I was asked to clear up a few things (and I read Haramein's previous paper) so I thought I'd stop by and give some explanations.
Originally posted by Zules
I just got a posting from Facebook that Nassim Haramein's paper "The Schwarchild Proton" has just passed peer review and is being published in the
American Journal of Physics.
Okay... first of all, "American Journal of Physics" is a publication for physics teachers and folks interested in physics. This is VERY different
than a journal by physicists and for physicists. A journal for teachers is kind of a low hurdle and almost anyone can get in there (some of their
other papers were interesting but often directed to teaching.)
Second, that's not a peer review (he may think it is, but it's not.) It's an "editorial review."
So what's the difference? "Peer review" is where they give the paper to a panel of experts in that particular field (in my case, it was handed
over to people with PhDs in epidemiology because the paper was epidemiology) and it's kinda like they slather you in bacon grease and toss you to a
pack of starving wolves. They ripped up our statistical analysis and wanted even more stats, demanded additional citations, waved us to some papers
we hadn't heard of (very obscure ones) and presented some alternative theories that we had to address in our rewrite.
"Editorial review" is basically a group of readers who read the journal (or the other people submitting papers for that particular issue) and they
nitpick the grammar and so forth. I've had an editorial review process on a paper I submitted that was published in a book on gaming studies.
Someone snarked about the quote I had which opened the paper and I had to explain where it was from. Someone else found a misplaced period.
That journal does "editorial reviews", and in fact it says so very explicitly on their website. He wasn't peer reviewed. The fact that he
apparently doesn't KNOW the difference is very telling.
The paper proves that every point in space is a black hole/white hole, that contains an infinite amount of energy. The next level tech will
hook into the very fabric of reality itself. Here is the paper from his website. I imagine new developments will roll out shortly.
Unlikely. I handed the paper to my husband (a mathematician) and he had some snorts and giggles -- the equations are simply textbook equations from
lower level college textbooks. They're correct -- but this isn't groundbreaking stuff.
In reviewing scientific papers (one thing you have to learn in grad school), the FIRST thing you do is flip to the back and look at the references.
1) If he's refuting Einstein or improving on Einstein, he absolutely has to cite Einstein and the foundational paper plus at least a review of
what's been done on the topic since then.
2) Wikipedia is not a source that's acceptable. EVER (information on there changes, so your supporting evidence may have gone "bye bye".)
3) You only cite published papers. Citing works by yourself that aren't in print is beyond lame.
4) Citing yourself is really lame in most circumstances. Yes, even if it's your theory (like Elfreda Chatman's "Small Worlds" theory (famous
information science document, very famous scholar (now dead) -- in her papers after the first one which address social networks, she cites her first
paper but does not continually cite herself.)
5) News stories aren't scientific papers. You cite news stories if you're talking about historical information. You do NOT cite NASA press
releases as references in making scholarly points (unless your article is about NASA press releases.)
6) People are working on this type of problem all the time. I don't see ANY references (other than press releases) that are recent (work of the past
7) He's citing freshman and sophomore college textbooks as sources.
Evaluating papers is kind of like "CSI: Science". What the evidence shows
1) He actually doesn't know how to write journal papers. This means he's never had one accepted to or published by a scientific journal. It also
means that he hasn't ever gone to grad school (in the sciences.)
2) He doesn't know what's a good source for information and what's a bad source. This is critical. Good theories don't come from lame
3) He's either lazy (didn't search for other papers on the topic) or a fraud. If you're going to cite yourself, cite your published works. And
you can't use the "communications with someone" format as support for your point when the someone is you (he does this on the first page of the
paper I read.)
4) This has about the same impact in the scientific community as citing your little brother's opinion.
5) He didn't get the full facts. NASA press releases have sources -- but those are based on reports and many of those are available for the asking.
The reports will also mention previous research which has been published, so a scientist will comb through those to get background and supporting
6) He's apparently not aware of the other research in a number of areas that relate to his topic. This is *FATAL FAIL.*
7) Did he ever get beyond sophomore level physics? If "no" then he doesn't even have the background that Einstein had.
So, no, no scientist will give him much consideration. He's showed that he hasn't read enough to really understand the background of the problem
he's pretending he can answer. I did have a look at the award he claims he won and found a "Conference proceedings" which lists all the sessions
and papers delivered there. His paper isn't listed, nor is his session. Now, it could have been a "last minute" thing, but two other things seem
to be happening: he could have entered at the last minute (a bit unlikely but it happens) and they gave him a room and an announcement.
But the conference itself seems to be attended by around 50 people. I've given papers at several conferences that small, and mine was one of the
best (because I was in Toastmasters, I was a division champion speaker, and I *really* know how to give a speech when I get wound up. This does NOT
mean that mine was the most academically excellent paper.)
So... the Science Detective notes that there's a lot of unprofessional things happening that point to his having very little knowledge of the