Institutional Quackery

It may be difficult to separate "theory" from "application," but let''s see if this helps facilitate the discussion.
Joe Gayo
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Re: Institutional Quackery

Post by Joe Gayo » Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:56 am

I also contacted the editor and chief of IEEE and he said:

" If you have any formal comments you would like to send us, we would review and possibly publish them, giving the original author a chance to reply."

I think I might ...

Dan Knapp
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Re: Institutional Quackery

Post by Dan Knapp » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:50 pm


I would encourage you to write a letter to the editor listing your concerns with the paper. I think that would be a better forum than debating it here. In my experience, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science has been a reputable source, but it appears in this case that they didn't demand adequate rigor in documenting results. At risk of offending the engineering community, it has been my experience that even the best engineering journals demand much less documentation of results than journals in physics and other sciences. Indeed, I have often been frustrated that engineers often publish a result only as a meeting report and never follow up with a full paper. There seems to be a different publishing culture in this community probably driven by proprietary considerations. Publications often seem more for bragging rights than to truly share research results with the scientific community in sufficient detail to reproduce the work (which I firmly believe should be the universal standard).

I will now put on my helmet for the anticipated response by the engineers. (I am really of fan of engineers; I have a joint appointment in an engineering department.)


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Richard Hull
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Re: Institutional Quackery

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:44 pm

Late to reply here....Sorry 'bout that. Dan is right in that engineers, I was one, and engineering is all about making extant working things better, more efficient or to put forward new paths in practical engineering.
If the fusion process is ever made practical, it is the engineers and bean counters that will put the electricity at the outlet that the power companies and the consumers can afford to invest in and pay for. Physicists and engineers do their own thing. Specialist engineers can and do work with physicists in all areas of physics as the average physicist might have only a broad idea of how to make his theory or concept work into a physical embodiment. Hopefully, his engineer has risen to a level of understanding within physics to grasp a possible physical path to implement an experiment. They work in concert to get a viable proof via physical embodiment. Once the physicists and their assisting engineers have a working idea that is proven and "out there", clever engineers can really get to work to reduce the cost, size and increase the versatility to push it into the public domain.

Engineers must have a working model and proof of concept if they dare to publish new science in a Physics Journal and should not slip under the covers and publish physics in an engineering journal, perhaps relying on engineer readers not to ask questions at the advanced physics level of his paper.

As an old engineer, amateur scientist and with 20 years of reading physics and looking at what has been done and what is being done related to fusion, I have no real ideas of how to proceed to usable fusion, no pet theories, etc. I know that this is ostensibly the realm of the physicists, but I'm enough of a practiced engineer and fusioneer to come to my reluctant view regarding its being done, for value in the near future. As being attempted now, fusion efforts seem very wrong headed to me.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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