Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Physics/Archive 5

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A must-read: Principle of minimum energy :) Karol 12:42, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

See my comments at Talk:Principle_of_minimum_energy. Alison Chaiken 18:34, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I have edited the article to become more wikipedia-like. --J S Lundeen 16:26, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Game theory and criticism of physics?

The game theory page which is currently featured on the front page makes a statement about physics:

"Game theorists may assume players always act rationally to maximize their wins (the Homo economicus model), but real humans often act either irrationally, or act rationally to maximize the wins of some larger group of people (altruism). Game theorists respond by comparing their assumptions to those used in physics. Thus while their assumptions do not always hold, they can treat game theory as a reasonable scientific ideal akin to the models used by physicists."

I'm not quite sure how to put it, but this statement about physics doesn't sit well with me. It's under the "Uses of Game Theory" section, and then under the "Descriptive" subsection. JabberWok 18:02, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

The word "mathematics" might have been a better choice. Within the domain of validity, the theory is valid. Outside of that domain .. its not. The paragraph also has a rather naive view of "rational/irrational" behavior; economists certaily know its more subtle than that. ...and so do game theorists. Any game theorist worth thier salt would know about the prisoner's dilemma, which lays waste to the whole idea of rational behaviour. I'd say "delete he whole paragraph as nonsense." linas 22:31, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject for the History of Science

ragesoss is trying to start up a History of Science Wikiproject; add your name here and help him get started. linas 05:48, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

The project is now at Wikipedia:WikiProject History of Science. — Laura Scudder 21:24, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
One minor bit of formatting that I think would be nice for physics articles and especially for history of physics is to include hyperlinks to original papers, or at least their abstracts. For example, I was just perusing Robert Dicke, a well-done article, and there are a number of references listed at the bottom. All the Phys. Rev. ones at least will have free online abstracts (and on-line articles for a fee). Yes, folks who read the Wikipedia article can go and look up the references themselves at the journal web pages but links are useful! I've added links to a bunch of articles but I don't have the energy to fix a lot of them. This task is the sort of thing that a clever person could create a 'bot to do. Alison Chaiken 04:14, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Here is a style suggestion for wikipedia in general. For book references an ISBN number is a good universal reference. There is a similar object for academic articles called the DOI (digital object identifier). See for information. It is printed on the first page of almost all academic articles. Journals can change their online distributers and hence, links can go bad over time. Also links are sometimes much too long. A more permanent alternative is to link in the following manner: where the DOI in this case is Compare this to the full direct link: _coverDate=04%2F12%2F2004&_alid=357373613&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_qd=... 1&_cdi=5538&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid... =10&md5=190c081acdc252ce6a8bcf136004ad17 Ouch!--J S Lundeen 03:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion; I will change all the article references I made so far to DOI's. By the way, by coincidence I read your Brewster's angle article at work yesterday while I was puzzling over some fluorescence data. Alison Chaiken 04:11, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Category:Fringe physics ???

I've been thinking about the need for a Category:Fringe physics, and am fishing for an opinion on this matter. There are now several physics articles on WP which seem to have the following characteristics: 1) they are contentious 2) they appear to have only a small following 3) the propound a theory which doesn't seem quite right, but is also not quite obviously wrong. 4) The contention seems to involve accusations that the theorists failed to understand or take into account some bit of physics.

I'm not sure what to do with such articles. I'm aware of 4, at the moment: Bios theory, Afshar experiment, and somewhat less clearly, Stochastic electrodynamics and maybe Emergy. The last two might be more comfortable in Category:Protoscience, but the first two haven't yet advanced that far, but are also clearly not Category:Pseudoscience. Ideas? linas 14:38, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Only that some care is needed. Over at intelligent design the darwinists have successfully resisted the idea that ID is science at all and are very careful of the language. Much pseudo-physics junk (e.g. aetherometry... argh sorry) is really not science at all: its just people with wacky ideas playing at the forms but with no conception of the realities. So even calling it fringe physics is allowing them too much: its not physics at all. William M. Connolley 16:13, 18 January 2006 (UTC).
I'm concerned that if we create too many categories, we'll get bogged down in endless arguments with supporters of this "theory" or that whether it belongs in Pseudophysics, Protophysics, or Fringe physics. A possible alternative would be a List of current controversies in physics, which could include things like Nimtz. This would have some overlap with the existing List of alternative, speculative and disputed theories#Physics but would focus on current controversies.
I agree with WMC that one must be very careful to word things to avoid giving ammunition to the ID crowd (this movement might seem to have nothing to do with physics, but in fact amounts to an attempt to dismantle science in America, so everyone here should be concerned about their efforts). ---CH 23:15, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Somehow I seem to be collecting some articles which might belong in a Fringe geophysics category:

Enjoy, if that's the word.---CH 10:50, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Look out for highly POV Heim theory edits, articles, and links

I trust we all agree that the current version of this article is rather uncritical, despite the fact that Heim "theory" [sic] is listed as a crank theory in a project page. I have noticed someone has been adding links to this article in various physics-related articles, or creating small highly POV articles which fail to mention the questionable status of Heim theory in theoretical physics. This activity seems intened to leave impression with casual readers that this "theory" is part of the physics mainstream. Searching WP for "Heim theory" gives a long list, spot checking reveals POV problems with many of the affected articles, which include:

I am trying to fix or flag the problems I have found, but believe there are others I have not found. ---CH 03:01, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

I might need some help here. Looks like User:Hdeasy removed the POV flag I added to Heim theory without addressing my concerns. ---CH 20:47, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Comment: Hasselmann is a respected climate scientist. Wots he doing mixed up in this? He *has* written about metron [1] but doesn't ref Heim! William M. Connolley 21:48, 5 February 2006 (UTC).
  • Just as I was about to say "at least Hasselmanns stuff is in PR journals" I see that the refs are "Hasselmann, K.(1996a,b,1997a,b). The metron model: Elements of a unified deterministic theory of fields and particles. Part 1: The Metron Concept. Physics Essays, 9, 311 - 325, 1996; Part 2: The Maxwell Dirac-Einstein System. Physics Essays,9, 460 - 475, 1996; Part 3: Quantum Phenomena. Physics Essays, 10, 64 - 86, 1997; Part 4: The standard Model. Physics Essays, 10, 269 - 286, 1997." - I seem to recall people saying PE was a bit dodgy. William M. Connolley 22:03, 5 February 2006 (UTC).
I agree that noone should accept papers uncritically simply because they have been published. Physics Essays publishes speculative essays which are often unpublishable elsewhere; that is more or less its stated purpose. Of course, some papers in there might have some value, but many do not. See the abstract of a longer version of the paper you cited. It says It is postulated that the equations support soliton-type solutions (metrons) which reproduce all the basic field equations of quantum field theory, including not only the Maxwell-Dirac-Einstein system, but also all fields and symmetries of the Standard Model. IOW, he doesn't actually claim to have proven these things (which appear highly suspicious to me prima facie), only to introduce them as postulates.---CH 22:11, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
I would add that while I hope climate scientists know some physics, clearly we should suspect that even a distinguished climate scientist venturing into grand unified theory might be out of his depth! ---CH 22:13, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
It really is the same Hasselmann. I just noticed his arXiv preprint was apparently a talk (60 page paper, so must have been a week long talk, heh) given at a Festscrift for W. Kundt of "Ehlers and Kundt" fame. (That's a famous 1962 review paper, a must-read for gtr fans.) As a mathematical modeler who works with ocean waves, Hasselblatt is no doubt (?) familiar with solitons in the sense of KdV, so should have the mathematical background to readily pick up Belinsky and Zakharov's method for finding certain special solutions of the EFE, formally analgous to the IST. But from his preprint, it seems he is equivocal about whether he has actually done that. He apparently doesn't discuss the true soliton issue. ---CH 09:19, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Hyperspace AfD

This is one of the absolute worst pieces of Dreck I'm come across in WP, and I could use some help in the AfD. I was quite appalled by the initial responses, although some commentators changed their vote after I asked them to take a second look. If the community can't manage to delete an article which is this awful, I really have to question where this alleged encyclopedia is headed. ---CH 23:31, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

I have agreed to rewrite this as a redirect page. After some back and forth, it seems that if we let the AfD run its course, my rewrite will probably stand. ---CH 09:13, 6 February 2006 (UTC)


On a related note, I guess everyone knows about various articles and links inserted by the free energy crowd, including such articles as Testatika. It's really amazing how many free energy websites there are around the world. At least, the English-speaking world. I hope things aren't quite as bad in Chinese or Tagalog! ---CH 09:13, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

You know, we have a Wikipedia:WikiProject Pseudoscience meant to discuss such topics? linas 14:45, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually, notifications re. pseudoscience articles themselves (as opposed to tools to deal with the articles) are in theory supposed to go on Wikipedia:Pages needing attention/Physics, not the WikiProject Pseudoscience talk page. In practice, people seem to have mostly stopped using PNA/Physics in favour of the WikiProject Physics talk page. I'm a bit concerned about this, as it means most of the items on PNA/Physics end up sitting in the queue for quite a while. --Christopher Thomas 05:02, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Can you rewrite the affected pages to help guide harried users like me to the right place? My interest is in writing new material, so I tend not to want to spend a lot of time trying to figure out where to complain or ask for help in cases like the "free energy resources" and Heim theory articles. ---CH 03:03, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

I was under the impression that there was already a notice on the WP:Pseudoscience talk page, but it turns out I was mistaken. I've added one ({{notice}} makes it nice and, well, noticeable). Thanks for bringing this to my attention. --Christopher Thomas 06:58, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

So Linas and everyone else, do you agree that in future I should direct notices of new pseudoscience articles or similar problems to Wikipedia:Pages needing attention/Physics? I am still not quite clear on this! ---CH 05:56, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

I defer to Christopher Thomas, he is more active on pseudoscience. I take the occasional swipe when I'm in the mood, but am not really active in patrolling these things.linas 06:41, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not terribly active either (I've mostly been on sabbatical, and making mostly vandalism reversions when I do edit). Also, I have no authority at all to say what should and shouldn't go on _this_ page (Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Physics). I'll most certainly defer to the regulars if people feel that pseudoscience alerts should be posted here, though I'm less likely to do so myself. --Christopher Thomas 03:46, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Kramers-Kronig relation

Hello, up until a few minutes ago there were two different articles Kramers-Kronig relations and Kramers-Krönig relation. Having determined that Ralph Kronig spelled his name with o, not ö, I merged both articles to one named Kramers-Kronig relation. However, since I know nothing at all about math and physics, it would be very good if someone who actually understands the text could look at the new article and make any necessary changes. Thanks! Angr/talk 18:16, 12 February 2006 (UTC)


Can somebody please have a look at the Talk:Cosmology page? I wrote the Cosmology article, because what was there before was all about physics (see physical cosmology) but there was a (valid, in my view) talk page comment that it is also an important topic in philosophy, religion, etc... Now there seems to be some disagreement about what the hell to do with it, so I thought I'd ask some of y'all. Thanks. –Joke 01:11, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Clean And Environmentally Safe Advanced Reactor

I put up a page Clean And Environmentally Safe Advanced Reactor based on an article in the Economist and pages at the University of Maryland website (both reference in the article). It's been labeled pseudoscience, and I want to know if I've been had and the article put up for deletion. Would one of you worthy people pop in for a look and offer an opinion on the article talk page. There is no wiki politics here - I'd really like to know - it's not often I get the wool pulled over my eyes this badly. --DV8 2XL 23:54, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I've taken a look, and commented. While I have serious concerns about the article in its present state, it appears to describe legitimate science. If anyone here's a physics prof, maybe ping U of Maryland directly to ask about publications in scientific literature. --Christopher Thomas 05:37, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
See my comments at Talk:Clean_And_Environmentally_Safe_Advanced_Reactor. Alison Chaiken 05:35, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Spin wave

I find the section Spin_wave#Early_theoretical_research that has been added to the article Spin wave to be a bit off-topic. I suspect that the addition is an effort by C. Michael Hogan to promote himself. White and Nakamura on the other hand are well-known physicists. Since I wrote most of the content of Spin wave, I am deeply biased. I don't want to get into a revert war with User:Anlace, who has already reverted my corrections once, but I think that the entire Spin_wave#Early_theoretical_research section should be removed. Someone else take a look and see what you think. Alison Chaiken 20:58, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

BTW, I notice that wikilinks to an article on C. Michael Hogan have also been added to Noise pollution by User:Anlace. Alison Chaiken 21:05, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

VFD Beyond the Standard Model underway

Is this is how wikipedia welcomes new professional physicists who use their valuable time to make contributions here? :(

Count Iblis 00:16, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

I've closed the debate as speedy keep, with a note that people should perhaps check with us here before declaring physics articles to be original research. ("Beyond the standard model" get 307,000 google hits, too!) -- SCZenz 07:00, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
That's a good move :) Count Iblis 23:55, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Category Astroparticle physics

Can anyone here create the new subcategory "Astroparticle Physics" of Particle Physics and put the articles SIMP and DAMA/NaI in there (and perhaps more if it is appropriate)? I am planning to write a few more articles that will fit in this category in the near future.Count Iblis 00:30, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

You can do it yourself by clicking on the following link: Category:Astroparticle physics. linas 03:36, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! Count Iblis 13:11, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Articles for the Wikipedia 1.0 project

Hi, I'm a member of the Wikipedia:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team, which is looking to identify quality articles in Wikipedia for future publication on CD or paper. We recently began assessing using these criteria, and we are looking for A-class, B-class, and Good articles, with no POV or copyright problems. Can you recommend any suitable articles? Please post your suggestions here. Cheers, Shanel 20:38, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

New stub template

I just suggested a condensed matter stub {{condensed-stub}} on the stub sorting project's site. It will be usefull since lots of lots of articles fit in it. Do you agree with the name? --Tone 23:04, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

A condensed-matter stub list will be useful to those of us mostly likely to work on the CMP articles, especially as more physicists become Wikipedians (I hope). I don't care what the name is as long as the identification of CMP is clear. Alison Chaiken 15:14, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

The template will be named condensedmatter-stub. Besides, I was thinking of creating a template for thermodynamics and statistical physics, since many articles fit into it also. And, in my stub sorting I am putting nuclear related stubs to particles, since it is the closest available and I don't know if it is worthy creating another template just for them. --Tone 19:48, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Scientific peer review

A scientific peer review has been started and we're looking for Wikipedians who are members of the scientific academic community to run for the board. If you want to give it a shot come over and post a little about yourself. New nominations are being accepted until the 00:00 on the 17th March.

The project aims to combine existing peer review mechanisms (Wikipedia peer review, featured article candidate discussion, article assessment, &c.) which focus on compliance to manual of style and referencing policy with a more conventional peer review by members of the scientific academic community. It is hoped that this will raise science-based articles to their highest possible standards. Article quality and factual validity is now Wikipedia's most important goal. Having as many errors as Britannica is not good–we must raise our standards above this. --Oldak Quill 18:18, 10 March 2006 (UTC) (copied from physics portal talk page -- SCZenz 18:34, 10 March 2006 (UTC))


Could someone have a look at the reaction (physics) article? I have flagged several statements which appear to be wrong but I am not confident enough to start removing them. Thanks. 08:20, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

I've reverted to the last correct versionCount Iblis 14:00, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. 03:52, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Please sign up on the participants list!

If you have this talk page on your watchlist, then you should add your name, field(s) of expertise and interests to the Wikipedia:WikiProject Physics/Participants page! I know there are some newcomers who haven't yet signed up, and I suspect there are some old-timers as well. linas 22:14, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

And if you have signed up, be sure that the sections on "areas of interest" and "expertise" are filled out as well. linas 01:20, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
It's on my watchlist, but I wouldn't consider myself an expert (my field is engineering, not physics). Thus, I'm not comfortable adding my name to the list. --Christopher Thomas 05:20, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

chemist needs help

Need somebody recalculating a number!

Depleted uranium and uranium trioxide are the area where a dispute is running wilde.

Uranium oxide was detected to have a vapour pressure of 107- at at 1500K or so (also giving a log p to 1/T plot from 1700 to 1000K). The fellow wikipedian now states that there must be plenty of uranium trioxide arround at room temperature. With the ideal gas law I tried to calculate the numbers of molecules in one cubic meter at standart conditions. This is only a good guess I know. Now I need somebody to take a look and state that this is more or less right or total bullshit at all.

Look at Ackermann equation in the talk:uranium trioxide!

Thanks for your help!--Stone 09:09, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Don't oversimplfy the dispute. Last I looked, it was not about vapor pressure, but about combustion dynamics, which is a lot more subtle. I'm sure that the vapor pressure of carbon black is huge, but in fact every candle produces it. You'll have a hard time arguing that burning uranium doesn't produce a little bit of this and such crazy compound. linas 01:30, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
The dispute is that simple! You arguing as with lamp black which is actaly a particle not a molecule! If you agree with this the dispute on the page is over!The particle can have his freedom and fly around for ever like normal dust! But if you start arguing that this is a molecule and as momo molecular gas than the dispute will be a cruel fight with chemistryproject chemicalsproject arbcom peerreview administrators and all people a can drag into the arena! The stubid uraniumoxide dust is simply there and as some idiots found it in the compustion dirt of kuwait tanks there is no chance that UO3 not part of compustion! The nonsense with the uraniumoxide molecules flying around for months is and will be the problem for ever, because arguments dont count.--Stone 07:06, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

--Stone 07:06, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

The problem, as we see demonstrated amply above, is that User:Stone and others who claim to be "experts" are in fact rude and crude and insulting. They may well be right on the technical issues; who knows. However, the debate is hard enough to follow, without having the self-proclaimed "good guys" spewing vitriol everywhere. Really, guys, please calm down, take a breather, and stop being obnoxious. James S. has made some good points. Deal with those instead of resorting to threats and ad-hominem. linas 01:58, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Speed of gravity

Has been listed in Pages needing attention. Please give it yours! --- CH 17:30, 23 March 2006 (UTC) (quitting arguing with cranks, but hoping others still have the energy/time)

User:Kopeikins, who is apparently in real life Sergei Kopeikin, has been editing the section of this article which deals with the controversy in which he is directly involved. Similarly for User:Tomvf.

In addition, User:Kopeikins has written some new articles which express his non-mainstream POV, which I'd hesitate to call cranky just yet, but in any case these articles need to be NPOVed to describe the current controversy more fairly and accurately:

I have to say that I feel that it is bad form for anyone to edit WP articles concerning a controversy in which he/she is directly involved. It would appear to be almost impossible for such a user to give a clearheaed and unbiased characterization of the controversy. ---CH 04:26, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Electrostatic generator

Could someone take a look at Electrostatic generator. Its described as An electrostatic generator is a mechanical device that produces continuous current. That seems a somewhat odd description to me. The article has seen a bit of Reddi, so may have some odd "facts" in it William M. Connolley 18:02, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Another physics stub proposal

Tone's recently proposed {{nuclearphysics-stub}} and Category:Nuclear physics stubs on WP:WSS/P. As semi-usual, the issues are what the likely population would be, whether to merge these into Category:particle physics stubs, whether to include nuclear technology stubs... Alai 00:51, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

List of physicists

Is this an article we want? I started adding missing links to the list and then reconsidered that the article duplicates existing categories. Alison Chaiken 05:56, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I once thought this way, too. It seems categories and lists serve different purposes, and many people find both helpful, in different ways. Karol 07:31, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Need another opinion on Drag (physics) merge

It has been suggested that Drag equation be merged with Drag (physics), but there hasn't been enough input on the idea. We could use at least another opinion or more. JabberWok 01:28, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Peer review Dark matter underway

I have already made my comments see here.

RfC: The Galaxy rotation problem

I need your help in mass spectrometry

I have a very interesting encounter with the mass spectrometry community. This community is dominated by analytical chemists and they firmly believe that mass spectrometers measure a physiscal quantity that is dimensionless and which they call m/z. Being a mass spectrometrist myself, I try to explain them that mass spectrometer actually measure a mass to charge ratio m/q which is not dimensionless. Being brain washed towards the dimensionless m/z for years, most of them have difficulties to make this change and therefore I made a special page about the m/z misconception. Now this page is under AfD. If you are interested in this issue, please visit the m/z misconception page and help vote on the corrsponding AfD page. Thanks, Kehrli 15:29, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

You might want to review WP:NOR. Articles in Wikipedia should only summarize external source material, not draw new conclusions and present them, even if they're true. --Christopher Thomas 05:25, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Post it to, where such things are allowed. GangofOne 05:11, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

"Disputed science" infobox formatting poll

I've started an informal poll here over whether this infobox should use bulletted or comma-delimited lists. It's a pretty trivial issue, but unfortunately only one version will look good with the way tables appear to work, so it's best to settle on one or the other as quickly as possible. --Christopher Thomas 05:41, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Rendering problem fixed, so this is now a non-issue. It took an embarassingly long time to clue into the obvious solution. --Christopher Thomas 05:21, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

New & interesting

Should they be merged together, with something else, or expanded? Tough call. Karol 08:28, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Actually the second is about as ignorantly put "quasi-religious co-opting of scientific concepts" but of metaphyics as defined by every philospher from Plato to Durant. 22:47, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I'll second that vote. They should not be merged. The first is a broad topic that includes Interpretation of quantum mechanics but also quantum logic and the philosophical implications of quantum mechanics (e.g. nondeterminism). The second is sociological.--J S Lundeen 23:21, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Here is last of chages of Quantum philosophy
    • (cur) (last) 08:38, 4 April 2006 Sandstein (#REDIRECTInterpretation of quantum mechanics - was content fork (WP:POVFORK) of that article, also original research.)
    • (cur) (last) 00:25, 4 April 2006 Karol Langner m (moved Quantum Philosophy to Quantum philosophy: only first word capitalized)
Note that 10 minutes after the question was asked by Karol, the page got redirected, I believe inappropriately. The comments after that were not commenting on the original page. GangofOne 05:05, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
That was the case, indeed. My question was valid for about twelve minutes. Karol 23:02, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Cycle theory

If anyone remembers this from the first time around, it's back again. Details at Wikipedia:Pages needing attention/Physics, and on the AfD page. --Christopher Thomas 04:26, 6 April 2006 (UTC)