Evaluating Theories of Physics

After reading about new theories of physics, as available for example from ResearchGate(11), I am often asked by the authors for an opinion of their work. But it is difficult to find the necessary time to read, comprehend and evaluate a new theory of physics. 


In selecting papers to read, I am looking for material to supplement my own research interests and so select papers offering new perspectives of physics that may help merge the fundamentals of physics into a more unified theory of physics. For the initial evaluation, I look at how a new theory can be linked to the results of my own research on a unified theory(12)Using my theory in form of a virtual research template, I paste the template over the new theory, selecting the best fit possible, and usually find this helps to quickly identify how the new theory fits with my more unified theory of physics that complies with the fundamentals of physics.


Other important aspects to check include Does the new theory apply to a specific narrow discipline or preferably work with multiple fields of physics? and Has the author discriminated between the true fundamentals of physics and any of his own assumptions and those of popular paradigms that may not be true?


It takes determination and considerable time to immerse oneself into a new theory of physics and this makes the evaluation of a new theory a formidable task. Evaluating anyone’s research is initially limited by a lack of time and for this reason I am unable to express a serious opinion on the research of others and likewise I can’t really expect others to evaluate my own theories. 


However, where the initial evaluation finds aspects of a new theory of relevance to my own research, then further analysis follows. I have to find out how the new and my own theories may merge into a more unified theory of physics. In such cases I welcome the opportunity to talk to the author(s) of the new theory.


Related to the issue of evaluating new theories of physics is the well documented roles of the physics establishment and scientific journals in controlling physics research and the publication of results(13). This control of research presumes having a group of physicists working together on the same subject developing and cross checking their ideas. But as Anita Mehta(14) comments “… a group of physicists working together will surely tend towards “replicating, criticizing, and refining” while an individual is better positioned to “dream, imagine and create”.


As a further example, a renowned professor of theoretical physics in London wrote of my research “… my initial reaction to what I have seen of your synopsis is one of deep scepticism … Over the years I have seen a considerable number of attempts (by amateurs) to rewrite the fundamentals of physics. None of them has so far convinced me …” However later he wrote: “I've now had a chance to read your synopsis. But it isn't easy to answer your questions. I haven't found anything that obviously contradicts any known physics … “. The “by amateurs” comment from the professor underlines the change in physics over the past 100 years. Today the expectation is that only a group of professional physicists will be involved in theoretical physics research, while back in Einstein’s era of 1916 all advances in physics were achieved “by amateurs”. The critical question is: Who do we expect to take the time necessary and be responsible for Evaluating Theories of Physics?



(9) Alan Clark, 2017, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.29674.41922 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320331692_Developing_new_perspectives_of_physics

(10) Physics in 5 Dimensions, Alan Clark, 2017, 496 pages, Winterwork, Borsdorf, ISBN: 978-3-96014-233-1

(11) ResearchGate (RG) is a professional network for scientists and researchers. Over 15 million members from all over the world use it to share, discover and discuss research.

(12) Physics in 5 Dimensions – ISBN: 978-3-96014-233-1 / PDF available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266794606_Physics_in_5_Dimensions_Bye_bye_Big_Bang

(13) Developing new perspectives of physics looks at some of the issues of physics establishment control – see https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320331692_Developing_new_perspectives_of_physics

(14) Lance Nizami - Physics: A calling or assembly line - Physics Today · November 2008 - DOI: 10.1063/1.4796689 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275140659


The Book by Alan ClarkPhysics in 5 Dimensions - is also available as a PDF file to members of ResearchGate here.