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Physics Week in Review: July 30, 2016

Among this week's physics highlights: "tunable" spider silk can block quasiparticles of sound (phonons); the birth of quantum holography; and exploiting the "slingshot effect" to build better tabletop accelerators. Me at Gizmodo: How Much You Need to Exercise to Make...

More Wrong Things I Said in Papers

Two years ago, I wrote a blog post entitled PostBQP Postscripts, owning up to not one but four substantive mathematical errors that I’d made over the years in my published papers, and which my students and colleagues later brought to my sheepish attention.  Fortunately, none of these errors affected the papers’ main messages; they just […]

After the hangover

The loss of the 750 GeV diphoton resonance is a big blow to the particle physics community. We are currently going through the 5 stages of grief, everyone at their own pace, as can be seen e.g. in this comments section. Nevertheless,...Show More Summary

Monumental Proof to Torment Mathematicians for Years to Come

Davide Castelvecchi at Nature has talked to some of the mathematicians at the recent Kyoto workshop on Mochizuki’s proposed proof of the abc conjecture, and written up a summary under the appropriate title Monumental proof to torment mathematicians for years … Continue reading ?

The deconstructed Standard Model equation

The Standard Model is far more than elementary particles arranged in a table. The Standard Model of particle physics is often visualized as a table, similar to the periodic table of elements, and used to describe particle properties, such as mass, charge and spin. Show More Summary

The Atomki anomaly

A result from an experiment in Hungary catches the attention of a group of theorists in the United States. Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider aren’t the only ones investigating a possible sign of a new particle. In a result published...Show More Summary

But Does That Really Happen…?

Sorry I've been quiet for a long stretch recently. I've been tied up with travel, physics research, numerous meetings of various sorts (from the standard bean-counting variety to the "here's three awesome science-y things to put into...Show More Summary

Quantum Theory and Representation Theory, the Book

For the last few years most of my time has been spent working on writing a textbook, with the current title Quantum Theory, Groups and Representations: An Introduction. The book is based on a year-long course that I’ve taught twice, … Continue reading ?

The most important website in particle physics

The first website to be hosted in the US has grown to be an invaluable hub for open science. With tens of thousands of particle physicists working in the world today, the biggest challenge a researcher can have is keeping track of what everyone else is doing. Show More Summary

Physics Week in Review: July 23, 2016

There was so much cool physics in the news this week, it's hard to pick just three stories to highlight. But Jen-Luc Piquant is going with these: LUX fails to detect dark matter particles; stretching quantum superposition from Minnesota to...

My biology paper in Science (really)

Think I’m pranking you, right? Well, you can see the paper right here (“Synthetic recombinase-based state machines in living cells,” by Nathaniel Roquet, Ava P. Soleimany, Alyssa C. Ferris, Scott Aaronson, and Timothy K. Lu).  Unfortunately there’s a paywall, but I think we’ll be able to post our own version before long (will check).  In the […]

WIMPs on Death Row

One of the main arguments given for the idea of supersymmetric extensions of the standard model has been what SUSY enthusiasts call the “WIMP Miracle” (WIMP=Weakly Interacting Massive Particle). This is the claim that such SUSY models include a stable … Continue reading ?

Dark matter evades most sensitive detector

In its final run, the LUX experiment increased its sensitivity four-fold, but dark matter remains elusive.  After completing its final run, scientists on the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment announced they have found no trace...Show More Summary

Physics Blogging Round-Up: Roman Engineering, Water, and Baseball

It’s been a month since the last links dump of posts from Forbes, though, really, I took a couple of weeks off there, so it’s been less than that in terms of active blogging time. But I’ve put up a bunch of stuff in July, so here are some links: — The Physics Of Ancient…

Pokémon Go shakes up the lab routine

At Fermilab and CERN, students, lab employees and visitors alike are on the hunt for virtual creatures. At Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago, the normal motions of people going about their days have shifted. People who parked their cars in the same spot for years have moved. Show More Summary

The Complexity of Quantum States and Transformations: From Quantum Money to Black Holes

On February 21-25, I taught a weeklong mini-course at the Bellairs Research Institute in Barbados, where I tried to tell an integrated story about everything from quantum proof and advice complexity classes to quantum money to AdS/CFT and the firewall problem—all through the unifying lens of quantum circuit complexity.  After a long effort—on the part […]

5 Years!

Five years ago I (it’s me Dave Bacon former supposed pseudo-professor and one time quantum pontiff) jumped off the academic ship, swam to shore, and put on a new set of clothes as a software developer for Google. Can it … Continue reading ?

Physics Week in Review: July 16, 2016

This week started off with peak frivolity as everyone went bonkers over Pokemon Go, and ended in tragedy when dozens of people were killed by a terrorist attach in Nice, France, after a lorry drove into the crowds celebrating Bastille...

The science of proton packs

Ghostbusters advisor James Maxwell explains the science of bustin'. There's a new proton pack in town. During the development of the new Ghostbusters film, released today, science advisor James Maxwell took on the question: "How would...Show More Summary

306-313/366: Strong Island

A delayed photo dump this week, because I was solo-parenting last week while Kate was traveling for work, and then I took the sillyheads down to Long Island to visit my grandmother while Kate was at Readercon. Recovering from all that took a lot of time, plus there was a bunch of computer wrangling in…

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