Even the people designated as "hard science fiction" writers are often inclined to go around the rules:

Do you like science fiction that absolutely obeys the rules (as we know them) or are you more of a contrarian?

Via No-way physics.

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