How risky or controversial is my work on mirror matter theory?

To demonstrate the risky or controversial aspects of my work on mirror matter theory, I’d like to share more comments extracted from various review reports from the expert physicists when refereeing my work. See here for early comments on my work. Clearly, the controversies are getting escalated on my new work on a dynamical view of the Universe as even relatively open-mined arXiv decided to deny my submission (see here). The list of the following review comments is sort of in the order from positive to negative.

  • Example 1:

This subject is a hot topic, and the results are very interesting in light of future experimental measurements for the light quark sector.

  • Example 2:

A reviewer’s comment “In all cases, the author requires \(V_{us}=0.22333(60)\) from \(K_{l3}\) decays. That error is smaller than generally assumed” is incorrect, and the uncertainty in the article is correct. The other uncertainties are also reasonable values.

[Note: this is an example of cases that one reviewer disagrees with another]

  • Example 3:

The manuscript proposes to explain the discrepancy between bottle and beam determinations of the neutron lifetime by assuming that neutrons oscillate into mirror neutrons. In contrast to previous \(n-n’\) oscillation proposals, this manuscript considers fast oscillations — the figure of merit here is that the oscillation period is very small compared to any time scale e in any of the relevant experiments, say \(10^{-9}\) sec (for an energy difference between \(n\) and \(n’\) of \(\sim 10^{-6}\) eV) as opposed to previous proposals that have an oscillation period or order 1 sec.

The manuscript is well written, at least up to the point where Big Bang nucleosynthesis is discussed. It gives a good overview for the background and explains clearly what is being proposed. I have no comments on the latter part of the manuscript, on nucleosynthesis, as I did not read it carefully because of the concerns I raise below.

[Note: technical details for the concerns are omitted here]

The problem with this is that this is the wrong estimate …. This is a clever idea, but it does not work.

[Note: the referee’s concerns were later proved to be a simple mistake by the referee as agreed by the editor in his email “the reviewer that had made an elementary mistake in the statistical interpretation”]

  • Example 4:

Indeed I have been looking for some time at this manuscript and others by the same author … I found his initial effort to explain via \(n–>n’\) mixing the “neutron lifetime anomaly” original and interesting. I feel now that the present paper and others using new variants of the Mirror model to explain the baryon to DM ( i.e, mirror nuclei ) ratio , the baryon to entropy ratio, the small cosmological constant, the natural-ness (small Higgs mass/ Vev) and possibly also the Higgs/ top mass ratio and lighter quarks mass pattern – rather over-reaching.

  • Example 5:

    [Note: buckle up for much more negative ones from here on]

While the paper contains interesting novel ideas, none of them appear to be based on actual computations. And overall, the manuscript draws some unfounded conclusions and it remains highly speculative.

  • Example 6:

The entire analysis is based on an unpublished model by the author, arXiv:1902.01837, which so far has only attracted rather limited attraction in the community (the only citations are by the author himself). Too little detail about the model is given in the manuscript to judge its validity.

[Note: shortly after this review, the referred paper got published in Phys. Lett. B 797, 134921 (2019); this is exactly the work of a referee for a new piece of work to provide comments instead of waiting for the community’s feedback]

[Note: after knowing the publication of the model, the same referee repeated the same comment in a later report as quoted below]

“… the model in question being very essentially unknown in the community (I insist on this point) …”

  • Example 7:

Although I personally find the topic of your work interesting, I believe that your results would be of rather limited interest to the astrophysics research community as a whole, and therefore your manuscript does not qualify for fast publication as a Letter.

[Note: proposing a new theory of star evolution is not significant enough for astrophysics research, really?]

  • Example 8:

To me, however, the paper reads like a collection of indications being interpreted on a very qualitative level in terms of the model of the authors. There is too much of a speculative interpretation of the data done in the manuscript. And none of the remaining true puzzles of UHECR physics is really solved … Predictions, which could be confirmed or rejected by observations, would make the work very valuable.

[Note: ironically, I did provide predictions that can be tested under current technology.]

  • Example 9:

I consider the model as extremely speculative and not well justified. It seems to me that the author tries to solve problems that either don’t really exist or could be explained much more naturally with conventional physics. Moreover, his discussion of the need for neutron oscillations with a mirror world is at a very qualitative level, not really suited for a scientific publication that could possibly justify such a far-reaching new theory and the many implications.

[Note: how come does one consider a rather exact model with fairly well defined parameters very qualitative, especially in light of proposed experiments and predictions ready to be tested]

  • Example 10:

My first comment is that the dark energy problem of the Standard Model
is misrepresented: it is not only an issue with the Higgs vev, but also with all possible contributions to the vacuum energy (loop contributions, constant terms in the Lagrangian, zero-point energy, etc) … Other parts of the paper are also flawed … In summary I find the paper seriously flawed.

[Note: it seems to me that the referee was confused with what vacuum energy really is]

  • Example 11:

I insist that extension of the CKM mixing to mirror quarks has no physical meaning … I do not understand the meaning of words that “no quark-mirror quark mixing exists at one particle level — what it means the CKM mixing at many-particle level? … I keep to think that this manuscript incorrectly imposes the problem, the suggested “solution” is meaningless

  • Example 12:

This is perfectly meaningless … Another strange moment is related to neutron-mirror neutron mixing … the rest of the paper author demonstrates that he has incorrect understanding of the neutron lifetime problem and related issues.

[Note: for most biased referees, their logic seems to be that, you are not a significant figure in the field, and your model is too good to be true, so your work must be wrong.]

Author: Wanpeng Tan

I share my ideas and thoughts mainly about mirror matter theory and open science on this blog. Under the new theory, we live in the universe with a mirror (hidden) sector of particles. A perfectly imperfect (minimally broken) mirror symmetry is the key to unlock the beauty and elegance of our universe. Click on the menu links for a popular introduction, a technical summary, and list of my papers on the new mirror matter theory.

2 thoughts on “How risky or controversial is my work on mirror matter theory?”

  1. I am a biologist [not a physicist] (b 1943) with an interest in the mirror matter theory.
    For 20 years I have waited for its solution. I hope you will solve it!
    Your new cosmological model based on SM3 is very interesting.
    I wish you Good Luck!
    Hans Elvesjö

Comments are closed.