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warning: non-orthodox positions

Some comments about the publication of the cell lattice model

My article

I. Schmelzer, A Condensed Matter Interpretation of SM Fermions and Gauge Fields, arXiv:0908.0591

has been published in Foundations of Physics, vol. 39, nr. 1, p. 73 (2009), DOI 10.1007/s10701-008-9262-9.

For an ether theory, a publication in a peer-reviewed journal, moreover in a quite prestigious one as the Foundations of Physics, is an almost unbelievable success — referees are extremely hostile to ether theories (with some justification — almost all "ether theories" are really nonsense). Because the referee reports contain some first reactions of mainstream physicists to this theory, I have decided to publish them here:

It should be noted that I have avoided the e-word in the paper. I don't know if this has played a role for the publication. Only in the last step of the publication process, after the paper has been accepted for publication, I was asked to add some keywords. At this moment, I couldn't resist to include the e-word (ether) into the paper.


While the publication is new, many of the ideas are not new. The theory of gravity has been developed about ten years ago, and some of the ideas for the lattice model are also already quite old. I have not hidden them – they have been available on arXiv.org.

The reaction of the scientific mainstream can be described with a single word: ignorance.

A justification for ignorance: Increasing requirements

A method I have seen in many earlier reactions to my ether theories I have named increasing requirements: Whatever the state of the theory, one of the open problems can be taken as a justification for not taking the theory seriously. Because the reports nicely fit into this pattern, it seems worth to consider this pattern here. I remember several states of such reactions:

Given this pattern, I'm afraid the paper would have been rejected if I would have submitted the better, final, published version: The reviewers would have asked me to strengthen something else — the list of open problems is never empty — as a requirement for publication. And it is, of course, not clear if I would have been able to meet this requirement in sufficiently short time.

For my personal success, this pattern of ignorance for alternative approaches was even an advantage. I'm afraid that in a healthy scientific climate, open to alternative theories, most of the results which I have found during the last years would have been found by others. For me, it was necessary to learn more and more parts of modern physics, and my chances in a competition with those who already know these parts would have been minimal. The consequence of the climate of ignorance for alternatives was that I was left alone, without professional competitors, in the whole field of ether theory. So I had all the time of the world to find all these easily available results lying around in this field.

But there are lot's of problems left open. Some of them have, I'm sure, quite easy solutions as well – I simply don't see them. Maybe you see them? Some of them require techniques I yet have to learn. Maybe you already know them?