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How to present a new scientific idea

  1. Feb 27, 2015 #1
    I'm sorry for the question and maybe it's the wrong place at the forum to ask, but I need to know, what I have to do If I find a flaw in the General Relativity theory? Write a paper? what are the steps? Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2015 #2

    jedishrfu

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    Welcome to PF!

    The steps are quite daunting actually. If you simply write your paper then it will be ignored by many in the science community. In order to gain acceptance, you would first have to establish yourself as a valid physicist with a PhD and speak in the same language ie mathematics as they do when they write papers. Becoming a physicist can take many years of hard study.

    Next you would need to submit your paper to an established scientific journal which means it will get peer reviewed before it will be published. After making whatever corrections or changes needed, the journal will publish your paper for the whole scientific community to read. From there you will face a lot of criticism both pro and con and will need to defend your ideas until they are accepted or proven wrong.

    It can be a very risky business where your credibility as a physicist is put on the line and can make or break careers.
     
  4. Feb 27, 2015 #3
    Great answer. Thank you!
     
  5. Feb 27, 2015 #4

    Nugatory

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    You will find some other threads here discussing the general question: "I think I have a new discovery. What do I do with it?", such as this one https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/how-to-publish-a-new-theorem.770922/ The general answer is to publish your idea in a suitable peer-reviewed journal.

    However, a dose of reality is called for here. If you don't already know what the peer-reviewed journals in this area are, then you aren't reading them. And if you aren't reading them, then you cannot be aware of more than a tiny fraction of the work that has been done in this area in the past century.
     
  6. Feb 27, 2015 #5

    Simon Bridge

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    Welcome to PF;
    What's been described is pretty much the same process for any scientific theory (1) get established in the community (2) publish in a peer-reviewed journal.
    There are lots of ways to do this, but it usually involves the outline in post #2.

    Part of (1) is to become familiar with the peer-reviewed literature on the subject ... as Nugatory points out, an author claiming to have made a significant discover, but who is unfamiliar with the literature or does not even know to look, simply has misunderstood the topic.

    It will be extra difficult to get people to accept that you've found a flaw in GR, in particular, because it is very well established and has very strong experimental support.
    Also it is a theory that attracts a lot of crackpots who think they've found a flaw - so you need to be able to stand out from them.

    Do you think you've found such a flaw, or have you come across some writings by someone who makes that claim?

    Note: The Twin Paradox (off the title) is a thought experiment in special rather than general relativity.
    An author referring to the twin paradox in the context of finding a flaw general relativity has most likely misunderstood both the paradox and relativity.
    (GR is not required to resolve the paradox.)
     
  7. Feb 27, 2015 #6

    DaveC426913

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    Or you could present it on your local physics forum and see if it holds merit.
     
  8. Feb 27, 2015 #7

    Nugatory

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    But not this one! Physics Forums is not in the peer-review business, and our rules explicitly prohibit posting personal theories not already supported by the peer-reviewed literature and/or standard textbooks.
     
  9. Feb 27, 2015 #8
    Thanks. Yes, I realize that I'm probably wrong. Can I post it in the form of a question? is that I have some confusion and doubts about the classic clock with beam of light example.
     
  10. Feb 27, 2015 #9

    jedishrfu

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    Yes you can post that.
     
  11. Feb 27, 2015 #10

    Simon Bridge

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    It's likely to have been asked before - there are a lot of threads here on twin paradox and related issues.
    I'd say: search the forums first to refine the question.
     
  12. Feb 27, 2015 #11

    jedishrfu

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  13. Feb 27, 2015 #12

    russ_watters

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    While some gave the direct answers to the question, I don't think those are really the answers the OP needs. In general, the most useful thing for a layperson to do when they find a flaw in GR is to assume they made a mistake, set aside their idea, and go learn GR from scratch so they can find their mistake (or, upon learning it, realize they don't even need to bother picking their idea back up).
     
  14. Feb 27, 2015 #13

    Nugatory

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    The question has been answered and we can close the thread.

    Russ's observation about learning GR is spot-on.
     
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