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Where to publish a theory?

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I am under 18. I am very interested in Physics and I, along with my friend, have come up with a theory of everything. I want to publish it but I am unsure where to do so. I would like to know if there is an academic publishing catering to those under 18.
 
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I advise you not to discuss your theory face-to-face with a person (or worse a group of people). The odds are you will be greatly humiliated and ridiculed. It is good that you are discussing this here though because you learn not to make such ambitious claims next time.
 
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I am under 18. I am very interested in Physics and I, along with my friend, have come up with a theory of everything. I want to publish it but I am unsure where to do so. I would like to know if there is an academic publishing catering to those under 18.
What value for the rest mass of the neutrino does your theory predict?
 

Vanadium 50

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There are no "under 18" journals. If you're right, your age doesn't matter. If you're wrong, your age doesn't matter.
 
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I am under 18. I am very interested in Physics and I, along with my friend, have come up with a theory of everything. I want to publish it but I am unsure where to do so. I would like to know if there is an academic publishing catering to those under 18.
Do you trust your friend to not steal the theory from you? I'd be wary if I were you.
 

Mapes

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I advise you not to discuss your theory face-to-face with a person (or worse a group of people).
I think this is totally ridiculous advice. A person who never communicates his or her ideas to others will never know if those ideas are understandable or gibberish.

After all, we generally think we are right. That thought is absolutely common. It's no guarantee that we are actually right. The measure of success in science is understandable communication to colleagues.
 

Drakkith

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I agree with Mapes. Only by discussing your theory with people will you be able to tell if it is correct or not. Most, if not all of the greatest breakthroughs in Science happened because people communicated with other people. You WANT people to give you feedback, as it serves as a fact checker for yourself for things you might have missed and can possible save you a lot of wasted time.
 
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I am under 18. I am very interested in Physics and I, along with my friend, have come up with a theory of everything. I want to publish it but I am unsure where to do so. I would like to know if there is an academic publishing catering to those under 18.
Why not publish it in our independent research section? We can offer you some feedback and tell you what's wrong with your theory. We have some great scientists on this forum who can tell you if it's correct or not. And if everything is correct, then maybe we can suggest the necessary contacts.

Don't be scared to present your theory to us. If you're right, then you're right. If you're wrong, then you can learn from it!
 

Pengwuino

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I agree with Mapes. Only by discussing your theory with people will you be able to tell if it is correct or not. Most, if not all of the greatest breakthroughs in Science happened because people communicated with other people. You WANT people to give you feedback, as it serves as a fact checker for yourself for things you might have missed and can possible save you a lot of wasted time.
I actually disagree. If you discuss the theory with people that don't really know anything (and to be serious, you need to talk to someone who has a degree in the field or related field), two things could happen. 1) They could laugh at you because they have no idea what you're talking about and are just jerks or 2) they could have no idea about physics and actually tell you it sounds like a great idea which makes you think it's a great idea and if it's not, finding out will be a tougher blow if you hadn't just gone straight to people in the know. Present it to someone in the know.

@ Original Poster: To be honest, the very fact that you don't know where to publish means your theory is probably garbage. Now this isn't a bad thing! Science is all about thinking up things which 99% of the time don't work. What you need to do is ask questions about how proper scientific research is done and see what kind of advice and opinions you can get from people on this forum. We can tell you if your theory has potential and where you should go from there. If you publish and it ends up being garbage, guess what? You're name is on a garbage submission for the rest of your life.
 

Drakkith

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Lol Pengwuino, I did actually mean that you should discuss your theory with someone who actually knows the subject. Obviously Mr Joe Blow non science guy wouldn't have a clue about what the theory means.
 
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I advise you not to discuss your theory face-to-face with a person (or worse a group of people). The odds are you will be greatly humiliated and ridiculed.
I'd advise the opposite. You want to discuss your theory face to face with someone so that you find out how bad the theory is (and all theories end up being bad the first time you talk to someone about it).

Whether you will be humiliated and ridiculed depends on how you approach the conversation and who you are talking to. Structuring a conversation so that you get necessary constructive criticism is part of learning to "do science." There are people in science that take a sadistic pleasure into grinding other people's ideas into dust, but even these people are really useful. After you've talked to Dr. Nice who can't find an obvious problem with your ideas, then you are ready to face Dr. Nasty, that will look for any excuse to make you look like a fool.

Also, it very easy to come up with a theory if you don't know much about particle physics. What you'll quickly learn is why it's difficult to come up with something that works.
 
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Do you trust your friend to not steal the theory from you? I'd be wary if I were you.
If you are smart, you want people to "steal" your theory. If you end up being a great milk cow, you want to give away your milk so that people will come back for more. The number of people that can do particle physics is not huge so pretty much everyone knows everyone else, so if you come up with a new idea, pretty much everyone will know who came up with it.
 
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Hi everyone,

Many thanks for your responses.

I am "dimension10"'s mother. I am also into research but unfortunately not in physics. It’s me who advised my son to post this question in "physics forums" as I felt some good guidance will be given here. Though there are mentors in his school, as he is still not in the university level, the amount of guidance given is not enough for academic publishing. Also, the teachers give importance to curriculum topics and not very interested beyond curriculum (which is justified in pre-university level).

Thanks to Vanadium 50, Mapes, Drakkith, micromass, Pengwuino, twofish-quant for your valuable suggestions. I really appreciate your encouraging words to youngsters. I feel this positive approach gives motivation to young students.

As I am not in physics line, I don't know how far my son's work is publishable. But just know that he has lot of passion and has conceptual clarity.

I will definitely ask him to put his work in Physics forums independent research section. Hopefully, he will get some guidance there. More than publishing, I want him to know whether what he understood really makes any sense. Also, I want him to understand how academic publishing works.

And guys, don't worry, he is not a quack though he is still young and has to learn a lot :)
 

Pengwuino

Gold Member
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Well that's good to hear! What's most likely going to happen is there is going to be some giant flaw and his theory will not be any good. Thankfully he has you around for some guidance. As you probably already know, most research is a dead-end. Most theories people come up with have giant flaws (and by everyone, I mean everyone, Nobel Prize winners included!). It's the nature of the beast that is science. That's something that even some of my fellow graduate students don't realize yet!

So tell him to post it, maybe it'll be something good. What could even happen is that he simply rediscovers something we already know, which is a fantastic sign since it means he already is on the right track.
 
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Well that's good to hear! What's most likely going to happen is there is going to be some giant flaw and his theory will not be any good. Thankfully he has you around for some guidance. As you probably already know, most research is a dead-end. Most theories people come up with have giant flaws (and by everyone, I mean everyone, Nobel Prize winners included!). It's the nature of the beast that is science. That's something that even some of my fellow graduate students don't realize yet!

So tell him to post it, maybe it'll be something good. What could even happen is that he simply rediscovers something we already know, which is a fantastic sign since it means he already is on the right track.
Absolutely right. Most of the theories (in any line) will have some major flaws and this is what we researchers are scared about. I give him guidance about research and try to make him understand how difficult it is to come up with something new which is not attended by previous research in that area.

I will surely ask him to post it soon.
Thanks a lot for your reply.
 

eri

1,034
20
It might not even the question of a flaw in the theory itself; often they simply start out with a poor assumption which invalidates the rest, or they may simply try to state their idea in words without supporting it with math, observations, or computations, which is useless. New theories are rare; they not only need to explain everything out there at least as well as it's currently explained, but also something new. The biggest mistake by amateurs in the field is not reading the literature; they don't know what's already been done so they don't know there might be something out there that already proves them wrong.

It's great that your son is thinking along these lines at a young age; although I had been reading the same books at that time, I didn't try coming up with something new. But it's really hard to make any original contribution to a field until you've learned what's been done already, and even then it can be difficult. And a theory of everything? The top physicists in the world have worked on that for over a hundred years with no luck so far. A theory of everything must explain everything, and first you need to know everything. :)
 

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