Thursday, July 06, 2006

Stupid Title List

Today, the arxiv gave me a new candidate for my Stupid Title List. Since we have been listing the last some days, here is another list. If you have futher suggestions, let me know :-)

  1. 10 = 6 + 4
    Author: Frank Tony Smith
    arXiv: hep-th/9908205
  2. log(M_Pl/m_3/2)
    Authors: Oscar Loaiza-Brito, Johannes Martin, Hans Peter Nilles, Michael Ratz
    arXiv: hep-th/0509158

  3. Brane Big-Bang Brought by Bulk Bubble
    Authors: Uchida Gen, Akihiro Ishibashi, Takahiro Tanaka
    Journal-ref: Phys.Rev. D66 (2002) 023519
    arXiv: hep-th/0110286

  4. The axis of evil
    Authors: Kate Land, Joao Magueijo
    arXiv: astro-ph/0502237
    Journal-ref: Phys.Rev.Lett. 95 (2005) 071301

  5. Local Pancake Defeats Axis of Evil
    Authors: Chris Vale
    arXiv: astro-ph/0509039

  6. Why Eppley and Hannah's Experiment Isn't
    Author: James Mattingly
    arXiv: gr-qc/0601127

  7. A Fly in the SOUP
    Authors: R. Holman, L. Mersini-Houghton
    arXiv: hep-th/0511112

  8. Waking the Colored Plasma
    Authors: Jörg Ruppert, Berndt Müller
    arXiv: hep-ph/0503158
  9. Much ado about nothing: a treatise on empty and not-so-empty spacetimes
    Authors: Damien Martin

  10. Unhiggsing the del Pezzo
    Authors: Bo Feng, Sebastian Franco, Amihay Hanany, Yang-Hui He
    arXiv: hep-th/0209228

  11. The Sybils' Advice on Charm (and tau Leptons)
    Authors: I.I. Bigi
    arXiv: hep-ph/0604038

  12. X & Y
    Authors: L. Maiani, F. Piccinini, A.D. Polosa, V. Riquer
    arXiv: hep-ph/0512082
  13. New Regions for a Chameleon to Hide
    Authors: Baruch Feldman, Ann E. Nelson
    arXiv: hep-ph/0603057
  14. Cosmological Supersymmetry Breaking and the Power of the Pentagon: A Model of Low Energy Particle Physics
    Author: T. Banks
    arXiv: hep-ph/0510159
  15. Remodeling the Pentagon After the Events of 2/23/06
    Authors: T. Banks
    arXiv: hep-ph/0606313
  16. Cosmic Strings - Dead Again?
    Author: Mark Hindmarsh
    arXiv: hep-ph/9806469

  17. Brane New World
    Authors: S.W. Hawking, T. Hertog, H.S. Reall
    Journal-ref: Phys.Rev. D62 (2000) 043501
    arXiv: hep-th/0003052

  18. Cloudshine: New Light on Dark Clouds
    Authors: Jonathan B. Foster, Alyssa A. Goodman
    Journal-ref: Phys.Rev. D62 (2000) 043501
    arXiv: astro-ph/0510624

  19. The Skyrmion strikes back: baryons and a new large N_c limit
    Authors: Aleksey Cherman, Thomas D. Cohen
    arXiv: hep-th/0607028
  20. How Bob Laughlin Tamed the Giant Graviton from Taub-NUT space
    Authors: B.A.Bernevig, J. Brodie, L. Susskind, N. Toumbas
    Journal-ref: JHEP 0102 (2001) 003
    arXiv: hep-th/0010105

  21. The Battle of Albuera, the FC Liverpool and the Standard Model
    Authors: I.I. Bigi
    arXiv: hep-ph/0603087

  22. Nutty Bubbles
    Authors: A.M. Ghezelbash, R.B. Mann
    Journal-ref: JHEP 0209 (2002) 045
    arXiv: hep-th/0207123

  23. Nuttier Bubbles
    Authors: Dumitru Astefanesei, Robert B. Mann, Cristian Stelea
    Journal-ref: JHEP 0601 (2006) 043
    arXiv: hep-th/0508162

  24. Deconstructing Noncommutativity with a Giant Fuzzy Moose
    Authors: Allan Adams, Michal Fabinger
    Journal-ref: JHEP 0204 (2002) 006
    arXiv: hep-th/0111079

  25. Escape From The Menace Of The Giant Wormholes
    Authors: Sidney R. Coleman, Ki-Myeong Lee
    Journal-ref: Phys. Lett. B 221:242,1989

  26. Superbanana Orbits in Stellarator Geometries
    Authors: J. A. Derr, J. L. Shohet
    Journal-ref: Phys. Rev. Lett. 43, 1730–1733 (1979)

  27. The mother of all protocols: Restructuring quantum information's family tree
    Authors: Anura Abeyesinghe, Igor Devetak, Patrick Hayden, Andreas Winter
    arXiv: quant-ph/0606225

  28. Walking in the SU(N)
    Authors: Dennis D. Dietrich, Francesco Sannino
    arXiv: hep-ph/0611341

  29. Higgs Pain? Take a Preon!
    Authors: J.-J. Dugne, S. Fredriksson, J. Hansson, E. Predazzi
    arXiv: hep-ph/9709227

  30. The Matrix Reloaded - on the Dark Energy Seesaw
    Authors: Kari Enqvist, Steen Hannestad, Martin S. Sloth
    arXiv: hep-ph/0702236

  31. A New Dimension Hidden in the Shadow of a Wall
    Author: Nemanja Kaloper
    arXiv: hep-th/0702206

  32. Decapitating Tadpoles
    Authors: Allan Adams, John McGreevy, Eva Silverstein
    arXiv: hep-th/0209226

Please note that I have not read most of the above papers, and I am not judging on the scientific content of these works.

Will be updated from time to time. Last update: Feb 28th 2007


  1. I once gave a seminar at Santa Cruz entitled "Some Interesting Positions in the Kama Sutra of Topological Defects." Michael Dine introduced me, but refused to say the title out loud.

  2. What about hep-th/0304224 which came out roughly the same time as the movie? Or hep-th/0010105? Many people use catchy seminar titles as those are more informal.

  3. Hope you only read the titles, and not filled your Mind, with junk which then has to be sent to recycle bin.

    Mind you, you know what they say: "Never Judge A Book by its cover"

  4. Well, Tony (#1 in the list) is always around in the net, surely he will notice this thread. I think he was blacklisted from the arxiv after this title went out.

  5. Great list!

    Some of my favourites are titles with "phantom" in it, like:

    Can dark energy evolve to the phantom?

    Phantom dark energy, cosmic doomsday, and the coincidence problem.

    Perhaps they are not so "stupid" because Phantom is an accepted name for the model. But try showing the titles to a non-physicist and then convincing him that physicists aren't nuts.

    But the one that takes the cake (or is it the pancake?) is without a doubt:

    Local pancake defeats axis of evil

  6. How about

    "String Theory, Universal Mind, and the Paranormal"


  7. Dear Bee,

    What is wrong with 10 = 6 + 4?

    M-theory says 10 = 11 while QCD counts the gluon combinations as 3 x 3 = 8.

    Perhaps my maths is obsolete.

    Best wishes,


  8. There are also titles which can be very misleading: for example, when scanning the arxive for information about dibaryons, I came across this paper:

    hep-th/0305048: Dibaryon Spectroscopy

    I may have been warned that it was in hep-th, but you can imagine that it was not exactly what I was looking for...

  9. I I Bigi will be disappointed, his titles deserve to be in the list.

  10. Hi Leuciopo, Hi Anon,

    there is nothing wrong with 4+6 = 10 as far as I can see. I mean, as you say, it could have been worse, like Pi^2~10 or so. He was banned from the arXiv because of the TITLE of the paper?

    Hi anonymous,

    I have not included any papers from the physics arxiv, there are too many with weird titles.

    To the others: thanks! I have updated the list. I especially like the pancake :-)



  11. Particle physicists are obsessed with penguins,
    "Vicious mutant space alien nuclear holocaust penguin complicities," 17 references.

    Either way, "mostly harmless."

  12. I know you're all too young to remember, but "Escape from the Menace of the Giant Wormholes" (Coleman and Lee, 1989) really does deserve a spot. Those were the days.

  13. Tom Banks again - hep-th/0211160

    Heretics of the false vacuum: Gravitational effects on and of vacuum decay. 2.

    Presumably: Return of the Heretics! He has copied the sensible part of the title from Coleman-de Luccia.

    Also, I vividly remember a sentence from an abstract of a paper:

    "The Killing fields are on the horizon"

    which makes perfect sense in differential geometry! But I can't find the preprint any more.

  14. This from today's arxiv:

    hep-ph/0607062 [abs, ps, pdf, other] :
    Title: An AdS/CFT Calculation of Screening in a Hot Wind
    Authors: Hong Liu, Krishna Rajagopal, Urs Achim Wiedemann

  15. Oh gee, another one!

    hep-th/0607031 [abs, ps, pdf, other] :
    Title: SUSY Moose Runs and Hops: An extra dimension from a broken deformed CFT
    Authors: Joshua Erlich, Jong Anly Tan (College of William and Mary)

  16. You missed my favourite:
    Deconstructing Noncommutativity with a Giant Fuzzy Moose

  17. I submit:

    Nutty Bubbles
    Authors: A.M. Ghezelbash, R.B. Mann


    Nuttier Bubbles
    Authors: Dumitru Astefanesei, Robert B. Mann, Cristian Stelea

  18. Here's one:

    Superbanana Orbits in Stellarator Geometries

    Phys. Rev. Lett. 43, 1730–1733 (1979)

    J. A. Derr and J. L. Shohet

    And for 'anon' above: 3x3 = 8+1 in QCD. The octet and singlet representations.

  19. I found a new one today at Dave Beacon's blog:

    The mother of all protocols: Restructuring quantum information's family tree

  20. The article by Tom Banks listed above:

    Remodeling the Pentagon After the Events of 2/23/06

    is the best, because he also choses the titles of some sections appropriately :)

  21. These don't sound half as bad as some of the ones you read in biology journals. Make you cringe.
    Have a stupid question though, do the journals decide the titles or are the authors left to come up with these sparkling gems themselves.

  22. pipettemonkey,

    I've not work in hep-th, but my experience in general physics is that the authors choose the titles. The editors may of course suggest revisions there as with elsewhere in the paper, of course.

    I love "Deconstructing Noncommutativity with a Giant Fuzzy Moose," hep-th/0111079. Can someone say whether it's a joke or not? The authors clearly have a sense of humor (see the Acknowledgements) but I can't tell whether it's an actual impenetrable string theory paper, or just poking fun at same.


    decapitating tadpoles

  24. Ha! I just saw this thread and it's pretty funny! Us authors choose our own titles and we have great fun doing so. My favorite from one of my papers was "Warped Phenomenology," hep-ph/9909255. The journal made us change the title to "Phenomenology of the Randall-Sundrum Gauge Hierarchy Model," which doesn't quite have the same ring to it...

  25. Looking at today's arxiv, I notice that we had a new candidate for the stupid title list bestowed upon us:
    "A New Dimension Hidden in the Shadow of a Wall"

  26. There was a whole fad of these for a while:. Off the top of my head, I remember (some more so than others)

    There are plenty of others I'm probably forgetting. (And I hope the spam catcher doesn't eat this.)

  27. Rumsfeld Hadrons


    "Donald Rumsfeld, in attempting to excuse the inexcusable, once (in)famously said that ``there are things that we know we know; there are things that we know we don't know; and then there are things that we don't know that we don't know". Recent discoveries about hadrons with heavy flavours fall into those categories. It is of course the third category that is the most tantalising, but lessons from the first two may help resolve the third."

  28. How To Kill a Penguin

    Ulrich Haisch
    (Submitted on 23 Jun 2007)
    Abstract: Within constrained minimal-flavor-violation the large destructive flavor-changing Z-penguin managed to survive eradication so far. We give a incisive description of how to kill it using the precision measurements of the Z -> b anti-b pseudo observables. The derived stringent range for the non-standard contribution to the universal Inami-Lim function C leads to tight two-sided limits for the branching ratios of all Z-penguin dominated flavor-changing K- and B-decays.

  29. Total recoil: the maximum kick from nonspinning black-hole binary inspiral:
    Turduckening black holes: an analytical and computational study:
    Excision without excision: the relativistic turducken:

  30. Check the author list on

    Wally Greenberg says that T.V. stands for "The Very".


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