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I’ve got a theory of everything, what should I do?

October 4, 2011

So you’ve got a theory of consciousness/gravity/space-time/everything, what do you do? This is something a lot of ‘non-mainstream’ people on forums want to know, either explicitly or they would find useful.

My answer is that you should submit your work to a reputable journal for review. Posting it on a forum will not get it the attention you want. People on forums are either not in the mainstream research community or if they are they won’t have a very good view of someone ‘publishing’ their work on a forum. Posting it on a forum, deliberately avoiding a journal, reflects poorly on you because if you’re truly wanting to get your work to the attention of the mainstream journals are the best way.

Find a reputable journal which covers the area of science you think you have a new model for and look up the submission criteria. Journals generally have strict layout requirements so you must format your work in the way in which they state. With these layout criteria in mind write up your work in as clear and concise a manner as you can. State clearly at the beginning what area of physics you are considering and what problems in that area you are going to address. This demonstrates you’re familiar with the area and not just making some argument from ignorance. State your assumptions or initial starting position, giving justification for any assumptions you make and reference the work of others if you’re starting where they left off or using a result already known. Then carefully and clearly explain, step by step, how you go from your initial assumptions to your conclusions. All claims of a quantitative nature should be explained using mathematics, all claims about phenomena should be supported by references to experiments previously done. Upon reaching your conclusions/results you should comment on the physical implications of your results, particularly if you’re making quantitative claims as you can then provide experimental predictions and compare with known results or put forth a new experiment to test your model compared to the existing mainstream one. All statements about what the mainstream model does or doesn’t say, can or can’t do, should be supported by citations. You should not be paraphrasing mainstream models, you should only provide direct quotations from the literature or should demonstrate explicitly the result you attribute to the mainstream. Submit this to the journal and wait for feedback.

This might sound like a lot of work but Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you really have knocked over relativity you’re going to have to walk people through your work in extreme detail, you have to convince the nay-sayers. This isn’t anything actual researchers aren’t expected to do. Coming up with a result might only take a few seconds of inspiration, writing it up can take months.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. The Big Dumb One permalink
    October 12, 2011 2:37 am

    “This might sound like a lot of work but Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

    Actually, this article makes it sound ridiculously easy. Mainly by ignoring the area in which most cranks fail: The actual validity of the material being submitted.

    Of course, I would hazard a guess that for most actual scientists, getting published is a breeze in comparison to coming up with something worth publishing, as well.

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