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Feb18-12, 06:25 PM
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Quote Quote by waterfall View Post
I guess so many people posted at arxiv even without intend to publish is to reserve the idea. For example. If eventually they were right, then even if Witten or others discovered the idea independent latter, the arxiv writer gets the recognition. But then, if they were independently discovered, won't the recognization be given to the first one who discovered it? However in QED where Feynman, Schwinger, and Tomonaga got the Nobel. Did they discover them at the same time, at the same hour? If not and we know it is not. Then why give it to them together and not to the first one who discovered it? If the analogy holds, the arxiv writter and Witten will both get it even if Witten discovered it say 5 months later.
But why would they? Why not publish? The whole point of doing scientific research is to get your ideas out there. To use the reporter analogy used earlier, it would be like a New York Times editor writing an OP-ED piece and deciding to simply post it in his bedroom or on the bulletin board at a local library or something. It makes no sense. There's nothing wrong with it and surely he would receive credit for it, but it flies in the face of the whole idea behind journalism. It makes no sense to hide your work as a journalist just as it makes no sense to hide your work as a scientist (national security, personal safety, and a couple other reasons aside).

Also, scientific discovers are not just someone figuring out something, writing down an equation, and boom, Nobel Prize. It's usually years of research done by more than one person (in high energy physics, sometimes even hundreds of people!). When a group of 3 people get a Nobel Prize, it is because the Nobel committee believes that they were the 3 biggest contributors to a significant field of study; none of them came up with 1 thing at 1 instant in time that made them worthy of a Prize.

We are in a period now where perhaps M-theory can only be solved by a genius Savant. Remember they can solve for prime numbers of 20 digits in a flash that no computer can do. So they may be able to solve for M-theory so I wonder how they can get the Nobel when they do this.
Well if that's true then, what are they waiting for?