Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Physics Prof Publishes Paper From Prison

Motl notes that Paul Frampton, a physics professor incarcerated on drug mule charges in Argentina, which he claims are the result of being duped by real drug dealers, has had a "no excuses" attitude and published a theoretical physics paper while incarcerated. Despite his academic productivity in these adverse conditions and the notion that one is innocent until proven guilty:

Five days ago, a North Carolina judge endorsed the decision of University at Chapel Hill not to pay Paul his salary. Most people at UNC believe he is innocent.
The pre-print at arxiv is "Three Generations in Minimally Extended Standard Models," Paul H. Frampton, Chiu Man Ho, Thomas W. Kephart (Submitted on 21 May 2012) with the following abstract:
We present a class of minimally extended standard models with the gauge group $SU(3)_C \times SU(N)_L \times U(1)_X$ where for all $N \geq 3$, anomaly cancelation requires three generations.
At low energy, we recover the Standard Model (SM), while at higher energies, there must exist quarks, leptons and gauge bosons with electric charges shifted from their SM values by integer multiples of the electron charge up to $ \pm [N/2] e$. Since the value N=5 is the highest $N$ consistent with QCD asymptotic freedom, we elaborate on the 3-5-1 model.
The body of the paper notes some of the new particles that this model would predict: "The corresponding new gauge bosons (Y ++, Y +), (Y −−, Y ) and Z, as well as the exotic quarks
D(Q = 4/3 ) and T (Q = +5/3 ) are predicted to have masses [less than roughly] 4 TeV."
I doubt that this will turn out to be correct, but Frampton, et al. deserve credit for offering up a model with predictions that are clearly falsifiable in the foreseeable future that isn't contrary to current evidence.

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