Science trash-talk

Science trash-talk

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8 thoughts on “Science trash-talk

    • I’m not a condensed matter physicist (CMP) but I had just interviewed one that day. He explained to me that, in order to make a preliminary model for condensed matter, sometimes CMPs begin with a 2D system rather than 3D. Hence, “thin”. That’s what I got from that. No need to get mad.

      I have nothing against Wikipedia. I love it. But it shouldn’t be taken as an authority for scientific work.

      I hope this answers your queries. Thanks for commenting!

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      • Well, I didn’t exactly get mad, just sort of “what does that even mean?” Anyway, yes indeed CMPs sometimes do that. They also solve 1D systems, which shouldn’t really work but it sometimes does. And there even are methods where they go to higher dimensions and then claim that the results apply to 3D systems. And then they get it published. In peer-reviewed journals, too. It’s a crazy world we live in… What I don’t understand here is what does that have to do with “modelling particle interactions”? Usually you know how the particles interact and what you’re trying to find out is how does that affect different physical quantities. And if you’re scaling a system to lower dimensions it’s usually because it simplifies the calculations, which lets you understand the problem better in shorter time.

        Well, of course Wikipedia is not an authority on scientific work. It’s a crowd-sourced encyclopedia. It’s a good preliminary reference to get acquainted with an unfamiliar topic. But I have yet to encounter a scientific paper which cites Wikipedia as a source. Furthermore, I don’t subscribe to the view that Wikipedia articles have “many unsupported claims”. They are mostly well written and extensively referenced. Sure, there may be some simplifications on account of the mostly laymen audience, but generally it’s on the level of a decent general purpose textbook.

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