kind of a sad weekend. the graduation of the dear friend Claudia reminds us that our phd years are transitory once again. considerations about the future and day dreams on exotic post graduation possibilities are mandatory, in these situations.
nevertheless it was a good week, and since through graduation, comes the disillusionment with the academia i am here to talk about our new past time activity Tolga Yarman. he is probably the biggest contemporary physics anomaly in the contemporary academia. Yarman is a professor in reactor engineering, but this doesn't stop his students to refer to him as a "physicist" (imagine! it has a symbolic value, a positive connotation!). not only due to the fact that he is supposedly a great lecturer but also he recently debunked general relativity -hold on- twice!
through publishing papers in non-peer reviewed conference proceedings and arXiv, he debunked general relativity and "showed" geometrical representation of gravity is unnecessary in explaining observables (like Mercur's precession, and gravitational redshift). these kinds of provocative science stunts are not unknown, especially if you are working on gravity, as my fellow phd student Peter noted, you get to learn about them through spam mails.
but the thing that was peculiar about Yarman is that he is notorious in publicity. right out of a feyerabendian distopia, Yarman uses every aspect possible to publicize his non-peer reviewed work. basically he had a press conference on december 2008 (call in turkish), and funnily enough a similar kind of press call happened one and a half year before in april 2007 (news in turkish). it turns out he didn't get enough attention hence the second conference.
he is currently self publicizing in wikipedia (by himself or through students) , so right now it is a great source to know what he and his "followers" think of himself.
"They have informed the public that the experiments achieved in November 2008 by Kholmetskii et al., in Minsk, clearly back up the approach architectured by Prof. Tolga Yarman, Prof. Metin Arik, Prof. Vladislav B. Rozanov, Prof. Alexander Kholmetskii, Prof. Garret Sobczyk, and Prof. Oleg Missevitch, thus disfavoring the General Relativity Theory, also allowing the quantization of the gravitational field, just like that of the electric field."
un-fucking-believably his reference to this paragraph is the press conference call of his current press conference. and the wiki article is a compilation of his recent "publications" and one turkish newspaper article.
if you are wondering why somebody would go in such an extreme for publicity, part of the answer lies on the fact that last year he tried to become the leader of the main opposition party in turkey the republican people's party (cumhuriyet halk partisi; chp) but failed. we can only assume that his ambition is still there, from his turkish homepage.
here are my critisms in sourtimes, in turkish unfortunately. but since he is continuing his notorious campaign i intend to give a through analysis in english here.