|Demetrios Kalamidas: Prove me wrong or turn in your PhDs|
At about the same time Edmund Land, the inventor of polaroid film and the Polaroid camera, announced that he could produce full-color images with only two colors rather than the three colors required by the conventional models of color vision. Land had his best results with the color yellow and white. So, following Land's recipe, we made black and white transparencies thru the appropriate filters, then projected these two negatives thru two slide projectors one of whose lenses we covered with a yellow filter. And sure enough we found that, contrary to received belief, yellow and white light could produce blue, green and red sensations on our retinas. The colors were not faithful, but, by Zeus they were there!
That was in the 50s at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
A few years ago I was talking to a physics professor at a California university, which shall remain unnamed, about a preposterous parapsychology experiment called "autonomic presentiment" and wondered if any of the students in his school had tried to reproduce its results which seemed to show that certain physiological measures such as skin resistance or heart beat changed a few seconds before an emotional picture appeared on a computer but not when a calm picture appeared. Surely someone in the psychology department or the physics department would possess the intellectual curiosity, I guessed, to check out these preposterous claims.
"Intellectual curiosity?" my friend replied. "What's that? The only thing these students are looking for are good jobs."
Recently another preposterous claim appeared on the physics radar and attracted my attention. Demetrios Kalamidas, who graduated from CCNY and worked in laser labs, came up with a faster-than-light signaling scheme based on quantum optics. Kalamidas's scheme passed peer review and was published in the May 2013 issue of the Journal of the Optical Society of America B (an arXiv preprint is available here.) His proposal was received with a deafening silence.
Since I have some experience with FTL signaling schemes, I supposed that I could easily refute the Kalamidas proposal. I devised my own version of his scheme and after some effort was able to establish that (my version of the) Kalamidas scheme would not work. So far so good.
Armed with this comforting result, I reformulated the original Kalamidas scheme using my own notation and confidently proceeded to disprove it--without success. In fact I actually discovered a way to improve Kalamidas's scheme that raises his original fringe visibility from 9% to 22%. My paper (with the new improved FTL signaling scheme) is available here.
The Kalamidas experiment uses hardware found in every modern optics lab and every process Kalamidas cites has been achieved tho never in the combination he envisions. However before any hardware is actually assembled to test his claims, it is important to remember that a thought experiment is less expensive than a real experiment. And the conceptual elements needed to test Kalamidas's scheme inside the mind are available to most every physics graduate student, are openly published in every modern optics book and are present in extremely high concentration in the minds of hundreds of scientists working in modern optics labs around the world.
But months have gone by without a peep from the professionals.
The Kalamidas scheme is begging to be refuted. And thousands of people exist who are intellectually over-equipped to do so. But, if my unnamed professor of physics is right, then Demetrios Kalamidas need not worry. The one factor today's generation of physicists seems to be missing is this: sheer intellectual curiosity.
Prove me wrong, punk. Make my day.