In 1978, I wrote a paper about the classification of
open-channel flow regimes. In this paper, I identified
three characteristic celerities and three characteristic
diffusivities, from which only four independent dimensionless
numbers could be defined. Three of them were well known:
the Froude, Reynolds, and Vedernikov numbers.
The fourth number was new, and not finding an appropriate reference in the literature,
I called it the "Ponce-Simons" number, to include my professor and coauthor Daryl B. Simons.
The Ponce-Simons number
characterized unsteady open-channel flow as kinematic (small value), dynamic (intermediate value)
or inertial (large value).
The idea was based on an earlier
paper (1977) entitled
"Shallow wave propagation in open-channel flow,"
which had been well received.
I submitted the manuscript
to the ASCE Hydraulics Division Journal, but the paper was rejected.
It was returned to me with the following comment from one of the referees:
"To range one's name along such illustrious
antecessors as Froude, Vedernikov, and Reynolds, is surely the ultimate in chutzpah."
Shortly thereafter, I published a reduced version of the paper 1
in the proceedings of the Fourth Canadian Hydrotechnical Conference.
Yet, the experience had taught me a valuable lesson: You can't name
something after yourself; recognition is to be bestowed only by others.
1 Ponce, V. M. 1979.
"On the classification of open channel flow regimes," Proceedings,
Fourth National Hydrotechnical Conference, Vancouver, Canada, May.