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A question posed on academia.SE prompts this follow-up question:

Is there an example of a famous physical law, constant, equation, theorem etc that was named after its discoverer by the discoverer him/herself?

Thinking of things like Newton's Laws, Josephson effect, Kalman filter, Turing machine, etc.

Usually these things are named by others - but did anyone ever say "I discovered what I propose to call the Jones effect"?

For reference, you can find a long list of "laws named after people" at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientific_laws_named_after_people (with thanks to J.W. Perry for first posting the link, and to HDE226868 for restoring it when the original comment was deleted)

I'm sure it's not a complete list...

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    $\begingroup$ My guess is the closest will be some sort of taxonomist naming a species after themselves.. $\endgroup$ – user2813274 Dec 19 '14 at 19:30
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    $\begingroup$ No we're not. You will find it was discussed in the comments of the original question linked above: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/34547/… $\endgroup$ – Floris Dec 19 '14 at 21:24
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    $\begingroup$ Parkinson's Laws. $\endgroup$ – Alexandre Eremenko Dec 20 '14 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexandreEremenko - that's a good one; the original article can be found at economist.com/node/14116121 and includes the line Before the discovery of a new scientific law—herewith presented to the public for the first time, and to be called Parkinson's Law* . Reading the whole article, it's clearly intended as an attempt at humor -- but the "Law" stuck... $\endgroup$ – Floris Dec 20 '14 at 19:52
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    $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 - that is clearly a great link to have. I will put it in the question so it doesn't disappear. $\endgroup$ – Floris Dec 20 '14 at 20:22
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This isn't really a physical law, nor is it exactly what you're asking for, but the statistical concept usually known as the "Akaike Information Criterion" (AIC) was indeed called AIC by Akaike, but with the name "an information criterion."

I don't know historically whether that was intentional or not, but when Sumio Watanabe called his extension the "Widely Applicable Information Criterion" (WAIC) the standard name of "Watanabe-Akaike Information Criterion" shortly followed.

Andrew Gelman has joked that he should develop an information criterion with Aki Vehtari and call it the "Very Good Information Criterion."

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  • $\begingroup$ Very clever - definitely belongs in this collection! $\endgroup$ – Floris Dec 22 '14 at 14:23
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In 2013, Harminder Dua announced the discovery of the eponymous Dua's layer in the eye. Wikipedia writes:

While some scientists welcomed the announcement, other scientists cautioned that time was needed for other researchers to confirm the discovery and its significance. Others have met the claim "with incredulity". The choice of the name Dua's Layer has also been criticized.

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  • $\begingroup$ This certainly is a candidate although it's a pretty obscure "discovery" - The fact that Dua named it upon discovery is interesting, but it almost falls under the "taxonomy" waiver. Hoping others examples will follow. $\endgroup$ – Floris Dec 20 '14 at 0:38
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Here is an interesting twist.

The Black-Scholes model for option pricing first appeared in:

Black, Fischer; Scholes, Myron (1973). "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities". Journal of Political Economy 81 (3): 637–654.

where they derived and solved the governing partial differential equation, now referred to as the Black-Scholes equation. Robert Merton provided a crucial step in deriving the PDE rigorously using a dynamic hedging argument -- an improvement on an approach considered by Black and Scholes. He was subsequently acknowledged in a footnote.

Of course, there was no explicit reference to "Black-Scholes model" in the original publication. Later Merton published a paper where he named the model Black-Scholes.

Merton and Scholes were awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize Economics for this work. The model is now commonly referred to as the Black-Scholes-Merton option pricing model.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very interesting twist - so the person (Merton) who participated in the developing of the model named it after his co-inventors although he was on the original paper (and shared the Nobel prize). And later his name was added (but not by him). I think it doesn't quite fit my exact question but it's a great addition nonetheless. $\endgroup$ – Floris Dec 20 '14 at 13:37
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I apologize that I cannot provide a source for this, but in Mathematics it is pretty common that theorems/methods are named by their discoverer or inventor (whatever you prefer). But I can provide two lists of theorems that were - against the convention - not named after their discoverer:

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    $\begingroup$ The question was about laws/theorems that were named by their inventor(s), after him/her/themselves. Therefore, this does not seem to provide an answer. $\endgroup$ – Danu Dec 22 '14 at 20:43
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    $\begingroup$ This is an interesting list but not what I was looking for - I am specifically asking about people who themselves called for their discovery to be named after them instead of waiting for others to do it. $\endgroup$ – Floris Dec 22 '14 at 21:42

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