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How To Handle Random Manuscripts May 31, 2006

Posted by gordonwatts in physics life.
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Anyone who is associated with a physics department (i.e. your email address is on some physics department web page) gets emails with subject headings like “The uncertainty principle is untenable!”. I usually ignore these. Apparently, not everyone does. Some people take enough time to formulate responses. For example, the equivalent in the math department are emails purporting to factor very large numbers quickly. The proper response:

Thank you for your fascinating manuscript on the factorization of large numbers. There are some numbers that have been giving me difficulty of late. I would be most appreciative if you could use your technique to factor this one for me.

There is also a great proof that you can go faster than the speed of light!

Comments»

1. Nate Bottman - May 31, 2006

That’s great!

2. The Quantum Pontiff » My Dream Scam - May 31, 2006

[…] Gordon Watts over at Life as a Physicist describes a cool response to (crank) manuscripts purporting to factor large numbers. This reminds me of a scam I once dreamed up. The scam would consist of an email like the one here: Dear sir or madam! […]


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