Thursday, 22 April 2010

Told you.

Wrote a paper on Gribov. It was sent to a latticist. Now I have to rewrite my paper and explain to the referee that his little torus isn't the be-all and end-all of QCD.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Escalating argument.

There's an amusingly barely-restrained argument going on over on Not Even Wrong about whether Gribov copies are of any importance at all. It seems that we have, very loosely:

"It's an important question and something is certainly going on there" from P. Woit,

"Yes they do" from P. Orland

"Nonsense! I wrote a book!" from N. Nakanishi,

"No, really, they do" from P.O. and

"NO! NO YOU FOOLS" from N.N.

It's a topic I'm interested in, so I'm following. We've almost reached boiling point. People are adressing each other using "Mr".

I'm aware that this blog has been... noticed. I strongly encourage comments on the above subject.

Oh, Lubos apparently has an opinion too, but I haven't read it because it probably involves sending those dirty Gribov copies back where they came from, or something.

Monday, 12 April 2010

ArXiv funnies.

Today on the arXiv, animals!

1004.2037, "Warped Penguins"
Csaba Csáki, Yuval Grossman, Philip Tanedo, Yuhsin Tsai

as well as

1004.1846 "Solar Chameleons"
Philippe Brax, Konstantin Zioutas

And the guy's called Brax! I want to be a Doctor Who villain...

Friday, 9 April 2010

Deliberately contentious review.

Here are samples of three reviews of my paper. Words have been tweaked for the sake of anonymity, the messages have not.

Reviewer #1: "This paper is sound and is sufficiently illuminating to deserve publication."

Reviewer #2: This paper is not suitable for publication. I am not an expert on subject though, so I might have missed the point. Review by an expert may lead to a different opinion.

Reviewer #3: Nobody doubts that the lattice gives the correct nonperturbative description of QCD.

So, one referee loves it, another admits he hasn't a clue what's going on, but rejects it, and his opinion apparently counts for something, while a third almost ignores the actual content of the paper because he thinks all the difficulties of QCD can be avoided if you just shove it on a lattice. The review spans a side of A4 which tells me only one thing -- we should all be lattice theorists.

Does anyone else doubt that the lattice is the best thing ever? Because, I'm sure it gets all the topology right. Absoloutely spot on. I'm sure that taking the incredibly complicated configuration space of QCD, with all its topology, you know, that thing which makes it different from QED, and replacing it with a box of discrete points is utterly fine. Oh yes. And I'm sure that at short distances spacetime is entirely equivalent to a not very finely grained euclidean 4-torus. That sounds totally reasonable.

How are you supposed to fight reviews like this?

Can you guess?

07Apr10 Reminder to referee [others sent (not shown) at 1-2 week intervals]
17Mar10 -- 23Mar10 Review request to referee; report received
17Mar10 Acknowledgment sent to author
17Mar10 Review request to referee; response not yet received
16Mar10 Correspondence (miscellaneous) sent to author

So, a referee reviews a high energy physics paper in under a week. There are only two options.

1. The referee is a mate of mine and has advised publication. This is doubtful since all the people likely to do this are co-authors of the paper.

2. The referee didn't bother reading the paper because he doesn't like me, or my collaborators, or the subject area in general, and has advised rejection. This is most likely. He could have declined to review the paper, but instead he will have had his spiteful fun by giving a heavily biased or uninformed opinion which it will be impossible to refute, because it has no scientific basis. Something like "this is an uninteresting area", or "they should have done it all on the lattice". He will probably end his review with something incredibly pompous like "The decision is final."