Modern sciences must have created many emperors that have no clothes. I found one when I was a graduate student (Geology; March 2001; v. 29; no. 3). An important technique of Petrology is called crystal size distribution (CSD): after counting the numbers and measuring the sizes of crystals in a rock, the plot of crystal numbers vs. crystal sizes can be explained by important and hard-to-constrain parameters like crystal growth rate, nucleation density, and residence time. Fortunately, my acquired high learning in CSD did not prevent me from realizing the simple truth learned in elementary school that it is total crystal volume that fully determines crystal numbers and sizes, nothing else, not growth rate, not nucleation density, not residence time.

Unfortunately, the end of my career in sciences greeted me after I shouted the emperor has no clothes. At then I did not realize that I deserved the fate as I made so many professors miserable and that I really have a speculator's heart.

By the way, crystal number in CSD is actually called crystal population density, which is still crystal number but measured within a unit volume of system and within a unit crystal size. Confused? This is why CSD practitioners have published about one thousand papers and have spent quite sizable funding.





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