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The General Theory of Gravity and Light

  1. Dec 3, 2014 #1
    Hello! I am an undergraduate student currently pursuing my Bachelor's before I attain my PhD in Particle Physics. I do however have an exciting concept I would like to have to my name before I disclose it to the world; therefore, I was wondering how this would happen, and if it is possible.

    Tl;dr , Can an undergraduate student, get credit for a revolutionary concept? Or does he have to wait until he gets his PhD before he should share it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2014 #2


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    There are two answers:
    1) Yes. Submit it for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. If you have something worthwhile, it will be published with your name on it.
    2) Although #1 is a correct answer, you should also know that the odds that you have something worthwhile (both good and new) are very low, and if it's also "exciting" those odds fall to near zero. The problem is that if you're only part way through a bachelor's degree you are still years of study away from the edge of what is currently known.

    This question gets asked with some frequency here, and if you search the General Discussion section (where this thread belongs) you will find a number of good threads.
  4. Dec 3, 2014 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    You can't. The only way to get the concept credited to your name is to disclose it to the world--starting with the people around you who share your interest in physics, primarily your professors. If your idea is worth publishing, that's how you will find out.
  5. Dec 3, 2014 #4


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    Also realize the following: A PhD program is an education in how to perform and disseminate scientific results under close supervision of a PhD advisor. To succeed in publishing your results, even if they are correct and interesting, on your own without the guidance of a professor is next to impossible.

    To put things in perspective, there are examples of brilliant students who do succeed in publishing - I never met any of them. I do however have a large pile of ideas from students that thought they had a revolutionary idea and where I was able to see that it really was not in a very short time.

    My advice is to talk to one of your professors, but be ready to accept if they are not particularly excited by your ideas. They have more experience than you do and are likely to simply tell you that it will not work.
  6. Dec 3, 2014 #5
    Thank you. I definitely need to find a professor, I'm currently transferring from a community college and my professors don't seem to know much about particle physics. Next fall I begin at university and will finish my last two years before going to Grad school.
  7. Dec 3, 2014 #6


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    FYI: Copyrights are for original creative expression. Patents are for certain practical processes per statute. Generally, discoveries regarding laws of nature do not lead to any kind of intellectual property protection other than perhaps being credited as the discoverer.

    In the internet age, you can publish it (with your real name) on your own website if you like. If it amounts to anything, people will know it is yours. And if it is bone-headed, people will know it is yours. :-)
  8. Dec 3, 2014 #7
    Once I get my PhD, I'll just say it was a Eureka moment :)
  9. Dec 3, 2014 #8
    Would you like to see the concept? I'd love feedback on it, I'm using my real name as well.
  10. Dec 3, 2014 #9


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    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry, we do not allow personal theories and your question has been answered. Good luck with your endeavor.
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