Category Archives: pseudoscience

Insanity from Tamil Nadu

This is probably one of the most bizarre cases of insane science. Sivasubramanian and Kalimuthu, both from Tamil Nadu, India, have published a number of truly exceptional papers. For instance, the 2009 paper published in “Nature and Science“(!) of Marsland Press, titled An easy experiment for dark matter. In it, the authors descibe the detection of dark matter in the form of dust particles being hit by a ray of sun light in an otherwise darkened room. The Discussion contains brain-squeezing sentences like “In our experiment, the pin pointed tiny particles might be clusters of dark matter [9 & 24]. If these particles are not clusters of dark matter, it must be either superstrings or gravitons“…. Of course – naturally!

The two references in the quote are URLs that doesn’t lead anywhere. In fact, all references in the paper are  URLs, most of them to popular science contents. Sivasubramanian is a faculty member of Dr. Mahalingam College of Technology and Engineering, which according to it’s website is affiliated to Anna University in Chennai.

In an other paper On Imaginary Numbers,  Sivasubramanian, Kalimuthu and Raghul Kumar attempts to prove that the imaginary number i is equal to –i. Their “result” stems from a simple miscalculation, which arises because the authors set 1 = √1 = i. However, this equally interesting relation goes without comment in the paper.

Of course, one must wonder if these papers constitute a deliberate hoax of the authors with the intent to highlight the miserable condition of the peer-review system and the apparent ease with which they can publish such obvious nonsense. However, the articles are crude, badly written and does in no way resemble the literary qualities or subtle humour of “Transgressing the boundaries” by Alan Sokal or other “proper hoaxes“.

ScienceInsanity will write a lot more about Sivasubramanian and Kalimuthu, as we have yet only scratched the surface. You can also read more here at Retraction Watch.

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