Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pull Up a Chair

Wiley Interscience is starting a debate [1] in Plasma Processes and Polymers and wants everyone to get involved. The topic is the macroscopic polymerization kinetics in plasma reactors - basically a variation on the Arrhenius equation.

Here's the setup: Dirk Hegemann of EMPA (Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt, aka the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research) published a paper last year proposing one relationship; Robert Short and David Steele of the Mawson Institute, Univ. of South Australia, looked at his data and proposed an alternate (set of) relationships. Wiley saw this and proposed the square off. Both groups are being quite good-natured about the debate: they have a joint commentary in the journal about the issues and are looking forward to getting the issues resolved [2]. Wiley is open to taking comments from anyone.

The journal cited above has the article of Short and Steele, a reply from Hegemann, and two perspectives from a "Physicist's Point of View" and a "Chemical Engineering Point of View", all open access.

So don't just sit there. Download the papers, run through them (they are not overly technical - there are only a few simple equations that any undergrad can handle), create some great ideas and put them out there. Or at the very least, pull up a chair and watch something that doesn't come along very often at all.

[1] Actually, Wiley didn't start the debate but is providing a forum for it, including open access.

[2] Isn't that how science is supposed to work?

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