Implementation of an improved review procedure for high-risk high-reward funding programs

As far as risks are concerned, there seems to be a consensus view on general funding strategies from different funders: government funding agencies tend to fund low-risk proposals while private foundations, at least in principle, should fund more of those so-called high-risk high-reward projects. Unfortunately, these high-risk high-reward funding programs, in their actual practice, often utilize similar measures that have been applied for funding main-stream or low-risk projects. Here, an improved review procedure for such programs will be tentatively proposed, which will be easy to implement and meanwhile biased properly toward high-risk, potentially paradigm-shifting proposals.

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An invited review: neutron lifetime anomaly and mirror matter theory

It still feels like yesterday. Almost exactly four years ago, also around Chinese New Year, I finished my first paper (or to be exact, two) on the new mirror matter theory. Now I just finished my first invited review paper, which exactly details the original motivations on solving the puzzles of neutron lifetime in my first published paper. It feels like I just completed the circle. So many thanks for Dr. Ben Grinstein’s invitation. I’ve been trying to write a review on mirror matter theory and related experiments and observations for a long time. But it never came through. Ben’s invitation has really pushed me to finish this review paper earlier. It is not the full review paper I have imagined, but still a very important part of it. It focuses on the unique perspectives in the analysis of the neutron lifetime anomaly and the CKM unitarity issue, which have been mostly overlooked by the mainstream. It does not present the full picture and details of mirror matter theory. Instead, it gives the details of the phenomenological $n-n’$ oscillation model, and presents exactly how it can explain the above puzzles and how we can test its unique predictions in laboratory experiments.

Here is the paper: Neutron lifetime anomaly and mirror matter theory

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A new milestone paper on mirror matter theory

After procrastinating for almost a year, I finally finished this paper. It is going to be recognized as a new milestone on mirror matter studies. In particular, amazing connections between string theory and new supersymmetric mirror models are established. Mirror symmetry as a fundamental concept is deeply examined. Based on mathematical results from string theory, we can finally put these mirror models on a firmer and self-consistent ground and can really explain an impressive list of puzzles in fundamental physics and cosmology. Without further ado, here it is:

First experimental work to test my mirror oscillation model

The first experimental paper by BESIII collaboration (motivated under new mirror oscillation model) has just been published: Search for invisible decays of the Λ baryon. It was the first direct test of my idea on neutral hadron oscillations. It gives an upper limit of the invisible decay branching fraction for the Λ baryon: <7.4×10−5 , which is consistent with my model. Unfortunately, it is not sensitive enough yet to reach the level of my prediction in the new model: 4.4×10−7. I hope that more experimental works will be coming on invisible decays of other hadrons like K0L and K0S. I wish that people in the business of neutron lifetime measurements could have done much more convincing tests earlier.

Human rights of persons of Chinese origin in US

I have always admired  great efforts by S. B. Woo, president of 80-20 Educational Foundation (, who has been standing up and fighting for Asian Americans. Recent trends of a new type of McCarthyism have been disrupting the academic world in US. In particular, too many scientists of Chinese descent have been wrongly charged and their human rights have been grossly violated due to repeated wrong doings of FBI. Below is the open letter by Dr. Woo asking for protection of the rights of Chinese Americans in US and it will appear as a full-page ad at the back page of Section A of Wall Street Journal and Politico on Feb. 10 (Thursday). It does not even include the most recent case against Dr. Gang Chen, an MIT professor, which was just dropped a few days ago. A more readable text version of the letter can be seen here.

Support scientific startups for transformative research

We discussed how we should fund high-risk high-reward proposals of novel ideas, proposing a new review system for transformative research. Here we continue to talk about how startup scientists, who originate most of the disruptive ideas as history has shown, should be supported. The business world has an effective system of venture capital and angel investment for fostering risky startup companies. The academic community can certainly learn from their experience.

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A new review system for high-risk high-reward scientific proposals

Scientific advancement includes two types: one is incremental and the other is transformative. The incremental one is typically consists of conservative small improvements based on widely agreed frameworks or principles. Obviously, effort of this type is easy to gain support from the community. Contrarily, the transformative one involves disruptive / unorthodox ideas which more often lie outside of the box of our collective thinking or even break some existing principles. Not surprisingly, these kind of so-called high-risk / high-reward ideas and studies are difficult to get funded, especially in the beginning. To balance both types of efforts, open science practices are in need.

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A crackpot’s counter-statement

Some physicists have labeled me as a crack pot when considering my works on the new theoretical framework of mirror matter theory. However, I disagree in the spirit of scientific principles. With three papers published in esteemed journals, seven invited seminars by unrelated people (or more than 10 in total), and grant-seeking in collaboration with several different groups, I don’t think that it is fair to categorize my work on this topic as crackpottery. It is not, especially when considering the unique concrete predictions from my new model that can be readily tested in the laboratory using existing technologies.

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New blog to continue my mission on open science and mirror matter theory

Under enormous pressures, I had to close my former blog hosted at Notre Dame. This is my new blog site that contains all my previous posts and articles. And I will continue my advocacy of open science principles and studies on the new mirror matter theory. I wish that the right of academic freedom and freedom of speech would not have to be such a luxury, at least in the United States. Join me if you believe in freedom and openness in both science and society.

Future of the new mirror matter theory

The new mirror matter theory has only a very rough framework with many of its aspects waiting to be greatly improved and further developed as a nascent research direction. In particular, its mathematical rigor and foundations have yet to be established. Relevant new mathematical tools and approaches are desired to be implemented in the new theory. Theoretical efforts in the past several decades on fundamental physics, especially on topological quantum field theory, string theory, and quantum gravity, need to be merged into the new theoretical framework under the guidance of the newly proposed first principles. Most importantly, the neutral hadron oscillation effects predicted by the new theory are ready to be experimentally tested in laboratory, and it is time for more observation and simulation works in astronomy and cosmology under the consideration of the new theory to be conducted.

As presented below, I’d like to say a few words on the future direction of the new theory to interested mathematicians and physicists.

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