For some reason, physics has more than its fair share of crackpots fringe scientists: those misunderstood tormented souls whose genius goes unnoticed by mainstream physicists. I once received a homemade "press release" from a guy who claimed the universe was made entirely of styrofoam balls. But by far the favorite target for such folks is the theory of relativity. The receipt of any missive beginning, "EINSTIEN WAS WRONG AND MY THEORY PROVES IT!!!" invariably causes most physicists to discard said missive in the nearest trash receptacle. But what about the rest of us? How do we know if Harry Brained's new theory is bogus, or a truly revolutionary piece of work?
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