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Probability of lone high school student publication?

  1. Jan 1, 2012 #1

    My name is Thomas Evans, I am a high school student in the East Coast of the USA. I have been independently teaching myself along with some assistance from my grandparents (both physicists) physics and mathematics since the 7th grade. I have written (completed) two papers recently on theoretical physics, one concerning the information paradox and another regarding incorporating the concept of asymptotic safety into a generalized facet of string theory/LQG's mathematical formalism. I was wondering if anyone on this site with a history of publication in peer-reviewed journals could explain to me whether it would be worth submitting these articles to a journal, in lieu of my lack of formal academic credentials/ a voucher from a practicing physicist. Thanks and a happy new year.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 1, 2012 #2
    You almost certainly lack the knowledge of physics and mathematics required to make an original contribution to the literature. Have you ever read any academic journals? Can you understand them?

    What is your background in mathematics?
  4. Jan 1, 2012 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    You did mention that your grandparents are physicists. Perhaps they know an active physicist who could review your work and provide some critique. There is also the Physics archive where grad students and profs prepublish articles but my suspicion is that you don't want to be scooped but you could pose questions there and see what you get back.

    Check this article in wikipedia on the archive: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ArXiv
  5. Jan 1, 2012 #4


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    Gold Member

    What journals have you been reading that make you sure you're up to date with the current state of your chosen area?

    That's not how the ArXiv works. The Arxiv is a pre-print server where people post publications that are under review for publication in a peer-review journal. It's not, as you may have accidentally posed it, a place to simply pose questions like a forum such as this.
  6. Jan 1, 2012 #5
    How much math do you know?? What physics books did you read?

    If you are a high school student, then your paper is almost certainly not good enough to publish. I would be very critical of your own paper. Find a physicist who will point out the mistakes and let him review it (if somebody is willing). If it's ok, then perhaps you can send it for peer-review.

    Your parents are physicists, don't they know somebody you can talk to??
  7. Jan 2, 2012 #6
    micromass: My grandparents are retired physicists. They received their PhD's in the mid 1960s in experimental material physics and chemical physics, respectively. Their institutional contacts are either dead or forgotten, believe me I have asked. I know more math than I do physics, actually. Specifically I would say that I would feel comfortable with anything in algebraic geometry, number theory, group theory up to a first/second year graduate level. I've worked through most of the undergraduate level mathematics/physics courses on MIT's OCW, utilizing the recommended/required texts when necessary or available. I'm currently working on a number of first/second year graduate math/physics courses on OCW also. For Christmas I received Elements of string cosmology by Gasperini which I am currently working through. I know enough physics to have gotten through vol. 1 of Polchinski, and am also working on the first chapters of vol. 2 in addition to Gasperini's text. Other physics texts I have read in the past include select chapters of Bohm's quantum theory, Joos theoretical physics (8th grade), Feynman and Hibbs, Feynman lectures vol. 3, clark and rose, Einstein's collected works, Gravitation, EBH (Taylor and Wheeler), amongst others.

    I read articles on the ArXiv regularly, and I have a good understanding of anything concerning branes, spinors, twistor theory, or the formal aspects of loop quantum gravity. Again, I read more articles in mathematics on the ArXiv then I do in physics, and have a much stronger basis within that field.

    I read whatever papers I can get for free off of Springer, from journals such as GERG, etc. I've read a number of articles from CQG as well. Generally I just stick to the ArXiv however, at least for physics. Thanks for all the very quick replies.
  8. Jan 2, 2012 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    You can always try to submit papers. Good luck to you and keep up your studies. This thread is not suitable for this forum.
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