Shourrya Ray: A case study of media corruption

By | June 5, 2012
Finally, a mathematical statement on what Shourrya Ray's work is about! As it turns out, there is no solution to a problem unsolvable since Newton, and one of the two proposed solutions is actually invalid (or better put: it still needs some fine-tuning; the young man has not yet given up and proposed an alternative approach, but this has yet to be finished and validated).

Ray has done some impressive work, and will no doubt be a mathematician to keep your eye on, with the calibre of his insights. What he has done is rediscovered a particular aspect of classical dynamics: predicting the effect of various forces on the trajectory of a particle through a gas or a liquid. Considering that he wasn't aware of previous solutions on the problem, that's rather impressive for his age and background – though not the ground-breaking discovery that the media hype claimed.

If anything, this example speaks for how eager journalists are to post breaking news, to the point of not validating what they write about. And not just traditional media, but online media as well: I'd say it's time to red-card all of the online media outlets who reported on Shourrya's discovery without adding a grain of salt.

The details, for the mathematically inclined:
http://tu-dresden.de/die_tu_dresden/fakultaeten/fakultaet_mathematik_und_naturwissenschaften/fachrichtung_mathematik/institute/analysis/chill/dateien/CommentsRay.pdf

In case you missed the original hype:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2150225/Shouryya-Ray-solves-puzzles-posed-Sir-Isaac-Newton-baffled-mathematicians-350-years.html

/cc +Lee Smallwood , since you asked. ;)

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http://tu-dresden.de/die_tu_dresden/fakultaeten/fakultaet_mathematik_und_naturwissenschaften/fachrichtung_mathematik/institute/analysis/chill/dateien/CommentsRay.pdf

2 thoughts on “Shourrya Ray: A case study of media corruption

  1. Max Huijgen

    Thanks +Sophie Wrobel as I read the news when no details were provided and hesitated at that time if I would post it. The lack of detail made me suspicious so I decided against it, but the hype was indeed enormous. 

    Reply

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