Saturday, September 21, 2013

The nasty revewier strikes again - the third time is not a charm!

We sent a paper to a third journal and appear to have had the same reviewer again!  The review appears below.  Is it the same person?

The manuscript contains a  confusing and irrelevant approach to estimate maximal values that second and third order dipolar polarizabilities  can attain. The authors  also claim that this approach can be exploited to find   nonlinear  materials with optimal values for these coefficients without specifying  structural, chemical or other related  material characteristics: the Holy Grail in the quest of  nonlinear optical materials.

The approach is an extension of previous ones  with vaguely similar ingredients  and claims that  appeared in a series of publications  essentially by the same group and are extensively and exclusively referred  in the ms .  For a change this time the approach is disguised  with  “cartoons”   representing  “quantum graphs” (QG) and “star motifs”  that can be stressed and bent to any purpose with adjustable assumptions and parameters  to meet the authors  wishful  claims. These QG bear little, if any,  relation to chemical  structural  characteristics of the material as the usual quantum chemical  approaches  do and are far more complicated  to  estimate and guide the search for  nonlinear materials .

In a way  their approach is a disguised, unphysical  and complicated  version  of a  qualitative “assessment” of the nonlinear polarizabilities/susceptibilities based on  an expansion of the  induced  el-dipole/polarization in terms of the parameter  (E/Eat) where E is the el-field of the light  and Eat is an average  atomic(roughly the  ionization field) or cohesive el-field   of the atom (molecule)/solid.  This qualitative approach served  to qualitatively justify the use and range of the perturbation approach in powers of E and to also get a rough estimate of the susceptibilities   in the form of ?(n+1) = 1/(Eat)n; although the estimates  were  order of magnitude off  some  trends  were plausibly  accounted.  A short account of this approach is given in any respectable book on nonlinear optics (see  for instance introductory chapter in  Y.R. Shen,  The Principles of Nonlinear Optics, John Wiley). The present authors  in a cavalier manner  make no reference  to this approach  and  proceed  with  their complicated and useless to any purpose approach .

I shall accordingly not comment any longer on the inconsistencies of their  approach and  the  irrelevance of their quantum graphs  for  conceiving  nonlinear  materials  with optimal values for the second and third order coefficients. In fact the whole discussion in the ms proceeds with ill defined  terminology and unsubstantiated  vague statements. I do not recommend acceptance  of the present ms for publication in JOURNAL XXX.


  1. Besides the general nastiness and the unhelpful nature of the report (lack of any specific reproach), what makes you think it may be the same person?
    I never got a report like this. It sounds like the guy is telling you that he hates your guts.

  2. The editor of the journal where my student's paper was trashed got back to me and confirmed that it is the same person. So at least I can take solace in the fact that it is only one person.