Fools this year...?

Discussion related to specific recent arXiv papers
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Thomas Dent
Posts: 26
Joined: November 14 2006
Affiliation: ITP Heidelberg

Fools this year...?

Post by Thomas Dent » April 07 2008

There was one obvious April Fool: 0803.4378. (Perhaps we can count something by Max Tegmark which arrived a day too late, but that didn't even attempt to fool anyone.)

But in our regular Monday meeting today in Heidelberg we uncovered quite some papers that look like very well disguised Fools. They don't have any obvious jokes or giveaways, but the subjects are so outlandish or unlikely that the seriousness is in doubt.

First 0803.4293, 'Planets and Dark Energy' by Gibson and Schild. The authors have their own private theory of cosmology:

"An accumulation of evidence in a variety of frequency bands from a variety of very high resolution and highly sensitive modern telescopes leaves little doubt that the dark matter of galaxies is primordial planets in proto-globular-star-cluster clumps..."

"Dark matter planet dimming errors account for the SNe Ia overestimate (T=15.9 Gyr) of the age of the universe [27] and dark energy dimming of SNe Ia events, as described by Fig. 8. Dark energy is an unecessary and incorrect hypothesis from HGD..."

Next 0803.4335, 'The Universe as an Inside-Out Star' by Crowe, Moss and Scott. On closer inspection this seems to be a mostly serious analogy between CMB and helioseismology, a nice pedagogical exercise but apparently without any notable consequences, since the differences are overwhelming compared to the similarities.

Then 0804.0227 'Fourier time transform of the redshifting CMB waves: on the observability of hourly `beat' signatures as a means of determining the Hubble constant' by R.Lieu. This actually appeared on the 2nd, so technically it should not be a fool. But I can't understand either the conclusion or the observational consequences. It seems to say that the intensity of CMB shouldbe pulsed with a period of about an hour... would that not already have had consequences for observations??

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