Today I received an e-mail containing the following question:
What is the apropriate [sic] way to spread my revoloutionary [sic] message on how to transform modern physics?
When you're at all in the public eye for physics, you get these sorts of requests on a fairly regular basis. I spoke a while back about a rather deft way cosmologist Sean Carroll discussed dealing with physics cranks. Still, this particular individual was polite, so I decided to respond at length, offering some of the insights taken from Carroll's earlier comments on this topic:
Not to be glib, but if you want to have the message taken seriously by the physics community, you'll need to get a doctorate in physics, so that you have a full and complete understanding of existing physics. You can then formulate your revolutionary framework within the language and terminology of the physics community as well as craft experiments that will provide evidence for your approach over the approaches of others. For example, how does your theory account for the array of fundamental particles which have been experimentally identified, as well as their individual properties? What sort of results does your theory predict for various types of particle collisions? That sort of thing.
If you are located near a university, another (less costly) option would be to contact the physics department there and see if they have any physics seminars that are open to the public. Researchers frequently present their findings at universities and going to these things (or to a more established scientific conference, but these things tend to be more costly) will give you an idea of the amount of rigor and detail that the physics community requires in presenting their results.
Consider a timeline of the major work by Albert Einstein:
- 1895 - Enters the Swiss Federal Polytechnic (i.e. begins rigorous study of physics)
- 1905 - Publishes initial inklings of special relativity, photoelectric effect, and Brownian motions; Earns PhD
- 1915 - Completes work extending special relativity into a full theory of gravity, general relativity
- 1919 - Observational evidence from an eclipse confirms Einstein's predictions; general relativity is largely accepted by the physics community
- 1921 - Albert Einstein receives a Nobel Prize for his work on the photoelectric effect
At best, the argument could be made that Einstein transformed physics after 10 years of intently studying physics, but if he'd never gone further than those original inklings of special relativity he wouldn't be remembered much today. Rather it took not only another decade of work, but rather about 15 more years of active engagement by a large segment of the physics community - Max Planck, Arthur Eddington, & Hermann Minkowski spring to mind immediately - in order to transform his correct intuitions into a workable theory.
The idea that anyone today would be able to do it with less effort than this is highly unrealistic and likely misguided.
One further note: The goal of going to physics seminars should genuinely be to learn about physics, not so that you can corner some poor unsuspecting postdoctoral student and explain to him or her how you're more clever than all of the brilliant physicists that they've spent the last decade or so of their life studying. This will not work. It's fine for you to strike up conversations and build relationships with physicists, but that relationship should be built from you trying to learn what they know. This tip from Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is useful here:
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."