Physics Question #541

Dr. X, a 26 year old female from Cornberry asks on January 13, 2002,

I have made a theoretical discovery in my studies. It concerns vibrations of frame of reference in 4-dimensions to explain events such as the limit to the speed of light, the link between curved linear space and time and last but not the least the problem of light going through 2 slits and making interference patterns. The last case concerns only one particle going through one of the slits but still making interference pattern. The background is from MIT's introducotry books on vibrations and waves and thermal physics, and a fair bit of calculus. It is too easy to be true, so I am kind of worried that if I present it to my University they will take it away. How can I get my idea out without losing my rights to it? By the way I am not crazy, my IQ is 180, the last two times I had the test and I am in second year of engineering. IF you are laughing then consider this, did you know that if you take light, shine it between two plates for eternity, the plates will get closer to each other?, now take the same plates and change the wavelngth of light, you can slowly make one of them stop and the other one speed up, depending on the ratio of their atomic mass. You say why, its because you are losing equivalent of absolute time between successive redirections, as far as the light is concerned the plate is moving all the time, as far as the plate is concerced, ..... I can't go any further, lets just say the photoelectric effect is a special case of a much simpler law, mine. Now tell me how to publish this and put my name on it.

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on January 15, 2002

The system of academic physics, and the world of science, is not out to "steal" your ideas. Science is a cooperative effort and all the best ideas are free--by definition. The spirit of science is to share ideas and inventions. Only by this fundamental sharing has science been able to progress to where it is today. Proprietary notions of "owning" intellectual property are relatively new, not much more than ten or twenty years old. Many scientists actually fear that this trend will wreck science. Essentially all "real" scientists do not care about who "owns" an idea and freely publish their work, now usually on the Web first, then on paper. You should do the same. Your first step should be to find a sympathetic professor at your university, organize a meeting, and discuss your ideas, clarify your math, and talk about the possibility of writing a paper. In all likelyhood the professor will probably point out a bad assumption or a fallacy in your reasoning and then you can give it another try. Good luck. This is really the proper way to go. Otherwise, you are not really participating in the scientific community.

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