Thursday, 20 September 2018

Self-citation record

I wonder what the record is for the number of times in one article that an author cites her or himself.  Here's a possible candidate:  Quantum Disentanglement as the Physics Behind Dark Energy, M. S. El Naschie, Open Journal of Microphysics 7, 1–30 (2017), which cites 249 other El Naschie papers.

The author, Mohamed El Naschie, has been the subject of much online discussion, as an editor of the journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, in which he published a sizeable minority of the total number of papers; papers which appear to be of little scientific worth.  They certainly make no sense to me. A Nature news story in 2008 about El Naschie, incited him to sue Nature.  He lost the case.  You can find more information on Peter Woit's blog here.

Anyway, I can't remember what made me stumble upon the paper above, but I recognised the author's name partly for the above infamy, but also because he has in the past quoted my University, the University of Surrey, as an affiliation in some published papers (e.g. this one), and those two things together make me notice when I see his name.  So I thought I'd look at this new paper.  I don't see myself ever citing the it, because it makes no sense to me, though I see that it has already been cited 4 times, by the following papers:

• M S El Naschie, The Looped Light of the Triple-Slit Real Experiment as a Confirmation for the Extra Dimensions of Quantum Spacetime and the Reality of Dark Energy, Optics and Photonics Journal 7, 19–26 (2017) doi:10.4236/opj.2017.72003
• M S El Naschie, The Quantum Triple-Slit Experiment and Dark Energy, Open Journal of Microphysics 7, 31–35 (2017) doi: 10.4236/ojm.2017.72002
• M S El Naschie, Spacetime from Zitterbewegung, Open Journal of Modelling and Simulation 5, 169–173 (2017) doi: 10.4236/ojmsi.2017.53012
• M S El Naschie, From a Dual Einstein-Kaluza Spacetime to ‘tHooft Renormalon and the Reality of Accelerated Cosmic Expansion, Journal of Modern Physics 8, 1319–1329 (2017) doi: 10.4236/jmp.2017.88085

Friday, 7 September 2018

The View from 1 Kemble Street

I'm at a funding council meeting today in London, on the 13th floor of a tower block at 1 Kemble Street.  From the window, I see the following view

It looks to me like I can see Guildford Cathedral on the horizon, as pointed to by the red arrow.  The University of Surrey nestles at its foot, in the direction of the view from where I am, though I can't obviously see it from here. 

Edit: As an astute reader pointed out in the comments, the blip on the horizon lies in the wrong direction to be Guildford, and is, perhaps, one of Croydon's tall buildings.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Women Scientists Who Made Nuclear Astrophysics

A paper entitled "Women Scientists Who Made Nuclear Astrophysics" has appeared on the nuclear theory section of the arXiv today.  It was originally posted a couple of weeks ago in the history of physics section.  The abstract sums up its purpose:

Female role models reduce the impact on women of stereotype threat, i.e., of being at risk of conforming to a negative stereotype about one's social, gender, or racial group. This can lead women scientists to underperform or to leave their scientific career because of negative stereotypes such as, not being as talented or as interested in science as men. Sadly, history rarely provides role models for women scientists; instead, it often renders these women invisible. In response to this situation, we present a selection of twelve outstanding women who helped to develop nuclear astrophysics.

The paper is destined for the proceedings of the conference Nuclei in the Cosmos XV.  The biographies of each of the scientists are very short, but give the interested reader enough to find out more.  

Nuclear astrophysics usually means those parts of science where nuclear physics and astrophysics intersect;  where the properties and reactions of nuclei apply themselves in stars.  It's a fluidly-defined sub-field, and it's not always clear from these brief biographies that they all fall in the intersection, but many of them lay foundations of one or other of the fields before the concept of "nuclear astrophysics" became a thing.  Anyway, it's a good read. 

The list of scientists are in order of date of birth, starting with Marie SkÅ‚odowska Curie.  The one member of the list who is still alive (at 99 years old) is Margaret Burbidge.  Here she is, in a picture from 1976