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A little late to the party, but here is a list of some hilarious arxiv papers released around April 1st. Kudos Isaac Kuo for the compilation
Fun Papers from arXiv - From 3 Apr 2012


This week included some April Fool's papers. There were also quite a few papers about exoplanets, which I generally find interesting. We have a couple FTL papers, a couple chaos papers, and a few assorted papers that didn't fit into any pattern.


APRIL 1 - Non-detection of the Tooth Fairy at Optical Wavelengths

This paper details a failed attempt to telescopically detect the Tooth Fairy, with speculation that higher time resolution may be necessary in case of an FTL Tooth Fairy. - On the Ratio of Circumference to Diameter for the Largest Observable Circles: An Empirical Approach

This paper uses cosmology theory on the largest observable circles (horizon of the visible universe) and finds that 3.2 and 22/7 are viable values for pi. However, 3 is ruled out. - The Proof of Innocence

This paper claims to be proof of innocence on a traffic ticket. Fooled you! It's actually only a proof of reasonable doubt! Bet you didn't see that one coming. - Clarification as to why alcoholic beverages have the ability to induce superconductivity in Fe1+dTe1-xSx

Haha! Meta-April Fools! Despite being submitted on April 1, this is a real paper with real research on a true, if amusing, effect. Yes, booze does indeed have the ability to induce superconductivity. This paper reports on their research into figuring out why. No, really!


EXOPLANETS - Evolution of magnetic protection in potentially habitable terrestrial planets

An impressive work modeling the atmosphere and water loss of exoplanets in liquid water habitable zones--with particular attention to tide locked ones. They find that tide locked Earth mass planets likely have lost their atmospheres while super-Earths have better chances of preserving their atmospheres.

Obviously, this is of interest to anyone who, like myself, is interested in possible life on exoplanets. Of course, I'm personally optimistic that neither atmospheres nor surface liquid water are required for life, but even so this is interesting in terms of relatively "earth-like" life. - The Exozodiacal Dust Problem for Direct Observations of ExoEarths

This paper examines how exozodiacal dust will adversely affects attempts to directly observe Earth-like exoplanets in habitable zones. It explains two basic problems--the bright noise from the dust compared to Earth-sized exoplanets, and the confusion of dust clumps. It then goes on to describe some possible ideas for dealing with these problems. Like the above paper, this is interesting for the search for life bearing exoplanets. - Constraining the Planetary System of Fomalhaut Using High-Resolution ALMA Observations

If you're an exoplanet fan, Fomalhaut needs no introduction. This paper considers several possible origins for Fomalhaut's ring, and concludes that it likely has shepherd planets. - A Search for Hierarchical Triples using Kepler Eclipse Timing

Okay, technically this paper is about stars rather than exoplanets, but the data is from Kepler. It's something of an example of the artificiality of the separation between the study of "stars" and "planets".


FTL - Artificial Wormhole - A. A. Kirillov, E. P. Savelova

This paper claims that the FTL OPERA neutrinos are the result of artificial wormholes. I don't understand the math, so while I'm skeptical I won't comment on the merits. This isn't an April Fools paper--a quick google search reveals that E.P. Savelova has other papers with Kirillov's name attached, about the same general topics. - The superluminal neutrino hypothesis - Robert Ehrlich

Another FTL neutrino paper, taking into consideration OPERA, SN 1987A, cosmic rays, and other things. His idea is that one of the neutrinos is a tachyon.

Well, I guess it's still too soon for FTL neutrino ideas to be fully deflated yet.


CHAOS - Chaotic orbits in a 3D galactic dynamical model with a double nucleus

A fun paper with pictures of chaotic galactic orbits, in a galaxy with a double nucleus. I'm a sucker for the pretty pictures. - A Novel Strange Attractor with a Stretched Loop

Another fun paper with pictures of chaos. In this case, it's a new pure mathematical strange attractor, rather than some particular physics model.


ASSORTED - The shape of a ponytail and the statistical physics of hair fiber bundles

This paper investigates a surprisingly understudied question: "What is the shape of a ponytail?" It examines the shape of a ponytail and its physical causes. It also examines current model problems. This is a topic which I find more interesting after having seen Tangled, which was just a mind-blowingly incredible effort in hair modelling. - Analytical Modelling of a Plucked Piezoelectric Bimorph for Energy Harvesting

This paper examines the potential to use "plucked" piezoelectrics for energy harvesting, as opposed to lower frequency piezoelectrics with end weights or coil based electromagnetics. It's an interesting idea, intuitively, but of course the challenge is in taking that intuition and quantifying it. - Dual-camera system for high-speed imaging in particle image velocimetry

This idea is simple enough. Use two still cameras to take two closely timed pictures of a bunch of moving particles. Use the two pictures to determine the velocities of the particles, thus calculating a velocity vector field. Of course, just because an idea is simple doesn't mean that it's a good, workable, idea. As is so often the case, the best way to figure out if it's a good idea is to just go ahead and do it. - Optical Yagi-Uda nanoantennas

This paper with lots of cool pictures studies miniature versions of Yagi-Uda antennas, downsized from the traditional radio wavelengths to optical wavelengths!
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