New User Seeking Physics Feedback and Proper Forum Use

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In summary, the conversation discusses an individual's interest in physics and their desire to share a specialized form of a double-slit experiment they have devised. The appropriate forum for original research is a peer-reviewed journal, but the individual lacks professional experience and resources to conduct the experiment. They ask for recommendations of reputable journals to submit their paper to and consider posting their experiment details on Physics Forums to ask for predictions from the quantum mechanics community. However, the conversation also highlights the importance of thoroughly researching and understanding the current literature before assuming an experiment has not been performed before.
  • #1
itsok
I was a physics major in college and though I did not make the field a career I still follow it with interest.

I've been reviewing the various forum posting guidelines but remain unsure which forum may be appropriate for the following.

I have devised a specialized form of a double-slit experiment that I do not believe has yet been performed, and seek feedback. Which of the forums (if any) is an appropriate place to post the experiment's details? At some point I might wish to identify myself as the source of the experiment.
 
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  • #2
The appropriate forum for original research is a peer reviewed journal. As per forum rules, PF is not for discussing original research.

That being said, there are some general guidelines that you should consider when you think about publishing. First of all, you would need to ask yourself which journal to submit to. If you cannot answer that question you are not likely to have come up with something genuinely new. After all, part of following the field and knowing what is interesting and relevant is keeping up with the literature that is published exactly in thise journals.
 
  • #3
Questions along the lines of "What does current physics say will happen if we try...?" or "How do I calculate the result if we ...?" are appropriate for Physics Forums. You would post in Classical if you are considering a variation of Young's double-slit experiment (continuous light source, classical electromagnetic waves) or Quantum if you are considering quantum mechanical effects (single-particle source, single-particle detection events).

If you're looking for more than that - you believe that you have an experiment that might cause a rethinking of some part of current physics - then as @Orodruin says above we are not the right venue. That's what peer-reviewed journals are for.
 
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  • #4
I'd like to say "hats off" to @itsok for asking before posting.
 
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  • #5
Thank you for the replies. Those concerns sound reasonable.

It's more than kind to even imply I might qualify for peer review by journals, but lacking professional experience in the field I do not envision myself as such. I have not had anything published beyond tech articles in various magazines. Since I'm not working in physics, I have no current references or sponsors in the field. Do the respected physics journals review and publish papers from unsponsored amateurs?

I have no practical means, lab access, etc. by which to actually conduct the experiment I've designed. Via web searches I can find no similar experiment that has been designed or carried out, but perhaps I have overlooked something, or am using different search terms, hence my seeking feedback.

Is there an online venue other than these boards that is appropriate to explore such questions?
 
  • #6
itsok said:
Do the respected physics journals review and publish papers from unsponsored amateurs?

Sure, if the paper is novel, relevant and well-written. Most papers from amateurs miss the mark in at least one of these areas.

itsok said:
experiment that I do not believe has yet been performed

That's not a good enough reason. I'm an experimenter, and if I set out to do every experiment proposed, it would take up 100% of my time to do much less than 1% of the experiments. There needs to be a better reason for me to spend my time and resources on a measurement than "it's never been done before". (One can always add "...on a submartine", "...on a Tuesday", "...on the moon." etc.)
 
  • #7
The experiment I have in mind explores one of the major questions in physics. A positive result resolves that puzzle, while a negative result rules out quantum involvement. Since this experiment explores a key area, had it been performed already I suspect even a physics nobody like me would have heard about it.

Based on the feedback here, I've searched online for information about submitting physics papers and learned many sites and organizations accept them. Some require items I do not have, such as sponsors or colleagues. Also, I do not know which site/organization might be more reputable than another, or which might be better suited to my situation. Recommendations welcome, any ones I should particularly consider or, conversely, avoid?
 
  • #8
itsok said:
Since this experiment explores a key area, had it been performed already I suspect even a physics nobody like me would have heard about it.
Simple cross check: Have you heard of the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment? The Elitzur–Vaidman bomb tester?
If not, "I haven't heard about it" is not a good test.
Nugatory said:
Questions along the lines of "What does current physics say will happen if we try...?" or "How do I calculate the result if we ...?" are appropriate for Physics Forums.
I think this is the most important answer here. Describe the potential experiment, ask what will happen (in the quantum mechanics forum). If it has been performed already you'll learn about it, if it hasn't been performed you'll learn what quantum mechanics predicts for the experiment.
 
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  • #9
Yes, I'm familiar with both the delayed choice and bomb tester experiments. A positive result in my experiment would supply real evidence to explain them.

Re journals, I figure I can rule out sites that will publish any physics paper as long as you give them your credit card info, but perhaps even reputable journals charge a fee. I'm too green to know. Since no one has suggested any specific journal to consider, it feels like I've hit a wall here. Maybe a journal is not a viable approach for my situation?

About an "ask what will happen" post, if the mods approve, I'll consider it. In that case, if acceptable I'd like to include a link to my paper that I would post elsewhere.
 
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  • #10
itsok said:
I'm too green to know. Since no one has suggested any specific journal to consider, it feels like I've hit a wall here.

This was my original point. If you are not familiar with the journals that publish this type of research (by reading papers published there on a regular basis), how do you expect to be familiar enough with the field to judge whether your contribution would be novel?

The first step of doing original research is catching up to the front-line of current research. Only when you know where the boundaries are can you start pushing them.
 
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  • #11
Hence my desire to post it here, but that's not allowed. Which journals are recommended for catching up?
 
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  • #12
itsok said:
A positive result in my experiment would supply real evidence to explain them.

We don't need an explanation. We have one. It's called quantum mechanics.
 
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  • #13
Most of the time enthusiastic amateurs think they have an idea for a novel and important experiment, all they really have is a misunderstanding of questions and issues that are already resolved with ample experimental evidence.

Perhaps you may pursue your discussion in the appropriate PF subforum along the lines of "Would *THIS* experiment answer *THIS* question?" Odds are either the question is already answered or your experiment would not answer it. But which and whether is hard to say without all the details.
 
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1. What is the purpose of seeking feedback as a new user in the physics forum?

The purpose of seeking feedback as a new user in the physics forum is to gain insight and knowledge from experienced members of the community. By receiving feedback on your ideas and questions, you can improve your understanding of physics and engage in meaningful discussions with others.

2. How can I effectively ask for feedback in the physics forum?

To effectively ask for feedback in the physics forum, it is important to provide clear and concise information about your question or idea. This includes providing relevant background information, stating your question or idea clearly, and being open to constructive criticism and suggestions from others.

3. What are some tips for proper forum use as a new user in the physics community?

As a new user in the physics community, it is important to familiarize yourself with the forum rules and guidelines. This includes being respectful and courteous to other members, avoiding spam or self-promotion, and using proper grammar and formatting in your posts.

4. How can I make the most out of the feedback I receive in the physics forum?

To make the most out of the feedback you receive in the physics forum, take the time to carefully read and consider each response. Engage in discussions with others and ask follow-up questions to deepen your understanding. It is also helpful to do further research and experimentation on your own.

5. Is it appropriate to ask for help with homework or exam questions in the physics forum?

No, it is not appropriate to ask for help with homework or exam questions in the physics forum. The forum is meant for discussions and sharing of knowledge, not for completing assignments or exams for others. It is important to do your own work and use the forum as a resource for understanding concepts and ideas.

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