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I Most Ridiculous Papers You've Ever Read

  1. Dec 20, 2016 #1
    A Design for a Quantum Time Machine

    Andrew Gray, submitted 2 Apr 1998

    "In the new ``History Selection'' formulation of Quantum Mechanics an entire cosmic history is selected over all space and time, with a probability for selection assigned to each possible history. As this probability depends on the whole history, and is not merely composed of the product of probabilities for each step in the history, the theory is not a causal theory. It shall be shown that this violation of causality is usually completely unobservable and confined to the microscopic world, occurring inbetween ``observations''. However it shall also be shown that in certain special circumstances it is possible to exploit the intrinsic non-causal nature of the theory to violate causality at the macroscopic level. A practical design for a device which can exploit this effect is shown. Such a device would effectively enable one to see into the future, and is thus a kind of time machine. Finally it shall be shown that, according to this new formulation of Quantum Mechanics, this does not give rise to any unpleasant time paradoxes."

    I came across this while I was browsing through arXiv.org, submitted back in 1998 and funnily enough removed in 2004 with an amusing note: "This paper has been retracted, for obvious reasons."

    Initial submission link: https://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/9804008v1
    Retracted version: https://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/9804008

    If you came across similar, or even more ridiculous papers please do share. Hopefully the links work, if not let me know.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 20, 2016 #2
    Most were read as a peer-reviewer and never made it into print.

    It would be a violation of the referee terms to say much about any one of them.

    Usually, there is a big disconnect between theory and experiment or an overly broad or confident interpretation of experimental results.

    Sometimes, it is just a bad experiment that had no chance of testing the hypothesis that it was designed to test.

    I do recall a published paper saying that the force (between bullet and tissue) is in no way related to the local rate of change of the bullet's kinetic energy. In other words, it directly contradicted F = dE/dx.
  4. Dec 20, 2016 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Thread closed pending moderation
  5. Dec 20, 2016 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Due to the nature of these kinds of papers, we feel its best to close this thread. PF focuses on mainstream science and doesn't discuss personal theories or speculative science. Posting paper references like these would lead to a host of problematic posts.

    In closing, I'd like to offer this Sciam article:


    and its reference to the book:


    -- Jedi
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
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