Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chaos, Solitons and Self-Promotion

Recently, our attention was drawn to the Elsevier Journal Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, and its Editor-in-Chief M. S. El Naschie. Over the course of the years, El Naschie himself published about 300 mostly single authored papers in this journal, with abstracts of the kind:
“Von Neumann’s continuous geometry has been considerably developed by Connes and is characterized by two fundamental concepts. First it is formulated without any direct reference to points and second it possesses a dimensional function. The present work explores the relevance of these two points to string theory as well as E-infinity theory. In particular we show that point-lessness and dimensional function implies fractality. In turn fractality leads to the concept of average or fuzzy symmetry and the elimination of gauge anomalies.”

Now neither of us in an expert in Solitons or Fractals. So we instead want to ask the completely unrelated questions whether being an editor at Elsevier allows one to circumvent peer review. In case you are suspicious about the scientific merit of El Naschie's work, you are not alone. John Baez gave it a closer look in his recent post The Case of M. S. El Naschie and finds the result wanting.

The reason we got interested in this topic is that El Naschie lists himself on his website as a “distinguised Fellow of the Physics Institute of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt” - the Institute where we both made our PhD. However, this “Fellowship” has not been awarded by the physics department, but by a private association, called the “Frankfurter Förderverein für physikalische Grundlagenforschung” (Frankfurt association for the support of basic research in phyiscs). Gossip that we would never spread says the guy has money. Zoran Škoda wrote in an earlier comment:
“I was told that there is an investigation about using this affiliation now. I contacted some of the associate editors, most of whom did not respond to my question how such a behaviour is allowed. Two of them told me that they will quit from the editorial board, and one that his name was put on the editorial page without his consent!”

It is thus good to read that Herman van Campenhout, Elsevier CEO Science & Technology, writes in the Publishing Ethics Resource Kit: “Monitoring Publishing Ethics is a major aspect of the peer-review process, and as such lies within the area of responsibility of the Editor-in-Chief [].” And, he adds, “Fortunately, the area of science publishing is reasonably good at self-correcting, albeit sometimes later rather than earlier.”


  1. I know fundamentally less about these topics than the average backreaction reader but as a snake oil salesman I was very impressed with the buzzword compliance of the quoted paragraph.

  2. Hi Stefan,

    Actually Newton was the editor of one of the very early famous journals that survives to this day being ‘Philosophical Transactions’ and he published quite a bit I would imagine; although I don’t suppose it came anywhere close to being three hundred papers. I would be interested as to learn how often El Naschie cited himself? Then again come to think of it since Chaos theory as it relates to fractal structure is well known to be largely self referencing:-) All levity aside it has one wonder as to how today such a thing could have been allowed to happen.



  3. Phil's comment reminds me of a short dialog from the Simpson's

    Lisa: You started smoking, Dad?
    Homer: Yes. Thomas Edison smoked several cigars a day.
    Bart: [holds up Homer's empty notepad] Yeah, he invented stuff, too.

  4. Hi AngryPhysicist,

    “Phil's comment reminds me of a short dialog from the Simpson's”

    As noticed often my comments are tailored to match the attention span of the average reader. Gauged by your response it appears I have perhaps over estimated:-)



  5. Hello,
    what is the driving force behind such behaviour?
    Money? I doubt Elsevier will pay real money
    for writing in such a journal, right?
    Does he crave for recognition? But this
    gives rise to the question whether he knows how
    shallow his papers are, does he?

  6. Woah, 300 papers by him in a journal where he is the editor? That has got to raise many, many red flags.

    " often El Naschie cited himself..."

    It's a safe bet that he'd have cited himself many times.

  7. What a mess.:)

    1:51 PM, February 23, 2008 Phil Warnell said... :)“Scientific responsibility taught, reinforces that every idea needs to go through it's phases before is can become an ideal.” See:Random Browsing: Online Access to Physics Journals

    Since there is an on going correction process (Baez and the boys) it is beholding that in any system that is free(is it?), you will find ways profit was maximized while loosing credibility using it's sources??

    Heck then, Peer review had gone by the way side, or is it one of these occasions that some without science background to understand what was going on, were buffaloed too?

    Heck, then even a good scientist can be buffaloed:) Now, they'll all be pointing fingers, "hey look at me, I wasn't, and you were?" Your a Sokal maniac?:)

    So what's lost here? The subject in it's entirety?


  8. Hi Plato,
    1:51 PM, February 23, 2008 Phil Warnell said... :)“Scientific responsibility taught, reinforces that every idea needs to go through it's phases before is can become an ideal.”

    Just as a point of clarification it was not I but you who said this. The crux of what I maintained was summed up in saying “The outcome will be not only be based on our ability technologically yet also of our intent.” That is to say that counter to natural process there is the human aspect which often is counter to this, sometimes for the better and yet more often for the worse. This is not to say that nature will always do better, yet rather that when intellect is involved that the ends are not always for the ‘good’. Of course your own namesake above all others was one of the first to recognize this important distinction.



  9. El naschie using his own journal as
    a stock for his endless uncountable papers.
    Here is, one of his marvelous paper found in Chaos, soltion and fractals.

    On the universality class of all universality classes and E-infinity spacetime physics

    M.S. El Naschie, a

    aKing Abdul Aziz City of Science and Technology, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    Available online 18 October 2006.

    It is argued that E-infinity theory may represent the universality class of all universality classes of certain discrete dynamical maps which are at the root of relevant field theories. First we give a concise derivation of the basic equations of E-infinity and its ground state. Subsequently it is shown that the independence of the results obtained from the details of any equations of motion or Lagrangian is a clear indication that E-infinity may represent the universality class of all universality classes in the sense of Cantor with regard to relevant quantum field theories.

    I'm amzed how this could be published

  10. To Prof. Jhon Baez
    almost one year ago we have sent to Elsevier about this issue concerning
    the "Chaos, soltion and fractl" Journal and his editor in Cheif El naschie

    Here is the letter

    Dear publishing responsible
    We are writing you about the Journal of Chaos , solitons and Fractals and his editor in chief El Naschie. We are group scientists from different countries working in theoretical high energy physics and as a matter of fact we noticed that El Nashie the editor in chief the above mentioned journal has been publishing an incredible large number of papers in this journal, where he claims to have solved all the problems of particle physics using his E-infinity approach based on fractal geometry. We have looked at those papers very carefully and found them unscientific and meaningless, completely irrelevant to science and particle physics in particular. Moreover, those papers are not only without sense but complete junk. On the top of that El Naschie has published in 2008 ( in one month and 5 days) 33 papers, that is one paper per day!!, which scientifically unacceptable. Not only that, we discovered that most if not all the papers published in this journal by different authors have no scientific sense and are really junk and rubbish. What most authors, who publish in this journal, do is either to refer to El Nashie works or invent a theory title and attribute to El Naschie, and then write anything, in many cases they just copy formulas from books and write them and publish the same article several times by changing the introduction and the conclusion.As an evidence we attached some papers published in this journal and we invite you to ask any respectable scientist to evaluate those papers. Indeed it is not even needed to have a big knowledge of physics and mathematics to realize that the content of those papers is complete non sense.This journal has become preferred place of scientific junk.We wonder how a respectable and leading publisher which publishes prestigious journals like Nuclear physics, physics letters.etc...accept such misconducting of this journal by his editor in chief El Nashie. In fact, it is very weired and strange that El Naschie publishes all his papers in his journal and this does not happen in any respectable journal. Indeed we have nothing personal against this guy, but this journal as we said has become sort of source of rubbish and junk and in our view a source of jokes. We are afraid that the publisher Elesvier will be participating and playing an unintentional role in fostering and delivering junk science in the globe, in contrast to supposed policy of Elsevier. Best Regards

    Here is the reply:

    thank you for your letter.
    We shall review the issues that you raise carefully. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.
    David Clark David Clark
    Publishing Director, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science and Astronomy
    Elsevier B.V. Radarweg 29, Amsterdam 1043 NX
    The Netherlands
    Tel + 31 20 485 2451 | Fax + 31 20 485 2370 | |

    But at the end nothing happened

  11. The number of incidents involving plaigiarism, self-plaigiarism, self-promotion through publications and usurping another's work for one's benefit are on the rise and growing thick and fast. The coming of the information technology revolution has fostered a new method of extensive internet-based research, which has also spawned new publishing avenues like online journals. Some of these journals take on the colour of self-promotion exercises, which are beneficial to one or a few individuals with vested interests.

    I feel that it is more important to do "honest" science, true to the spirit of scientific discovery, either by letters/correspondence or by diligently recorded findings untouched by plaigiarism, misappropriation of intellectual property and self-promotion. However, the nature of research itself has changed over the last couple of decades, although the standards by which we publish haven't quite improved well enough to become legitimate, given these changing times.

    Thanks for posting this.

  12. To "Anonymous 7:31 AM, November 17, 2008" :

    Would it be possible to post this letter to your official homepage (or any webpage your institution provides)?

    The thing is, I am Egyptian physicist, and the case of Mohamed El Naschie is something that interests me for a host of reasons. The guy has essentially hijacked the middle-eastern media, and for five years, he has been saying that he is a Nobel prize candidate. He also claims that the West does not appreciate his works because of his firstname/nationality/religion ... etc. He is doing a real harm and I am VERY troubled about how Elsevier is ignoring the issue.

    If you (or any other scholar) could raise the issue on your official institutional webpages, this will provide some creditability and we may be able to get the Egyptian media interested in investigating the case and probably reverse the damage he did.

    Bee, what do you think?


  13. Hi Hassan,

    Sure, the wider the story spreads the sooner Elsevier will do something about it. Stefan and I, we sent an email to the above mentioned CEO Herman van Campenhout (email address in post). No reply so far. I encourage everybody to write to him too. However, I should add that it's been mentioned to me that Elsevier is working on the problem but it takes time due to legal issues. Best,


  14. Dear Bee,

    we sent an email to the above mentioned CEO Herman van Campenhout (email address in post). No reply so far

    ah - I was about to ask if you have got any response, as there was none to me, so far...

    Hi Hassan,

    thanks for your comment from the Egyptian perspective, that's very interesting - and a bit depressing.

    I mean, if El Naschie has, as you say, essentially hijacked the middle-eastern media, and for five years, he has been saying that he is a Nobel prize candidate, then the comparatively minor changes in the editorship of some scientific journal will probably hardly be noted in Egypt. Even more so, when he also claims that the West does not appreciate his works because of his firstname / nationality / religion, then any measures taken by Elsevier with respect to Chaos, Solitons & Fractals can easily be interpreted by him in this light...

    No idea how to cure that. There will be another journal, and E-ininity is to stay with us for a long time, I am afraid...

    Best, Stefan

  15. Bee, Stefan, thanks a lot for caring enough to talk about this case, and for the follow-up comments.

    You have no idea how much attention that guy had in the Arab media. Google (his name AND Nobel prize) in Arabic, and you'll find +25,000 search hits. Today, I was chatting up a guy who happened to be a carpenter. He recognized the name of El Naschie immediately!

    If you have an Arab student around, or anyone who speaks Arabic for this reason, it would be a real fun to follow some of the guy's news/interviews online. I can send you tens of links; I tried how Google-Translate handles the pages, but the result is not very satisfactory.

    Nonetheless, I could get these (Sorry for Google's awful translation!):

    * An interview with El Naschie on the printed version of a famous Egyptian magazine "Rosa ElYosef". A news website wrote the whole interview transcript. You'll find statements like "I was a candidate for the Nobel Prize since 6 years" and " I especially permanent candidate for the prize since 6 years"

    * Another article about the guy in the second most popular newspaper in the country. The very first sentence is, "Consider this man very well, it soon become the fourth Egyptian Nobel prize after President Sadat, writer Naguib Mahfouz Dr. Ahmed Zewail". The picture in the article says it all (him with Mahfouz, the 1988 literature Nobel prize winner).

    Holy crap? I know!


  16. To prof. Jhon Baez

    El naschie using his own journal as
    a stock for his endless uncountable papers.
    Here is, one of his marvelous papers found in Chaos, soltion and fractals.

    The title

    “On the universality class of all universality classes and E-infinity spacetime physics”

    M.S. El Naschie,

    King Abdul Aziz City of Science and Technology, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    Available online 18 October 2006.

    It is argued that E-infinity theory may represent the universality class of all universality classes of certain discrete dynamical maps which are at the root of relevant field theories. First we give a concise derivation of the basic equations of E-infinity and its ground state. Subsequently it is shown that the independence of the results obtained from the details of any equations of motion or Lagrangian is a clear indication that E-infinity may represent the universality class of all universality classes in the sense of Cantor with regard to relevant quantum field theories.

    I’m quite amzed how this could be published.

    In fact, for any one who knows little about particle physics realize that the results of any theory depend strongly on the particle content of the theory. For example in QCD, asymptotic freedom depends on the number of colours and flavors. The presence of CP violation in the quark sector depends on the number of generations. No CP violation for one and two generations, at least three generations is required for the presence of CP violation.

  17. I have looked hard at wikipedia and I found this article written by an Egyptian about El naschie

    Facts about Mohamed ElNaschie

    Facts about Mohamed El Naschie

    Please My Sir, check all the following information. This article i just to show the facts not anything else.

    This article is just trial to show the fact of Mohamed El Naschie by scientific proof. Really we have been disappointed very much when we saw many journals like Almasry Alyom, Almesryoon, El Ahram, El Akhbar and many big Egyptian journals are speaking about him that he is the best physicist after Newton and Einstein. we asked ourselves why they are making this without any kind of confirmation about the fact that he is nothing in High energy Physics, and his papers are nothing in High energy Physics. Now, the members of the parliament of IKHWAN Muslims are asking why Mohamed El Naschie has not selected in the council of Technology of Egypt. We want to prove our words with a scientific proof which could convince a professional man. so could you please read the following letter. We hope if you could please interest in that matter, because really we have deep fears that we will see a day in which Mr Mohamed El Naschie become responsible man in the science in Egypt , and really Egypt don't deserve that at all.

    1- First, El Naschie is publishing his papares in only one journal, and he is editor of this journal Chaos, Solitons & Fractals and he never published in Physics Review, Nuclear Physics, or and good known journal

    2- he is publishing a a paper each day approximately, and this has not happened in the history of the science

    and of course all of them are published in his journal

    3-if we want to see his citation, we will find great surprise that no scientist take him as refrence at all and this is illustrated in the greatest data base of High energy Physics of SLAC, Stanford,+M+S

    4- He has been selected as the chief of Nanotechnology project in Egypt, and the funny thing he published only one paper in popular science about nanotechnology

    Nanotechnology for the developing world Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Volume 30, Issue 4, November 2006, Pages 769-773

    5- he alwayes saying that he was working at Cambridge University, but he didnot mention that at his website

    but when we search about his name and his affiliation at arxiv, we will see scandal. His papers which carried the affiliation of Cambridge University has been withdrawn because Prof Michel Green ( Chief of DAMPT at Cambridge University) complained to ARXIV that Mr El Naschie didnot have at any time the Cambridge University. You could look at the following sites.

    6- Mr El Naschie alwayes saying that he awarded great prize in China, and he is nominee for Nobel Prize, and the funny thing the editor Ji-Huan He is not professional in High energy Physics and his journal has very bad reputation in china

    and this could be confirmed from the following website, the most repectable place of theoretical physics in China

    Institute of Theoretical Physics Chinese Academy of Sciences

    As we already mentioned, the all the media in Egypt is saying the he is Nobel prize nominee , the problems of the research will be solved by his blessing hands and now he become the chief of nanotechnology project although he don't know any thing about this science.

    And also a comment due his brother
    Amr El naschie

    'Comments on the Article 'Facts about Mohamed El Naschei'

    Hey writer of the above article, I just want others to know that you combine ignorance with poor use of the English language to attack one of the World's, and certainly the Eastern Worls' premier scientists. Mohamed El Naschie was traind as a Civil Engineer, with an emphasis on structural mechanics. He achieved international fame, as well as fortune, in a short period of time during which individuals like your good self would have probably spent cooking up lies about others. Once he resolved a number of critical issues in mechanics, his inqisitive mind led him to start reading in physics. How many researchers made the transition from structural engineering to pure physics, and achieved international recognition of their work in both within 20 years? ONLY Mohamed El Naschie. That he does not have ANY degree in physics is indeed his Miracle, not a point to be ashemd of. I was sitting next to the late Ilya Prigogine, Professor at the University of Brussels, I think, and a Nobel Loreate (1977), when Mohamed El Naschie was giving a lecture, using the black board and a piece of chalk. I MYSELF, WITH MY OWN EARS, heard him say "If this is proven completely, this is a Nobel Prize'. Enough said about your slander! An YES, Mohamed El Naschie was honored in China like very very few are, and a whole conference, to which I was invited but could not go, was held in his honor and named after him. What is the standing of the Conference Chair is really not an important issue, but for people like you. Finally, why does El Naschei publish in his own journal? Simple, if I had a shop selling cars, and I was the best car manufacturer in the world, why bless other shops with my cars? I would place my cars in my shop. Mohamed's work is simply brilliant, so he promotes his Journal, as if it needs promotion, by publishing his work in his Journal.

    Good luck with your anger management course.

  18. I think the case of El naschie is a scandal by all measures. This case opens the door for many questions: what are the organizations involved in this matter?

    In the first place, one can mention Cambridge university which allowed him to publish his articles for nearly ten years 1993-2001 using its affiliation. It is far from reality to imagine that people in Cambridge have been fooled for that long time. According to the following data base

    One can find:
    17 articles where the affiliation is DAMTP, Cambridge, UK.
    72 articles where the affiliation is Dept. of Appl. Math. & Theor. Phys., Cambridge Univ., UK
    40 articles where the affiliation is Univ of Cambridge

    No prize for one who guesses at which journal those articles have been published.

    In the second place, it comes Elsevier that has been the main stage for producing such a scandal bomb of heavy weight. It is clear that there have been many people behind that matter who got direct benefits (earning money, most probably from El Naschie himself).

  19. Having read all this trash and defamatory slander against Mohamed El Naschie on this site, I realized immediately the style and the awkward English of the Author who calls himself Annonymous who is aching about poor Egypt and its media. This is Dr. or Mr. Al Shishtawi whose real name is Said Salah El-Din Hamad. His wife Shadia Al Shishini went to prison for 18 months in Al Khanata Women’s prison near Cairo. The lady went to prison while her husband Said escaped to the USA for nine years. Now his is back to take revenge and he is hiring all internet scum to help him. That is all what there is to it.

  20. Simon, last anonymous,

    what must I do to gain your cairvoyant capabilities? Getting this deep understanding of shallow motives such as ramblings for extortion of money and back handers for silence, extracting the identity of writers from a few sentences by analysing style and the awkward English? Is a grasp of E-infinity sufficient, or does it require stronger drugs?

    Anyway, defamation is on your side, entirely. I am sorry if you can't stand reality. Have a nice life, nevertheless.


  21. I've deleted an anonymous comment submitted at 3:52 PM, November 24, 2008. I want to remind you all that we don't allow anonymously made insults. If you can't hold back on insulting others, you will have to sign with your name. Best,


  22. It is wholly untrue that Mohamed El Naschie publishes his papers exclusively in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. What you are saying here shows a major faux pas, hasty and faulty judgement. Here are two samples of about 250 others. First, Superstrings, knots and noncommutative geometry in E-infinity space, published in Int. Journal of Theoretical Physics, Vol. 37, No. 12, 1998. The Editor-in-Chief is Prof. David Finkelstein from Georgia Tech University, himself a distinguished theoretical physicist. I know that the referee of this particular paper was connected to the Nobel prize. Second, Average exceptional Lie group hierarchy and high energy physics, published in Frontiers of Fundamental & Computational Physics. American Inst. of Physics 2008, AIP Conference Proceedings, 1018. Mohamed El Naschie presented his work and lectured in the presence of the following Nobel laureates in physics: Gerrardus ‘tHooft, Douglas Osheroff, Ilya Prigogine, Anthony Leggett, Gerd Bennig. He was in countless conferences and has been honored by numerous universities and institutions all over the world. There is no need whatsoever to defame people and to undermine them because you are obviously getting defamatory and untrue information from sick souls who are jealous, vindictive or both. This campaign reflects badly on you and I am sure it will have far reaching repercussions against you and your blogs and your scientific credibility. I sense a lot of hate and jealousy.


  23. Hi Flores,

    I am sure it will have far reaching repercussions against you and your blogs and your scientific credibility.

    Is this supposed to be a threat? Uuh, that's really intimidating. You know what: I have had the pleasure to listen to talks of El Naschie, and he is producing rubbish, in my humble opinion. I don't mind if he has talked in front of Nobel prize winners, obviously, he knows several of them. Aha, and he has published papers in other journals then CS&F? Well, I know how to use spires, thanks for the advice.

    So, I don't delete yet my comment addressed to Simon - just read it, it applies to you also.

    Thanks, Stefan

  24. Hi Stefan,

    You are out of your depth in this subject. You are the one who doesn’t understand the difference between number theory, set theory and the so-called numerology. Numerology is a very cheap shot invoked when physicists are unfamiliar with Cantor sets and number theory which is the queen of mathematics. Mohamed El Naschie uses causal and partially ordered sets as well as number theory. You obviously understand neither. But any case and also with respect your objective is not science. You seem to have something completely different in mind and everyone reading this blog knows it.


  25. I don't think it's reasonable to assume that every paper published in any one journal is all junk.

    There are a lot of papers related to the pure math of fractals in CS&F, undiluted by attempts to connect them to the unification of all physics. It sure would be a drag if these papers were to be looked down upon because of the journal they are published in (it is a journal devoted to fractals after all). But I doubt that could ever happen, what with scientists and mathematicians being such invariably objective people. :)

  26. To Simon:
    Please, owing to your strong quality english, Iam wondering if you are SO in telling real facts regarding Elnaschie works, providing a scientific discussion about his results that revolusioned ALL fields in Physics....TRY if you can!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Why now this intense smear campaign? Mohamed El Naschie is the Editor-in-Chief of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals for almost 20 years. There are several reasons, but two are the most important and do not need a Sherlock Holmes to solve. First, the article in Scientific American by Dr. Renate Loll and her colleagues from Utrecht University which have allegedly hijacked all of El Naschie’s ideas about fractal spacetime, Cantor sets as well as Causal and partially ordered sets. Second the vendetta of Said Salah El Din Hamed, Chemical Engineering Dept @ Penn State University against his half brother. The wife of Said, Dr. Shadia Al Shishini was sentenced by an Egyptian Criminal court to 2 years hard labor for stealing more than ten million pounds from the mother of Mohamed and Amr. Mohamed’s brother, Amr Elnashai is the Director of the Earthquake Center at University of Illinois, Urbana . Said knows Dr. Skoda and Dr. Skoda was in touch with Renate Loll and she worked with John Baez. This is how the circle closes. To steal Mohamed’s work, you need to discredit him. Many have vested and monetary interests in his downfall; that plus the stupidity and greed of some Elsevier employees brought about this unholy slanderous alliance against Mohamed. Elementary Dear Watson!

  28. Some have been asking, although with nothing good in the back of their minds, what El Naschie was doing as a Ph.D. student. I found a remarkable book on Stability and Catastrophe by J.M.T. Thompson, University College, London and a fellow of the Royal Society. The book is called: Instabilities and Catastrophes in Science and Engineering and published in 1982 by John Wiley and Sons. In this book and on page 54, Sir J. M. T. Thompson writes: The buckling and post buckling of a strut on an elastic foundation with a free, un-pinned end has been discussed by El Naschie who has also elucidated the mechanics of ring buckling.

    I have inquired further and found out that both Thompson and El Naschie were working in a famous stability research group founded and directed by Lord Henry Chilver who was the adviser of Margaret Thatcher on all research and higher education matters. Using set theory for a discrete space time makes a great deal of sense.

    W. Martin

  29. Hi Christiansen,

    What do you mean exactly when you say that they want to steal his ideas and his work? It is already published isn't it? Wouldn't be obvious if someone tries to introduce these ideas as his own? I don't understand it.

  30. Hi Anonymous Christiansen,

    so, you say that Renate Loll has stolen El Naschies ideas and made her career from them, and now, to cover up her traces, uses her connections to John Baez to get rid of El Nashie? That's an intriguing plot, indeed.

    I just wonder, since 't Hooft was in Utrecht also, he must be involved somehow - at least, he should have noticed what his colleague has been doing. What is his role in the game? What is the meaning of the photos showing him with El Naschie? And if greed was the motive of Elsevier, why should they be intereested to stop a profitable journal that's running quite well?

    How comes that you dare to accuse anyone else of slander?

    What you are suggesting is just ridiculous, but maybe it is meant as a joke. And thanks for the comments on the family background, that's really very important.

    Anyhow, I strongly suggest you propagate your smearing somewhere else.

    Best, Stefan

  31. Hi Halayka,

    I don't think it's reasonable to assume that every paper published in any one journal is all junk.

    Good point, and thank you for the opportunity to emphasise this again:

    I have no reason whatsoever to doubt the quality of the major part of the papers published in CS&F, which deal with the topic of the journal proper, nonlinearities, "chaos theory" and related topics. I know personally one of the authors of a paper in the December 2009 issue.

    But I am not convinced, to put it mildly, of a large bunch of other papers. Probably, as Flores suggests, I am just to dumb to understand this topic - but then, I am happy to wait and learn about E-infinity and all that from a forthcoming Nobel lecture.

    Best, Stefan

  32. As mentioned in an earlier comment, here is the Editorial for the first issue:

    "Today, it must be difficult to find a scientist of stature who would deny the influence of the broad sweep of developments in science, philosophy or even art on his specialized research. Ludwig Boltzmann, founder of statistical mechanics, gave a good example of this when he proposed to name the 19th century, the century of Charles Darwin - not of electricity nor of steam. Likewise Robert May, who recognized deterministic chaos in population dynamics and economic cycles, is a physicist not a demographer nor an economist. I cannot see such new discoveries arising except from thinkers with an interdisciplinary stance. Of course, there have been times when there were practical benefits in the narrow view. In the early days of the Royal Society it was virtually forbidden to talk about the grand design and philosophical issues. Scientists and practical men took refuge in the absolute objectivity of specialized science in order to counterbalance the misuse of metaphysics. Nevertheless there have been frequent dissenters even among rigorous modem mathematicians. George Cantor, for instance, regarded metaphysics as a most important part of his work on transfinite sets, which is a cornerstone of today’s nonlinear science. Cantor reluctantly eliminated philosophical reasoning from his papers and only at the insistence of his friend Mittag-Leffler, the Editor of Acfu Mathemafica. It was Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend who dealt a final blow to the superficial mathematical objectivity based on the narrow view of science. They showed how objectivity has to be understood in a global cultural context. This point might be nicely illustrated by the connection between Prigogine’s early fascination with history and the revolution he initiated in irreversible non-equilibrium thermodynamics, another cornerstone of nonlinear science. Similarly, Mitchell Feigenbaum came to universal behavior in nonlinear maps from electrical engineering via nuclear physics. His interest in mathematical physics is rivaled only by his passionate interest in Goethe, Mahfouz and Puccini. In an even wider context, I believe that political science would have looked very different if Toynbee and Spengler had known about the possibility of complete nonperiodicity in a completely deterministic system. It seems that history has made a full rotation. We understand now that returning to interdisciplinary thinking may hold the key to the future. Prigogine among others has contributed essentially to our understanding of this point. Five years ago it seemed that a very high level, scientifically tolerant and wide ranging periodical might help a little in restoring the scientific traditions of people like Da Vinci, Gauss and Poincare. After some delay, that eccentric thought is now reality. I would have liked to have taken the credit for the dedicated work which has made this journal possible. Alas, it is not even remotely so. As a person who worked mainly in engineering design, management and politics, I take a broad and serious interest in nonlinear science and have merely suggested an obvious idea. Almost everything else in the creation of this journal is the work of the numerous members of the Editorial Board: mathematicians, physicists and engineers, who are well known internationally. Some of them are the pioneers who laid the foundation of the subject. I am particularly grateful to Professors P.C. Miller, E. Kreutzer, Y. Ichikawa, G. Casati, G. Schmidt, A. Jeffrey, G. Rega, H. 0. Peitgen, T. Kapitaniak, C. Grebogi and G. Herrmann. The journal would have remained only an idea without the generous support and encouragement given by Professors Sir Herman Bondi, I. Prigogine, B. Chirikov, Y. Ueda, 0. Rossler and Sir Brian Pippard. Lack of space prevents me from mentioning the role of every member of the Editorial Board but to all of them I give my deep and sincere appreciation, especially to my lifelong friend H E Professor S. Al Athel for his unstinting support of the project. The scientific policy of our journal is mainly the responsibility of the Honorary Editors and the regional and associate Editors, who will review this policy from time to as necessary. The Editorial Board on the other hand support and guide the practical business of publishing the journal, refereeing papers and encouraging the submission of manuscripts to the journal.

    The journal emphasis is on applications. However, and in accordance with our general philosophy, theoretical, experimental and numerical studies of a fundamental nature will also be encouraged to give a balanced picture of current advances in nonlinear science.

    Our publishers have allocated a generous number of pages and are willing to print illustrations in color to enhance the clarity of presentation. The refereeing will be rigorous but rapid and publication will be fast.

    In conclusion allow me a few informal words at the risk of appearing facetious. I. Stewart wittily remarked in his delightful book Does God Play Dice? that anyone who thinks in terms of a model stripped to the bare essentials, such as E. Lorenz’s model of climate, becomes a mathematician. Consequently he concluded, chaos was discovered by mathematicians. To that I would like modestly to remark that since H. Poincare, the undisputed first discoverer of chaos, was trained first in engineering, following the Napoleonic traditions, then it follows that chaos was discovered by engineers, a word which derives from ingenuity. At a minimum let us agree that there is room for all sorts of creative thinking, at least in this journal.

    I sincerely hope that this will be a truly interdisciplinary journal which is not only useful, applications oriented and informative, but also true to what must be the prime objectives of life, elevating and enjoyable. Judging by the first issue it seems we are well on our way to achieving just that.

    M. S. El Naschie"


  33. In volume one, issue one of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals the founding Editor in Chief Prof. Mohamed El Naschie set out aims, objectives and the philosophy of the journal almost two decades ago. In his Editorial he wrote that it is an interdisciplinary journal in the lost traditions of people like Leonardo Da Vinci and Poincare. He said it would be off center and tolerant with an emphasis on applications of nonlinear dynamics. The man seems to have remained faithful to his project. You can read it all on Elsevier’s Science Direct site. It sometimes helps to read and understand before one embarks on a rampage.

  34. Mohamed El Naschie is the elder brother, teacher and friend of Amr Elnashai, Director of the largest earthquake engineering centre in the USA at Urbana, Champaign. In a special issue of CS&F dedicated to Mohamed’s 60th birthday, Amr wrote a wonderful tribute to his brother entitled Recollections. The El Naschie’s are one of Egypt’s most distinguished and richest families and all three brothers are famous. Said, the middle brother is a famous professor at Pennsylvania State University. Although he has some serious health problems he is a distinguished professor of environmental studies and a world renowned researcher of chaos in chemical engineering. He dedicated two of his books published by Gordon & Breach to Mohamed El Naschie. You should see and

  35. Hi Flower,

    I have indeed read the editorial a while ago - the name dropping is impressive. But seriously, the idea of the journal is fine, per se ...

    BTW, this week's edition of Nature has a news item by Quirin Schiermeier about the story, Self-publishing editor set to retire (Subscription required). As we had mentioned the connection to Frankfurt in the original post, I'd like just to add this quote from the piece:

    But he is not, as he claims on his website, a distinguished fellow of the Institute of Physics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, says Walter Greiner, a former director of the institute. Greiner also says El Naschie has ignored his requests to remove his name from the list of members of the journal's honorary editorial board. [...] A small minority of physicists cautiously recognizes the originality of El Naschie's ideas. "They're at least interesting," says Werner Martiennsen, a retired physicist at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, and one of the regional editors for Europe on Chaos, Solitons and Fractals.

    I also suggest that the comments section at Nature is a much more appropriate and visible place to continue discussions of this issue.

    Thanks, Stefan

  36. But I am not convinced, to put it mildly, of a large bunch of other papers. Probably, as Flores suggests, I am just to dumb to understand this topic ...

    I tend to reserve judgment on the creativity of others, and so I'm neither "for or against" El Naschie. However, I have to admit that trying to piece together his work is extremely difficult since it's so fragmented (300 papers, as mentioned before).

    Anonymous does bring up a good point though. Is John Baez so bored that he needs to reaffirm his self-appointed position as defender of the orthodoxy, nearly 20 years after the start of CS&F?

    It's kind of annoying, and smacks of boredom. Perhaps a new hobby is in order for Baez, so that he can focus again on actually contributing to society (whining doesn't count).

    - Shawn

  37. Hi Shawn,

    please stop speculating about other people's motives. If you don't like Baez, this may not be the appropriate place for telling him.

    And, BTW, congratulations to your contribution to society, your forthcoming publication of your paper, Is the anisotropic interaction of luminous matter responsible for the extrinsic gravitation usually attributed to exotic dark matter? in CS&F.

    Best, Stefan

  38. Hi Steve,

    This is going to be fun. When El Naschie was made a Distinguished Fellow it was in the University of Frankfurt in the presence of Nobel laureates, hundreds of people as well as the press. Many German and Egyptian newspapers reported the occasion with photographs taken in the University of Frankfurt. El Naschie is also a Member of the Board of Directors and he has produced certificates and letters to this effect on one of his homepages. In fact there is a photograph of him at this ceremony together with Prof. Dr. Walter Greiner which appeared in the newspaper of Frankfurt. There is only one conclusion. Either the German professor or the German journalist is lying. My guess, and it is only my guess, is that Nature’s reporter is lying. I think Nature has taken a huge gamble and it will be interesting to see if this is going to end with an equally huge court case.

  39. Hi Anonymous:

    My guess, and it is only my guess, is that Nature’s reporter is lying.

    Though I of course can't know for sure, I very strongly doubt that Nature would take the risk to use unverified or unauthorized quotations. If you read our post you'll find a possible reason for what you seem to be puzzled about, though again we of course don't know for sure. But we all know what makes the world go round, don't we? Best,


  40. Anonmymous,

    1 - You could try to spell my name correctly, just out of politeness.
    2 - If you want to say that Quirin Schiermeier and Nature is lying, tell them, not me. But what makes you so sure that the published version of the Frankfurt story cannot be right?
    3 - Which German newspaper? Can you tell me? Which Board of Directors? Who is the liar here? But more probable, you are just one more anonymous poor soul who has no clue whatsoever what he is talking about.

    Whatever the entertainment value of comments such as yours, there are a few other blogs happy to receive their share of this dirt.

  41. Thank you for keeping this blog open for comments---their entertainment value is quite high.

  42. Stefan,

    Just curious...were you able to see my comment (as I was typing it) before I posted it? What is the probability that two people are thinking of the same words "entertainment value" within minutes of each other? Makes me wonder, that's all.

  43. We have a very special connection to our readers ;-)

  44. Stefan,

    Thanks for the warm wishes on the publication of my toy model.

    I'll assume that it wasn't intentional that you mention my only physics project, and skipped the dozens of others related to mathematics and computer science.

    - Shawn

  45. P.S. I should have worded my response better -- I'm not trying to say that anyone in particular isn't contributing to society.

    What I'm trying to say is that blatantly cutting down others is generally not useful. God knows how many times you and Bee have been called crackpots by [you know who] for no reason.

    I just find it annoying to see someone whining about something, when the high road could be taken instead (e.g.: like writing to Elsevier, as you've done).

    Even if your intentions were the same as Baez's, your actions were not. So, I hope it's clear that I'm not speculating about intentions, but criticizing actions. Sarcasm about hobbies was only used to emphasize the absurdity of it all. I mean, to muddy the name of two journals and an entire scientific community (China) just because he finds the work of an author questionable is a little ridiculous.

  46. This is a response to Baez on his link through the n-Category Cafe

    Jokes more than anything else say more about the character, upbringing and intelligence of the comedian than they do to describe the innocent victim(s). The truth is John Baez is clearly worried about what he has done assuming that he understands the precarious situation in which he has brought Nature and himself. He lied his head off manipulating a good German journalist working for Nature and brought the journalist and Nature into an indefensible situation. Now he is recommending a freelance journalist who has nothing much to loose to be his next cat’s claw. Not that we are saying that John Baez is a monkey. That would be an insult to our predecessor primates. Oh, it is only a joke, okay – a tasteless bad joke as a tribute to a tasteless bad person.

  47. I have been trying to put comments on the link you mention above. It seems these gentlemen have closed this Café unless you are ready to libel El Naschie. This alone is for me an indication that El Naschie must be innocent. I do not know of a single Editor in Chief who does not publish in his/her journal. This applies to commercial publishing as well as learned societies. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals was intentionally created to be a liberal journal as the Founding Editor, Mohamed El Naschie clearly stated in his Editorial. It is a journal where an engineer, a philosopher, an economist or a physicist can publish their work as long as it is related to nonlinear dynamics. It is not a journal for theoretical physics as naively stated in a clearly defamatory article published in the latest edition of Nature. It is a journal with little hierarchy where an intelligent person with no university affiliation can publish interesting papers side by side with a Nobel laureate in whatever discipline. I know for sure that all papers in this journal have been refereed and refereed meticulously. Three years after getting his Ph.D. El Naschie had already published 60 papers in international journals. This was in the 70’s when he was about 30 years old. He was known then to be the most prolific engineering scientist in the field. During this time he taught himself physics, quantum mechanics and particle physics. In addition he built a large consulting engineering company which brought him success and fortune. God knows how he was able to do all that simultaneously. Now he is retired, it is natural that his productivity should increase ten fold. It did not because he indeed spends a lot of time with his family, skiing and following his artistic inclinations. Another aspect you should not forget is that Nottale, El Naschie and to a certain extent Ord are the creators of the fractal spacetime approach to particle physics. They are the elite of this field. Of course they and their friends and students refer to each other. They are from the same field. Green, Schwarz and Witten refer to each other because they are from the same field. They referee each other’s work. The same applies to the school of nonlinear dynamics in high energy physics. Physics Review hardly ever accepts papers outside their gospel. That is the reason of existence for journals like Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. It is not a physics journal. It is an inter-disciplinary nonlinear dynamics journal and it is the best journal in this area with an impact factor of 3.5 for the current year. What do you think the great Chopin would think of music like that of Schoenberg? Of course it is only an analogy and the situation is quite different. The school of nonlinear dynamics and fractal spacetime is exploring new possibilities. The great thing about the American spirit in doing science is what Gell-Mann said once to me; while everybody says why, the Americans say why not? I am sorry but the American way is definitely superior in many respects. Now they are leading the world by saying yes we can and why not. We are now living in the century of Obama and those people in the n-Category Café should take note of that

  48. Hi Anonymous,

    I have been trying to put comments on the link you mention above.

    Yes, I have also noted this, sorry... it seems that blog posts at the cafe are closed for comments after two weeks or so. But following the hint of your anonymous colleague, you can now leave your long sermon in the comments section of the follow-up post, The Case of M. S. El Naschie, Continued. I am sure that your contribution will be highly appreciated there.

    Moreover, I would suggest that when further commenting here, in case you have the strong urge to do so, you sign the post with your name or some unique pseudonym - just click on "Name/URL" in the "Choose an identity" menue below the text field where you type the comment. An URL is not required.

    Thuss, it will be much easier for the readers to differentiate between otherwise indstinguishable comments.

    Best, Stefan

  49. Hi anonymous,

    thanks for the reference to the follow-up post, The Case of M. S. El Naschie, Continued - but your comment on that post should clearly be left there, not here.

    By the way, if you insist on propagating libel, slander and lies, as you do, using a real name or at least a consistent pseudonym enhances the chance of not being deleted. Just read the hint addressed to your anonymous colleague to see how this can be done.

    On the other hand, your comment clearly has its merits for its high entertaining value, and for the clear demonstration of the utter loss of touch with reality that seems to be a hallmark of the mindset of the most ardent disciples of El Naschie, To long an exposure to E-infinity appears to transform the brain in a Cantor sponge and transfer the student to a parallel universe.

    Have a great time there, Stefan

  50. I remember seeing Barkley Rosser at the Conference in honor of Prof. Tonu Puu in Odense where I also met Mohamed El Naschie who is truly a distinguished gentleman “Un homme distingue” with all its implications. Tonu Puu retired from the University but he did not retire from the Journal. In fact he wrote me a letter, a couple of weeks ago expressing his admiration for the versatility of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. It is wrong to describe this Journal as a Theoretical Physics Journal. The article in Nature is missing completely the point. But this is really not my concern. I was in blissful ignorance of the low standards which academicians can reach but alas! Now I know of Baez , his n-Category café and his crew and what struck me most is that they are blocking supporters of El Naschie from posting comments on their blog. This happened to me when I tried to respond to Rosser’s comments on their blog. The trick Baez and his followers are pursuing, as the propaganda Minister of Adolf Hitler put it, is to make a lie so big that people would say even 50% of it is true then it is enough and when it is said so loud and by the mob then it must be true. I can assure you that ninety percent of what is written on their site – the n-Category café - are half truths and guess which half are they putting? They are connected to a blog known as Backreaction and they are coordinating their work very well. They are experts in this business. In the Nature article, the name of John Baez, the originator of all this rambling is conspicuously absent. The valiant brave hero feels more secure behind the bar of his café. His lawyer told him that blogs are difficult to prosecute. The bad news for him is that the loopholes in the international law have been taken care of so he may enjoy it while it lasts. Two or three more weeks make no difference.

  51. Dear Barkley:
    We know from Shahriar that you are a decent man and a poet. How on earth can you get entangled with these hooligans of the n-Category café? When Baez found no success in science proper, he turned out to become an internet thug launching campaigns against rich publishers and demanding protection money. This is not the environment that a man like you should be involved in. And why don’t you ask your best friend Tonu Puu what he thinks of Chaos, Solitons and Fractals. He said in writing that this is the most exciting project in his life that he has ever been involved in. And again M. El Naschie did not publish 300 papers, he published over 900 papers. He doesn’t hold the record in publishing in his own journal. The record holder is Prof. Leon Chua from University of Berkeley. His journal is published by World Scientific. The second is Naifeh. His Chaos and Bifurcation Journal was published by Kluwer and now by Springer If every editor in chief who publishes in his journal resigns, we will end up with no publications. But John Baez intention is extortion and obtaining money from Elsevier and other publishers. I must really say he is succeeding and one good thing which might come out of all that maybe the end of commercial publishing and better still the end of learned society publishing. Read the book: Faster than the Speed of Light where Physics Review is referred to as Physics Refuse and he called its Editorial Board the Physics Refuse Mafia. M. El Naschie is guilty of one thing: he is a gentleman who entered a profession where the word gentleman is foreign.

  52. Hi A.Kayam:

    But John Baez intention is extortion and obtaining money from Elsevier and other publishers.

    I strongly doubt this accusation has any foundation whatsoever. I would really appreciate if you and everybody else in this comment section would stop inventing intentions of others.

    Read the book: Faster than the Speed of Light where Physics Review is referred to as Physics Refuse and he called its Editorial Board the Physics Refuse Mafia.

    The problem addressed in that book is a completely different one, namely that established journals are are afraid to publish out-of-mainstream work, and their conservatism hinders to establish new approaches. I think there is some truth in this (whatever one thinks about the faster-than-c idea in particular). I don't see however what this has to do with the question of an editors' own publications. Best,


  53. I concur with Philip Davis’ rational analysis of El Naschie’s case. I find the communiqué of the Editorial Board of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals enlightening and revealing. Unlike on other blogs, I am not afraid to say that I am completely persuaded that El Naschie is totally innocent. There is a great deal more here than what meets the eyes. First this campaign, masterminded in the n-Category Café started only when many students and colleagues of El Naschie were appalled by an article written in Scientific American ( They were of the opinion, right or wrong, that the Authors Renate Loll, Jan Ambjorn and Jerzy Jurkiewicz should have given priority or at least referred to the work of the fractal spacetime school. The three most visible exponents of this school are, in chronological order, Garnet Ord, a Canadian, Laurent Nottale, a French man and the Egyptian, Mohamed El Naschie. It did not go unnoticed that John Baez is the Editor of many of Renate Loll’s publications. This brought many people to think, again right or wrong, that the entire thing is simply a diversion maneuver from an embarrassing situation, particularly when a highly respected Nobel laureate, Gerrard ‘tHooft is the scientific head of the team in which the said three scientists are working in Utrecht, Holland. Then there is the ticklish issue of prizes. It is my conviction that in this particular case, the Nobel Prize is not the prime mover. It is another highly sought after prize given in the Middle East, namely the King Faisal prize of the King Faisal Foundation. Many Dutch, American and German were nominees and recipients of this prize. For instance Prof. Dr. Greiner whose name was mentioned in the Nature article of this week’s issue was a nominee of this prize four or five years ago and maybe a nominee for this year’s prize in theoretical physics. There is an enormous amount of politics played behind this prize. This is not much unlike the Nobel Prize. Here is another piece of information which may be interesting. Thanks to a twelve year campaign by Mohamed El Naschie throughout the Arab world, there are now nanotechnology initiatives everywhere in Arabia. It is more talk than deeds but something will materialize at a certain point. There is a group led by Prof. Munir Nayfeh from the Physics Dept. in The University of Illinois in Urbana, Champagne who very much hopes to lobby for getting the prize. The Nayfehs are Palestinians living in America. Ali Nayfeh, the brother of Munir is the Editor in Chief of a Chaos journal established to compete with Chaos, Solitons & Fractals by another Dutch publisher Kluwer. He published in his own journal more than twice of that which El Naschie has published in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. You can check it for yourself. The journal has since been bought by Springer, beating Elsevier in the process. Commercial publishing is a cut throat business. I made a small calculation based on internet statistics. In the first three years after getting his Ph.D. in 1974 El Naschie published more than 50 papers in international journals for engineering science. This means he published about 1.4 papers a month. The alleged 300 papers he published in the last 17-20 years in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals gives almost exactly the same productivity index, namely 1.4 papers per month. Clearly the man is prolific and has kept his productivity index from the age of 30 to the age of 65 but this is no where as much as the Nayfehs who produce double as much in their own journals and in addition one book a year. Different people, different interests. However there is fierce competition between the Nayfehs and El Naschie. As if this is not enough, there is something more to the complexity of the situation. There is Prof. Ahmad Zuwail who is an experimentalist who works in chemistry. He is nowhere as intellectual as the Nayfehs nor of course El Naschie but he has a bigger advantage on all of them because he is Egyptian and got the Nobel Prize in chemistry the same year ‘tHooft got his in physics. One in chemistry, the other in physics. When you follow the news of Ahmad Zuwail you will know that he has the ambition of becoming the President of Egypt. He is the only Arab who ever got the Nobel Prize in science and as such, is a celebrity beyond imagination in a country with virtually no scientific research and no higher education as we understand it in the West. For many political reasons, Nayfeh and El Naschie are a source of infinite annoyance to put it mildly for Zuwail. In addition there is Farouk al-Baz. He is the Arab world’s most famous scientist besides Nayfeh, El Naschie and Zuwail. It is fair to say that he wished all three would not have happened. He has his projects with building a major highway from Libya to Egypt cutting through the Western desert. This is a many trillion of dollars project which Egypt could never afford. The construction companies are very keen on this project for obvious reasons. al-Baz is a geologist who claims to have helped the Americans land on the moon. He is politically very well connected everywhere in the Arab world particularly in Egypt and Qatar. He plays a major role in the Qatar Foundation where there are many trillions of dollars which are supposed to be spent on science and technology. In all of these complex relations, Mohamed El Naschie is the only one who enjoys a popular support of the ordinary man on the street. El Naschie comes from a noble family. He grew up in West Germany. Received his education in Germany and England and returned to Egypt only eight years ago. At the age of 35 he was already a very rich man and a well known engineer and he decided to devote the rest of his life on enjoying his various hobbies and pursue his love of music, painting and art. Many have speculated about his reasons for spending such an unreasonable amount of effort and time on something like Chaos, Solitons & Fractals and keep up with the most unconvincing arguments. They asked why a man of his stature, wealth and prestige should risk being subjected to people like John Baez or Renate Loll just for the sake of a new theory for quantum gravity based on fractals. People who imagine that money and power is what makes the world go round, which is surely true, could never understand El Naschie. He is entirely different. For him love makes the world go round and besides his family and his country, nothing was ever nearer to his heart than theoretical physics. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals was conceived to be the organ of a new way of seeing the universe through a fractal eye. Whether this is laughable, naïve or right is irrelevant. It is simply the manifesto of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals. It was never meant to be a traditional theoretical physics journal. What would be the point of that? It was meant to be a revolutionary journal in the good sense. When you read his first editorial written in 1991 you will understand. These comments are now too long and I cannot go on anymore. However if the kind Master of this blog allows me, I will take the next opportunity to dwell more on this subject to the benefit of our scientific community. If they wish, I will also ask my colleagues and those who know Mohamed El Naschie much better than me to write in more details about this subject in the style far from the maddening crowd of the n-Category Café. Need less to say, I apologize to Thomas Hardy for using the title of his novel and connecting it to the far less glorious Café. Two final points: First if any Editor in Chief resigns because they publish in their own journal, then all Editors in Chief in Elsevier and elsewhere must resign, particularly those in World Scientific and Physica D. Second, El Naschie has published about 900 papers and only 300 are in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals.

  54. Hi Bee,

    “I don't see however what this has to do with the question of an editors' own publications.”

    Actually this is a very interesting point as to what distinguishes between a blog and a journal as in terms of reliability of the value of its content from the standpoint of integrity.

    With a blog integrity is largely measured by means of the stregth of its openness to criticism from those that would comment and how those commentators are in turn perceived in being both knowledgeable and earnest.

    With a journal it rests more with the editors formal credentials of which the publisher is responsible to assure. Whether or not the editor has been acting truly professionally in carrying out thier duties comes back to the publisher as to being ultimately responsible.

    It appears in this respect the mob despite the nature and intent of its character has proven to be more readily able to be evaluated within the context of a blog (of course contingent upon it having no preset screening of comments and that anonymous commentators be properly scrutinized), then a journal where the integrity is assumed as a given. It then leaves one wonder if perhaps a blog can be more readily trusted and a further reason for journals to explore this methodology of publishing more seriously.



  55. To "Duncan":

    From what university did El Naschie earn his Ph.D. in 1974?

  56. To answer your question Mohamed El Naschie got his Ph.D. from University College, London 1974. University College is part of the University of London and is in Dover Street. The back of the University looks directly at a book shop which used to be Dillons until it was bought by an American company and now it is either Blackwells or Waterstones. The title of the Ph.D. is The role of formulation in elastic buckling. El Naschie derives in this thesis the equation of shells, rings and struts from 3 dimensional elasticity. Subsequently he determined the imperfection sensitivity of various structures using Koiter’s theory of initial post buckling. That is how he later on came to stability, bifurcation and chaos. Papers extracted from his Ph.D. were published in English, German and French. After three years from obtaining his Ph.D. he had more than 50 published papers to his credit. Presently he does not know how many papers he has written. He told me he stopped counting almost 15 years ago. He is the first to say that there is no definite correlation between the number of papers and the quality of the Author. He frequently quotes Cromwell saying ‘a few good men are better than numbers’. The problem with El Naschie as he himself always says is his enormous range of interests. He is interested in everything and wants to know everything. He is not a weird guy though. He is a family man, fun loving and extremely approachable. He treats the Minister of Higher Education as if he is his driver and treats the driver as if he is a Minister. No arrogance what so ever. The U-tube was not done by him. It was done by Thompson ECI. His student added some pictures. You could see him together with Nobel laureate Murray Gell-Mann if you blog into the appropriate link. Gell-Mann was very impressed by him but you are wrong if you think that he cares whether he is sitting with a Prime Minister or a student. He treats almost everyone the same. However he is very traditional and has great respect for older people. The way he is described in n-Category Café is appalling and based on a vendetta. I know slightly about the story. A relative of his together with the wife of this relative stole 10 million or so pounds from his late mother. The woman Shadia Al Shishini was sentenced to three years hard labor. The husband whose name is Said Salah El-Din Hamad, a former professor of Chemical Eng. in King Saud University suffers from severe manic depression and paranoia and was seeking revenge. They contacted a Croatian because Said had a lot of friends in the former Soviet block. In his youth he was a well known communist leader of Egypt. This Croatian contacted John Baez who believed his story eagerly because he is a friend of Renate Loll who has all reason to discredit El Naschie maybe thinking that she can then get the King Faisal Prize. It all sounds like a cheap oriental conspiracy with cloak and dagger but it is not a play, it is unfortunately real. The first real victim of this oriental way of doing things is El Naschie himself; second the poor journalist of Nature and third Nature itself, the respectable magazine. It is a real fix and God knows how it will end. It is very easy to start these things but it is very difficult to end it. I do not know John Baez that well but there is something wrong with this guy. Maybe the mixture between Scottish and Mexican temperament proves to be far worse than a full night of Tequila but the man is hot headed and he shoots first and asks questions later. He made fun of two and three Stein spaces and had to eat his words. Then he challenged El Naschie regarding the 8 exceptional Lie groups and had to admit defeat. Then he spoke about knot theory and realized he is out of his depth on wild knots to really discuss it with El Naschie. Then he found another ignoramus to make fun of Mohamed’s paper about the universality class of all universality classes and made a fool of himself because he clearly knows nothing about set theory or descriptive set theory or transfinite set theory. In addition Mohamed is one of the first who used causal partially ordered sets in high energy physics. As you read his 300 papers, you will discover how much this civil engineer has done in physics and don’t forget, he is a civil, structural engineer. Mohamed is a man with a kind heart who easily forgives his most ardent enemies but this campaign is something else and I think John Baez will live to regret it, if he is lucky.

  57. Either there are many people who dislike John Baez or El Naschie has many supporters.

    Anyway this feud is boring, sad and does not contribute anything. Its only result is to give science and scientists a bad name.

  58. You have to mod out N anonymous commeters, they only count as one.

  59. Why is there no thesis by that title or that author at the University of London? Please enlighten.

  60. Ha! Yes maybe. I didn't realize that. So there is only one guy but he really hates Baez:-)

  61. Quoting "anonymous" at 7:05 PM, November 29, 2008:

    He made fun of two and three Stein spaces and had to eat his words. Then he challenged El Naschie regarding the 8 exceptional Lie groups and had to admit defeat.

    Could you please point out where this "eating of words" or "admission of defeat" is supposed to have taken place?

    You will indeed spot a comment on that thread, making fun of the terminology "two and three Stein spaces", and a follow up by the same commenter where he retracts the mockery -- although, since no answer or citation was given by the supporters of Prof El Naschie, said commenter had to go and look up the references in the literature where the terminology is spelled differently.

    However, since that comment was written by me, and not by John Baez, I fail to see any evidence that he has been forced to admit any error in his assessments of the content or lack thereof in the works of MS el N.

    I've been following the comments on that thread for a while now, and have not seen any explanation of the phrase "the eight exceptional Lie groups E_1, ..., E_8". Nor have I seen any defence of the use of a formula, given by Nash as an upper bound in high dimensions, in the case n=1 and n=2 when it is manifestly meaningless.

    Regarding these long tales of skullduggery: perhaps the apposite word here is "projection"?

  62. Looking for the numerous amazing articles of El naschie, I found a wonderful one whose title is
    "P-Adic analysis and the transfinite E8 exceptional Lie symmetry group unification"
    M.S. El Naschie
    King Abdullah Institute for Nano and Advanced Technology, KSU, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    Volume 38, Issue 3, November 2008, Pages 612-614

    Just reading the first sentence in the introduction which is
    "One of the most amazing results in high energy physics is the T-duality discovered in the context of superstring theories by Witten [1] "
    But, for your surprise, in the list of references you find no mention of any reference of Witten.
    Reference [1] is just a paper of El naschie himself. Here is list
    [1] M.S. El Naschie, A few hints and some theorems about Witten’s M theory and T-duality, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals (2005), pp. 545–548.
    [2] A. Leonovich, Comments on E8 unification and P-Adic numbers. http:/ (10/03/2008).
    [3] M.S. El Naschie, Transfinite harmonization by taking the dissonance out of the quantum field symphony, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals (2007).
    [4] M.S. El Naschie, High energy physics and the standard model from the exceptional Lie groups, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 36 (2008), pp. 1–17.
    [5] M. Kaku, Introduction to superstrings and M-theory, Springer, New York (1999) see p. 385 in particular.
    [6] M.S. El Naschie, Infinite dimensional Branes and the E(∞) topology of Heterotic super strings, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 12 (2001), pp. 1047–1055.

    The first reference as already mentioned is El naschie paper. The big surprise about this paper is its tilte
    "A few hints and some theorems about Witten’s M theory and T-duality" here again we find no reference to any of Witten's papers . here is list of references of this paper ;
    [1] E. Goldfain, Cantorian spacetime and unified field theory, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 23 (2005), pp. 701–710.
    [2] M.S. El Naschie, A review of E-infinity theory and the mass spectrum of high energy physics, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 19 (2004), pp. 209–236
    [3] M.S. El Naschie, Gödel universe, dualities and high energy particles in E-infinity, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 25 (2005) (3), pp. 759–764.
    [4] El Naschie MS. On the cohomology and instantons number in E-infinity Cantorian spacetime. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, in press doi:10.1016/j.chaos.2005.12.019.
    [5] M. Kaku, Strings, conformal fields and M-theory, Springer-Verlag, New York (2000).
    [6] A. Khrennikov, Non-Archimedean analysis, Kluwer Academic Publishers, London (1997).
    [7] V. Vladimirov, I. Valovich and E. Zelenov, P-Adic analysis and mathematical physics, World Scientific, Singapore (1998).

    Something more peculiar about the list of references, of the first paper, is that one of the references is just a comment on an article published in the Telegraph, unfortunately the comment has been deleted. Also the address of the first paper raises another question about the so many false affiliation of El Naschie. The address seems not to be related to his activities.

    It is obvious that there is no kind of peer review for these papers even at the fromal level apart from the content.

    One can guess that papers may be generated using a program of language generation like n-moles or n-grams or whatever kind of program used. I think, at least for me, that the 'a b' of scientific writing should fulfill certain basic criteria:
    1- If you mention a paper of Witten (or any name) [], then one should put reference for that person in the square bracket.
    2- If you have a paper titled with theory of some one, then the list of references should contain at least one reference for that guy.

    I hope, by now, El naschie has a plenty of time to fix the bugs in the program generating papers, implementing these two mentioned rules in the code and acknowledge this blog for drawing his attention.

  63. This is a comment posted on one of the physics blogs that deserves our attention. It calls for ending the smear campaign which is of course long overdue and uncalled for. Archie

    To All,

    I think that both Lisi and El Naschie have something to contribute to modern physics, and I have an idea to end these smear campaigns.

    I like Lisi’s E8, but consider this a “Minimal Theory of Everything”. If that sounds like an oxymoron to you, it also bothers me. It is clear to me that Lisi’s E8 is incomplete.

    El Naschie has written volumes about E-infinity, Cantorian Spacetime, and Alpha Bar Theory. Of course, Eddington invented Alpha Bar Theory before El Naschie’s birth, but El Naschie is still trying to contribute to the idea, and won’t let it die. I can’t criticize that, because I also won’t let Dirac’s Large Numbers Hypothesis die. El Naschie has published so many ideas in so many different places (mostly different articles in “Chaos”) that he or one of his students should consider organizing all of the ideas into one book.

    I’m still working on E12. The ideas that I published in my book last May are incomplete, and I know it. Eventually, I will figure out E8, E10, and E12; and finish the job that Lisi started (unless Lisi or someone else finishes it first). Then maybe I can examine the connections between E12 and E-infinity.

    My solution to these smear campaigns is as follows: Someone should organize a conference and invite Lisi to talk about E8, invite El Naschie to talk about E-infinity, and invite me to talk about E12. I will gladly take the worst time slot. I understand there are still politics to determine who gets the best time slot – Lisi is probably more popular in America, and El Naschie is probably more popular in Europe and the Middle East.

    Personally, I would like to meet both of these men. Give us several days together, and there’s no telling how we’ll shake up modern physics.

    Sincerely, Ray Munroe

  64. Re: The Case of M. S. El Naschie, Continued
    John Baez,

    There are lies and almost nothing but dam lies and twisting of facts on your 0-category café. Why don’t you say that El Naschie published these 300 papers you are so obsessed with over the period of nearly 20 years? This is a modest rate. By contrast over how many years did Nayfeh publish his 60 papers in his own journal? Why not comment on how many other journals Nayfeh owns, edits and publishes his own work in? For example, Nonlinear Vibration owned jointly by him and an employee of Kluwer.

    Shame on you Baez - but keep going. The more you and your kind rant and rage without any semblance of being balanced in any way at all just proves to anyone with a brain at all that this is nothing more than a witch hunt. To start with you sparked interest but you have all gone so over the top you would have to be brain dead not to see what is happening here.

    I for one and I am sure there are more rational people out there, am now truly interested in seeing what this El Naschie has to say. It must be quite something for all of you to be so scared of him and unable to have any proper debate.

  65. Hi Archie, Disillusioned, A Kayam, Duncam, and all other split identities:

    Please stop abusing this thread to post prefabricated statements you have not even bothered to adopt to this blog. This is not a public bulletin board. Moreover, stop adressing, and worse, insulting and slandering people who have never posted in this thread. This is a matter of civility and manner.

    Thanks - Stefan

  66. Dear all,

    regarding comments such as

    Why is there no thesis by that title or that author at the University of London?

    Also the address of the first paper raises another question about the so many false affiliation of El Naschie.

    - Please stop questioning El Naschie's credentials or affiliations without any substantial proof. This is just fair and helps the actual case at hand.

    For example, there are plenty of engineering papers by El Naschie published in the 1970s in ZAMM (Journal of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics), which to me seem to make it quite bold an assertion to doubt his doctorate in engineering. Has any of the doubters really digged through dusty "real" archives and libraries at the University College in London?

    Regarding affiliations, my impression is that El Naschie may be a bit sloppy in using them - but I am not sure if he is aware of this, or bothers much about this. For example, the distinction between an Honorary Fellowship of the private "Förderverein für physikalische Grundlagenforschung" and the "Fachbereich Physik" at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University is an essential but subtle one, as the same people are involved, and even harder to see if you translate the titles and names into English. I am also quite sure that at some early point, El Naschie was involved in the foundation of the "Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Sudies", although I am not sure what his status, if any, is today. The controversy about the DAMTP affiliation may have had a similar background. Anyway, I see a priori no reason to doubt that he is somehow related to the King Abdullah Institute for Nano and Advanced Technology at King Saud University, though some more transparency may be welcome.

    Sticking to facts really helps strengthen the actual case at hand, the question if these hundreds of papers by El Naschie written in the style exhibited by the anonymous comment above could have been published in the same way in another journal where he is not on the editorial board.

    My personal impression is that without serious and critical feedback, and without the necessity to respond to criticism due to the convenient publication outlet CS&F at hand, the Cantorian spacetime and E-infinity business somewhen in the past has jumped the shark. It seems to be a classical case of group think and immunisation, but I may be wrong.

    Maybe it is now just time to calm down and see what happens next.

    Thanks, Stefan

  67. Hi Stefan

    I realize it might sound like rather a dumb question, never the less I have to ask if you or some of the others know of any predictions that have been made that can be tested, or in upcoming experiments could be, where a result could assigned as attributed solely to be resultant of the consequences of El naschie’s theories? For despite admittedly not being either a scientist or mathematician it appears in being not much more then numerology.

    All this talk about integrity, devote followings, mismanagement, accusations and alike is ignoring that what we are talking about here is science or perhaps relevant mathematics, if preferred, where only the presence or absence of proof should decide such matters. So I would suggest let’s have a prediction which can be carefully accessed, for surely within the sum total of all this prolific writing there must have been at least one made.

    My personal interest and concern in all this relates to pseudoscience, which I feel presents to be a growing and even greater danger then simple ignorance. I also feel that in recent years this has worsened with a small part of it being assignable to a few scientists themselves, where unfortunately it is not so blatantly obvious to the vast majority as to what it is.



  68. Hi Phil,

    there are kind of predictions, for example in Exceptional Lie groups, E-infinity theory and Higgs Boson by Ayman A. El-Okaby, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 38 (2008) 1305-131. Here is a quote for the Conclusions:

    Also, the numerical value of the inverse of electromagnetic fine structure constant has been estimated in a simple way, namely

    [\alpha\bar_zero] = ... = 137.135225.

    No idea what this means and how this fits with the CODATA value of 137.0359..., but there for sure is an explanation, just fix the energy scale or whatever. Moreover, the quote goes on and concludes the paper (I have added links to the references as they are used in the text, as they are quite typical) by saying:

    We thus conclude that at least one more particle probably the Higgs must be found experimentally in the near future, making the number of particles in the standard model 61. However the most likely number to be discovered is 6 more elementary particles, namely 66 all in all. The maximum number at energy below one Tesla is found by El-Naschie, namely 69 particles, i.e. 9 more particles must be found [25].

    Nonetheless at higher energy involving super-symmetric parameter, the value 72 predicted by Marek–Crnjac and El-Naschie is possible. In fact at ever higher values there are possibilities with the E8 to E-infinity scenarios [29] that a total of 80 or 84 elementary particles exist. This means we could discover as many as 20 or even 24 more particles. Clearly Experimental High energy physics still a long way to go [13].

    Best, Stefan

  69. stefan said: Has any of the doubters really digged through dusty "real" archives and libraries at the University College in London?

    Well, there is no thesis by anyone with the surnames "El Naschie", "El Nachie", "Elnaschie", "Elnachie", "Naschie", "Nachie", "Nachee", "Naschee", "El Naschee", or "El Nachee" in the online PhD thesis catalog of the University of London.

    Is this absence part of the alleged conspiracy against El Naschie too? Perhaps the great man could be persuaded to upload a photograph of the first few pages of his PhD thesis to his web-site, to assure us all that it really does exist and was granted, and then we can query the Librarian of the University of London over the apparent gap in the catalog.

  70. John Baez Esquire, what about Leon Chua? He published far more than El Naschie and Nayfeh combined in his own journal of Bifurcation and Chaos However the owner of World Scientific, the publisher, is your own publisher and friend. Did you sign an agreement with him not to disclose details about Chuas self publishing or have you signed a contract to undermine Chaos, Solitons and Fractals so that World scientific can take its share in the market. I think your behavior is disgraceful and we will make sure that everybody knows really who you are.


  71. Josh and all other anonymouses:

    Your accusations only show you did not even bother to read this post. If this continues, we will delete all anonymous comments and close this comment section.

  72. Hi Peter,

    thanks for pointing out the catalogue of the University of London Research Library Services. Indeed, I did not find either his thesis there.

    But what I wanted to say is that one should be cautious to draw conclusions from the absence of entries on theses of the 1970s in modern electronic online catalogues.

    To demonstrate my point:

    I have just checked out the "Integrated Catalogue" of the British Library. You will find the following under the entry with system number 014720109:

    System number: 014720109
    Cataloguing level: Minimal record
    Author - personal: El Nashie, M. S.
    Title: The roll of formulation in elastic buckling.
    Publisher/year: [S.l.] : University of London, 1974.
    Physical descr.: pp. 348.
    Dissertation: Doctoral Thesis - University of London.
    Reproduction note: Microfilm. 35 mm.
    Added name: University of London.
    Holdings (All): Details
    Shelfmark: D11176/74 DSC Request

    You even have a shelfmark to look it up. So, if you continue doubting his doctorate, he may indeed be in a good position to sue you.

    Best, Stefan

  73. Hi Stefan,

    Thanks as this is the first of anything of what I would call substance being presented. That said with the nature of the predictions you have made note of it seems a little difficult as to have them be considered as being of committed certainty. In context I would ask if GR would have been accepted if the range of deflection detected allowed for by Eddington’s experimental results would have been so wide and non committal.

    So unless something can be produced more definitive then this I personally would consider this not much more credible then when a fortune teller looks into your eyes and proclaims that you are about to have you life affected by a stranger.

    At the same time as yourself I wouldn't want it thought I have drawn any firm conclusions, it’s just that for me this type of thing is how I will access to determine as to what credence I should give it all. In the end it's not so important or even our right to decide if something should be allowed to be published or not, rather our obligation and right to simply decide for ourselves if one should have reason as to have it considered seriously.



  74. Dear Stefan --

    It would behoove you to read my previous post more carefully, before threatening legal actions. I do not for one moment doubt that M.S. El Naschie claims to have a PhD from the University of London. I noted merely that no record of such a thesis exists in the online catalog of the Library of the University of London, the institution which is supposed to have awarded it. This online catalog contains records of University of London PhD theses going back at least to the 1950s, so any absence from the catalog is not because the online catalog does not extend back to 1974.

    Thank you for finding the BL record of the microfilm copy of the thesis, although I note this record appears to have mis-spelt his surname.

    Perhaps you or the great man will now contact the Librarian of University of London regarding their missing catalog entry and let us all know the result.

  75. Please spare me the crocodile tears. I have read for days and days now what you are writing. You are heart and soul with your colleague in the trade John Baez. You knew from day one that first Prof. El Naschie has a Ph.D and second he is a Distinguished Fellow. Are you really seriously asking how I know that? Because you are both German and married and your supervisor Bee was Horst Stocker who is a student of Walter Greiner who is a friend of Mohamed El Naschie. I am sure you are going to take this comment out. You have the nerve to have a go at those who are speaking the truth about John Baez and then you leave all these untruthful comments about Prof. El Naschie. John Baez might not know the whole truth, but both of you did. It is becoming a case for the police of Frankfurt where you live.

  76. Hi All:

    Everybody who is familiar with the blogosphere has surely noticed by now that there is something decidedly odd about this comment section. We have a large amount of anonymous and pseudoanonymous commenters who repeat suspiciously similar sounding explanations, accusations, or paranoid conspiracy theories that do not refer to anything which was actually said here. I am not even remotely interested in continuing this fruitless exchange, and - with apologies to those who actually had something substantial to say - will therefore close this comment section.