Working physicists who have a "big name" often get emails today, but in the past it was sick envelopes, containing manuscripts from ordinary folk not formally trained in physics who are attempting to refute Einstein and/or overturn quantum mechanics and establish a "new theory" of everything. Physics-trained writer Margaret Wertheim in Physics on the Fringe: Smoke Rings, Circlons and Alternative Theories of Everything (2011) gives a "sympathetic" study of the psychology and sociology of fringe "physicists" or what academics like to call "cranks".

The fringe dweller has good instincts and knows that there is something fundamentally wrong with physics. However, lacking an education and mathematical tools, he fails to get to the core of the problem and sketch a viable alternative which coherently fits with the whole of physics. It is no easy task and I am still uncertain about how to proceed. My articles for this site that I hope to contribute in the future criticising Einstein's theory of relativity, quantum mechanics and string theory will be my work in progress attempt to try to make sense of the "mess" that physics is in. For those of you who want to plunge in right away see Jim Baggott, Farewell to Reality: How Fairytale Physics Betrays the Search for Scientific Truth, (Constable, London, 2013).