A while back I received a strange spam containing a quantum physics paper. At the time I wasn’t sure what to make of it, although someone suggested it might just be a randomly mailed document sent by a virus.
Someone else who received it referred to it as Idea Spam—spam designed not to sell or advertise a product, but to promote an idea. Basically, spam as a meme vector.
Another person characterized the paper (or rather, the paper’s author) as a crank. Apparently it’s not unusual for pseudo-scientists to indiscriminately send their “findings” to anyone they think might listen. My favorite quote from this discussion:
i heard that one professor (i can’t remember whom) has a folder in his cabinet titled “public relations” where he stuffs things from these maniacs. when he was asked why he didn’t just label the folder “nut cases,” he replied that “then they’d get mad. this way, they will feel like i might look at it later and just go away.”
And so the mystery is solved.