How to reference a rejected paper on your CV

From Rob Phillips’ list of publications on his lab website:

A First Exposure to Statistical Mechanics for Life Scientists. (with Hernan G. Garcia, Jane’ Kondev, Nigel Orme and Julie A. Theriot), Rejected by Am. J. Phys., 2007. [online full text]

The paper itself is a great read, with some important ideas for anyone who thinks about how to incorporate more quantitative/physical concepts into our program of biology education. It also tells you that stat mech is almost effortless once you understand the Boltzmann distribution:

We find that statistical mechanics can be introduced in a streamlined fashion by proceeding axiomatically. We start by introducing a few key definitions and then arguing that just as classical mechanics can be built exclusively around repeated uses of F = ma, statistical mechanics has its own fundamental law (the Boltzmann distribution) from which results flow almost effortlessly and seemingly endlessly. There is a great deal of precedent for this axiomatic approach as evidenced by several amusing comments from well known statistical mechanics texts. In the preface to his book [8], Daniel Mattis comments on his thinking about what classes to take on statistical mechanics upon his arrival at graduate school. “I asked my classmate JR Schrieffer, who presciently had enrolled in that class, whether I should chance it later with a different instructor. He said not to bother – that he could explain all I needed to know about this topic over lunch. On a paper napkin, Bob wrote e−βH “That’s it in a nutshell”. “Surely you must be kidding Mr. Schrieffer” I replied (or words to that effect) “How could you get the Fermi-Dirac distribution out of THAT?” “Easy as pie” was the reply … and I was hooked”.

Author: Mike White

Genomes, Books, and Science Fiction

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