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Michi’s blog » This is me losing all faith in Non-Linear Analysis

 This is me losing all faith in Non-Linear Analysis

  • March 28th, 2006
  • 12:30 pm

A paper recently up on arXiv details the errors committed by an author of a paper in Non-Linear Analysis, who, by ignoring basic conditions of theorems manages to prove most of mathematics and substantial parts of physics inconsistent.

This is the second insufficiently reviewed paper at that Journal causing some sort of waves spreading as far as to me so far. The blogospheric and medial storm around the infamous “proof” by Elin Oxenhielm of the 16th Hilbertian problem a few years ago was, at the core, sparked from her getting the paper accepted at … right, Non-Linear Analysis … and taking this publication as a token that her results were in fact true and anyone critizising here were out to steal her credit.

Needless to say, with the density displayed thus far of crackpotism and sloppy publishing, I don’t think I’ll trust NLA for anything at all in the future.

3 People had this to say...

  • David
  • March 29th, 2006
  • 18:35

I was about to jump in with a spirited defence of nonlinear analysis, before I reread and discovered that you were referring to a journal of that name, and not the subject itself. :-)

I think you’re doing Elin Oxenhielm some slight disservice in comparing her to this paper. She was certainly wrong, but nothing I’ve read suggests that she was crackpot level wrong. She simply had a somewhat suspect proof which, upon trying to fill out the details to a satisfactory level, turned out to be wrong. The article being commented on in this arxiv post simply looks like sheer crackpottery.

(Which really doesn’t look good for the journal that accepted it. I wonder who was asleep on the job for that one to happen…)

  • Michi
  • March 29th, 2006
  • 18:52

Actually, I wouldn’t compare Elin handsdown to this – its more that the journal is building a history of very sloppy review. The Oxenhielm case is one instance – but her crackpottery didn’t lie in her paper, but rather in her reaction to criticism. (I was sitting more or less at point zero during the whole story; and have met her several times at the university….)

It’s good to see you online btw. I kinda miss you @ IRC.

  • David
  • March 29th, 2006
  • 20:21

In which case I’ll defer to your superior judgement about her behaviour. I was vaguely aware that she hadn’t reacted well to criticism, but I hadn’t realised it was that bad. But yes, I see your point about the journal being rather sloppy in its reviwing practices.

Good to know I’m missed. :-) Sorry for running out on you lot like that, but I felt that it had to be done. It’s not been easy: I often reflexively reach for the ssh command to log on to EFNet again.

On a related note, I’m not sure I have any contact details for you other than this blog! We should exchange email addresses, and/or messenger details. (My email is , microsoft messenger address is ).

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