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World's most creative physicist

  1. Aug 17, 2006 #1

    ZapperZ

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  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2006 #2
    That's pretty damn neat on how they calculate the amount of creativity.
     
  4. Aug 18, 2006 #3
    That could just mean they weren't very diligent in including all their references.
     
  5. Aug 18, 2006 #4

    ZapperZ

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    That doesn't happen very often because the referees will point that out if they missed citing important ones. I know I certainly do.

    Zz.
     
  6. Aug 20, 2006 #5

    wolram

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    I would rather see an award for the most testable theories produced by a
    scientist, nothing else realy matters, right or wrong, the guy is offering something, (and i mean testable in the near future) at least within a life time.
     
  7. Aug 20, 2006 #6
    I was going to say something simillar earlier Wolram, but I decided it might upset string theorists, I agree ground breaking(as in theoretical not hypothetical) Is top of the pops. You need to be creative and ground breaking, or it's all just mental masturbation.
     
  8. Aug 20, 2006 #7

    wolram

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    Present day it seems the court is more important than the discovery, heck who decides that (hypothetical) becomes legend?
     
  9. Aug 20, 2006 #8

    Gokul43201

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    Only if you go by pop-sci books/shows and internet forums...

    ...else, it wouldn't be Phil Anderson topping the "creativity list" and 8 of the 10 most cited physicists from the recent decades wouldn't be from Condensed Matter/Materials Physics.

    http://pcb4122.univ-lemans.fr/1120physiciens.html
     
  10. Aug 20, 2006 #9

    ZapperZ

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    Note that in the case of Anderson, a lot of his theories have been verified. His broken symmetry principle, for which he won the Nobel Prize for, is now universally used all over physics, not just in condensed matter.

    Still, he has come up with several that were wrong (still, they were falsifiable at least). This inter-plane tunneing for the mechanism of high-Tc superconductors is one recent example. And if you've read the thread created by Locrian in the condensed matter forum, you'd have noticed that Anderson was one of the person Laughlin chided for "proving" that the critical temperature of a superconductor can never go beyond 40K back in the late 70's.

    Still, he has been prolific in producing some of the most creative ideas in physics, even today when he has retired from Princeton in quite a number of years. He still maintains his office, and still has postdocs. Right or wrong, his work has always generated interest one way or the other.

    Zz.
     
  11. Aug 20, 2006 #10
    I suppose, even allowing small differences between referees and publications.

    Einstein's papers would not have been accepted today, because of their lack of references. But, then according to this model, that would make him infinitely creative!
     
  12. Aug 20, 2006 #11

    ZapperZ

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    If you've read the recent account of the "battle" between The Physical Review and Einstein in Physics Today, you'd realized that one of Einstein's papers was rejected by the journal after a critical referee report. It turns out that the referee was correct, and even when the referee tried in a subtle way to guide Einstein in correcting his paper, Einstein threw a "temper tantrum" and instead withdrew the paper. It was only later that he made the correction that was suggested but submitted it to a different journal.

    So even the giants in our field can make mistakes, and are still subjected to peer-review.

    Zz.
     
  13. Aug 20, 2006 #12

    wolram

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    Fair enough, the right guy has been chosen, but by a system that seems open to iterpretation, in some ways Einsteins theories are more pop than
    fact (there is still a big possibility that he was wrong) will the test be when GPB results are in?
     
  14. Aug 20, 2006 #13

    ZapperZ

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    Sorry, but I must have slept through the part where we "choose" the "right" guy. When did this occur? Are you still refering to the selection criteria being used in picking out Anderson? Then why are we hung up on Einstein?

    What system? The selection criteria being used in selecting the "most creative", or the system of peer-review?

    Could you tell me which of Einstein's theory you are accusing of being "pop"? Or are you making a blanket statement that all of this output are "pop"? What is "pop" in the first place? Would you care to stop using and eliminate stuff from your life that were derived out of Einstein's theories simply because there is a "big possibility" that he is wrong? How much do you think you have to stop using?

    Zz.
     
  15. Aug 20, 2006 #14
    Here's the link:
    http://www.physicstoday.org/vol-58/iss-9/p43.html
     
  16. Aug 20, 2006 #15

    Stingray

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    True, but even relatively recently, references were routinely treated differently than they are today. In most papers more than 30 or so years old, citations were only given when they were absolutely essential. Very few papers had more than 15 references. Obviously, nothing like that would get published today. If an old paper is still being cited, its ranking in this system would be very skewed (among many other issues).

    Overall, though, the result is interesting.
     
  17. Aug 20, 2006 #16

    ZapperZ

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    Actually, that depends on the type of paper. I've seen theoretical papers that had barely 10 references, and that's within the past 5 years. In fact, if you look most of Laughlin's papers where he is the sole author, he had very few references. Experimental papers, on the other hand, do then to have lots of references, especially when it is published in PRL. This is because, due to length limitation, the details of the experiment, for instance, if they have been published before, are usually left as references.

    Zz.
     
  18. Aug 23, 2006 #17
    if a system like that meant anything i would say penrose would be close to the top of the list. from what i got out of that article a mathematician like riemann, with so few possible publications to cite (<10 in his lifetime i believe), probably wouldn't be considered very creative which is of course absurd. i have a feeling that the more prolific scientists/etc might be favoured by this method.
     
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