Retraction at Annals of Physics

Retraction Watch reports that Annals of Physics has removed a recently published article by Joy Christian, replacing it by a publisher’s note that just says:

“This article was erroneously included in this issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

The paper is available on the arXiv here. Christian’s affiliation in the abstract is listed as “Oxford”. This refers to the Einstein Centre for Local-Realistic Physics which is not at Oxford University, but at a location in the town that I think I unknowingly walked past on my way to go punting last week. The only person involved with the centre who lists an academic affiliation is Dr. Jay R. Yablon (MIT), who appears to be a patent attorney in Schenectady.

This story brings back memories of the Bogdanov affair of 2002, one aspect of which was the publication by the Bogdanovs in Annals of Physics of a paper that, as far as I could tell, made little sense. That paper was never removed or retracted. The editor-in-chief when the Bogdanov paper was accepted was Roman Jackiw. Frank Wilczek took over from him and said at the time that he was hoping to improve the journal’s standards. The current editor-in-chief is my Columbia colleague Brian Greene.

Comments are off since I would rather not host a discussion involving the merits of this paper. I haven’t tried to seriously read it, and don’t want to spend time doing so. In the Bogdanov case I spent (wasted…) a lot of time reading their papers, so felt comfortable discussing them, not about to do the same in this case.

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