Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The crackpot index - A simple method for rating potentially revolutionary contributions to physics

John Baez's crackpot index is a funny way to rate the theories often talked about in "alternative science" TV shows or books, or in undisclosed recipient emails in our mailbox, coming from the theorist du jour that boasts his/her new and revolutionary method that will change science forever.
A couple of examples (but I strongly suggest reading them all):
  • 5 points for using a thought experiment that contradicts the results of a widely accepted real experiment. 
  • 10 points for beginning the description of your theory by saying how long you have been working on it. (10 more for emphasizing that you worked on your own.)
  • 30 points for suggesting that Einstein, in his later years, was groping his way towards the ideas you now advocate. 
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