viXra log top 10 posts of 2010

10 – “crackpots” who were right: the conclusion

For part of the year I ran a series of posts about “crackpots who were right” . This was the conclusion and it made it to number 10. The series as a whole did very well but none of the other individual posts were as popular.

9 – Energy Is Conserved (the history)

I also had a short but popular series of posts about conservation of energy in general relativity in which I argued at length with a number of other physicists who thought otherwise. This included a nice equation that shows how energy conservation works in a standard cosmology, something that many people claimed was not possible.

In an additional post I debunked a claim by Lawrence Krauss that energy is zero only in a flat universe, a claim that he had used to debunk religion! Krauss graciously responded but sadly I could not draw him into a longer discussion.

8 – Suzy at Last?

With many posts about the Large Hadron Collider and progress on its commissioning, it was a good time to speculate about what it might soon find. Personally I favour supersymmetry although we now know that this year’s data has only served to constrain the allowed parameter space. It will be interesting to see what come up next year.

7 – Quark-Gluon plasma seen in proton collisions – maybe

The LHC did some heavy ion collisions at the end of the year with spectacular results but the post that had the most hits was one about the report that a quark gluon plasma may even have been seen in single proton collisions

6 – Duff, String Theory, Entanglement and Hyperdeterminants

An especially nice outcome of this post was that I got to have a pint with Mike Duff and his students and talk about M-theory and their work on relations with quantum information theory. This inspired my recent contribution to the FQXi essay contest.

5 – Horizon: Before the Big Bang

The BBC ran a program about various theories proposed by a number of high profile physicists about what existed before the big bang. It was a bit misleading and unbalanced since it ignored the fact that many cosmologists still think there was “no before”.

Some people don’t like these kind of highly speculative theories and think it is bad science, but I think you have to be prepared to think outside the box and see where it takes you so that in time the correct theory can be found. So on the whole I thought it was a good program.

4 – Concentric Circles in WMAP

I was the first to blog about the paper by Penrose and Gurzadyan who claimed to have found circles in the WMAP CMB data. This was later disputed by other cosmologists but I don’t think the matter is completely resolved. Perhaps the more detailed data from the Planck observatory will answer the question when it becomes available. An interesting aspect of this story was the fact that peer-review had no part in it. The paper submitted to the arXiv and underwent blog review. Do we still need the journals?

3 – Vinay Deolalikar says P ≠ NP

This was claimed proof of the well known mathematical problem that carries a million dollar price tag. Deolalikar is an independent mathematician who works for HP. They issued a press release about the discovery that got a lot of attention.   The validity of Mathematical proofs is easier to resolve than physics theories and in this case the proof was found wanting after heavy discussion on other blogs. Again the official peer review process was not needed. Although there were not many comments here the interest in this story was so high that it made it to number three.

2 – A Fields Medal for Ngô Bảo Châu

When the fields medals were announced I was one of the first to report the results. One field medallist in particular became a national hero in his home country of Vietnam and there was a lot of interest from there making this the second most popular post of the year, wow!

1 – The Anti-Crackpot Index

And finally the most popular post was appropriately my anti-crackpot index designed to counter the Baez crackpot index. I have a feeling that this one will continue to get hits for a very long time.


19 Responses to viXra log top 10 posts of 2010

  1. HHu says:

    Hi Phil,

    Let me thank you for your very hard work at viXra.org and blog.vixra.org over the past year. Quite a few excellent writings at viXra.org and blog.vixra.org have made into Prespacetime Journal.

    I will mark 2010 as the beginning of “The Rise of Collaborative Spirits in Science and the Fall of the “Iron Curtain.”

    My sincere and best wishes to viXra.org and your blog for an even more productive and exciting 2011.

    Huping

  2. ervin goldfain says:

    Phil,

    Let me also extend my appreciation for a job well done at viXra.org. It is for the first time in years that many non-conventional research topics are allowed to be posted without censure. Forefront ideas can pop out in many unexpected forms and nobody has the right to dismiss them in an arrogant and totalitarian way!

    Keep up the good work in 2011 and beyond!

    Ervin

  3. Kea says:

    Hear, hear! You certainly stand out amongst the proponents of string theory. Long live vixra.org!

  4. Philip Gibbs says:

    Thanks, it has been wonderful to see how much people have been able to make use of viXra.org. It’s funny how we all have such different ideas about how the laws of physics (and other stuff) work, and yet we are all passionate about our own views. That’s good but I think we each have to realise that it is not likely that any one of us is likely to be right about everything, so we should keep at least one eye open for what other people think. That’s what viXra is for. Happy New Year.

  5. ervin goldfain says:

    Phil,

    Happy New Year!

    You say:

    “That’s good but I think we each have to realise that it is not likely that any one of us is likely to be right about everything, so we should keep at least one eye open for what other people think. That’s what viXra is for.”

    How about setting up electronic conferences focused on topics covered by viXra? These may allow participants to interact and share ideas “live” in open forums.

    Cheers,

    Ervin

  6. Kea says:

    Um, I think if we compare the effort I have spent studying string theory to the effort others have gone to studying my work … not much of a contest.

  7. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    This is fun, and the site might contain some papers which end up surprising the world. Maybe 2011 will be the year for it.

  8. Ervin Goldfain says:

    Kea and Lawrence,

    It is quite clear that not enough attention is paid nowadays for alternative theoretical solutions to SM physics and beyond. There is a rather counterproductive trend of dismissing almost anything that does not fit the mainstream. But this is not anything new, it is the natural progression of science at work here…

    Ervin

  9. Bill K says:

    In discussions about the multiverse a question that often arises is whether or not communication between one universe and another would ever be possible. I can now confidently report the answer is — yes!

    Because I must be living in a different reality than the other participants on this blog. In my universe, there has been a 30-year dearth of solid experimental evidence, and in the absence of such evidence, particle theories over here have multiplied like bacteria on a culture medium. If we have anything that could be called a “mainstream” idea, I have no guess what it might be; the number of groups, the number of particles, or arbitrary parameters, or even the number of dimensions.

    We expectantly await results from a large collider experiment in the next few years, but no matter what it sees or does not see, those results will most certainly have been predicted.

  10. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    This Remarkable Thing:

    Cheers LC

  11. Ervin Goldfain says:

    Bill,

    By mainstream I mean the three driving models of contemporary theoretical HEP: the Higgs mechanism of EWSB, SUSY and String Theory. My pick is based on the allocation of research resources and grants and, of course, it is rather subjective.

  12. Giorgio says:

    A friend of mine knows Steven Weinberg quite well. In the 1960s, nobody took Weinberg serious, and everybody made fun of him and the work that later earned him the Nobel Prize. He suffered a lot in those years. He was never a crackpot, but those years were very hard on him and he never forgot them.

  13. Vladimir Kalitvianski says:

    I do not know if the following my post

    http://www.science20.com/qed_reformulation_feasible/blog/unknown_physics_particle_orbital_momentum

    is acceptable in viXra ;-)

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      Orf course, you would just have to write it up as a PDF with abstract etc. and submit as described at http://vixra.org/submit/

      • Vladimir Kalitvianski says:

        In your opinion, isn’t it a crackpottery?

      • Philip Gibbs says:

        vixra is an archive, not a peer-reviewed journal, so we do not evaluate the submissions for correctness.

        Personally I dont think your post is “crackpottery”. It is not an observation that I find especially useful, but someone else might make something of it. I don’t have time to be drawn into an in-depth discussion about it.

      • Luboš Motl says:

        Dear Philip, with all my immense respect for your work that you’re doing for the proliferation of independent and creative ideas, is that correct to say that judging by the other papers on viXra, Vladimir’s paper is indeed more than acceptable and it will complement the collection perfectly? :-)

  14. Vladimir Kalitvianski says:

    With my bad English, I did not get the point of Lubosh’s. Lubosh, I have two questions to you:

    1) Is “Lubosh” is better English transcription of your name than “Lubos”?

    2) Have you got any concrete objections to my conclusions or found an error in my elementary derivations? If so, please share them with us.

    • Vladimir Kalitvianski says:

      I made an error – my statements are applicable only to the expectation values.

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