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The 8000th Busy Beaver number eludes ZF set theory: new paper by Adam Yedidia and me

I’ve supervised a lot of student projects in my nine years at MIT, but my inner nerdy teenager has never been as personally delighted by a project as it is right now.  Today, I’m proud to announce that Adam Yedidia, a PhD student at MIT (but an MEng student when he did most of this work), has […]

“Largely just men doing sums”: My review of the excellent Ramanujan film

[Warning: This movie review contains spoilers, as well as a continued fraction expansion.] These days, it takes an extraordinary occasion for me and Dana to arrange the complicated, rocket-launch-like babysitting logistics involved in going out for a night at the movies. Show More Summary

The Big Picture

I’m about to head out on vacation to commune with nature in the Pacific Northwest, so there’s likely to be no more blogging here until after May 17th. That’s just one reason I’ll leave comments closed here, another is that … Continue reading ?

This Week’s Hype

The June issue of Discover magazine has an article entitled The Fall and Rise of String Theory (sorry it’s behind a paywall). I had added this as an update to the last posting, but just looked at it more carefully … Continue reading...

EXO-200 resumes its underground quest

The upgraded experiment aims to discover if neutrinos are their own antiparticles. Science is often about serendipity: being open to new results, looking for the unexpected. The dark side of serendipity is sheer bad luck, which is what...Show More Summary

Vacation Review Blogging

As mentioned in passing a little while ago, we spent last week on a Disney cruise in the Caribbean, with the kids and my parents. We had sort of wondered for a while what those trips are like, and since the first reaction of most parents I’ve mentioned it to has been “Oh, we’ve thought…

Wild Thing

The wildflower patch continues to produce surprises. You never know exactly what's going to come up, and in what quantities. I've been fascinated by this particular flower, for example, which seems to be constructed out of several smaller...Show More Summary

All Thumbs…

I'm not going to lie. If you're not in the mood, thumbnailing can be the most utterly tedious thing: (click for larger view) Yet, as the key precursor to getting more detailed page layout right, and [...] Click to continue reading this post ? The post All Thumbs… appeared first on Asymptotia.

Goodbye, and Thank You

May 27th 2011, at the Forum in Los Angeles. What a wonderful show. So generous - numerous encores and special guests well into the night. Thank you for the music, Prince (click for larger view): (Amy. Tina. Jason.) -cvj Click to continue reading this post ? The post Goodbye, and Thank You appeared first on Asymptotia.

Physics Week in Review: April 30, 2013

Wormholes might be supermassive black holes laced with dark matter, a weasel shuts down the Large Hadron Collider, and the physics of peacock tail feathers were among this week's physics highlights. Me at Gizmodo: Wikipedia Is Basically a Corporate Bureaucracy,...

Various Items

A few short items: Things had been going quite well at the LHC, they were ahead of schedule, starting to ramp up intensity for the new run. Then at 5:30 this morning a weasel decided to visit a 66kV transformer, … Continue reading ?

A GUT feeling about physics

Scientists want to connect the fundamental forces of nature in one Grand Unified Theory. The 1970s were a heady time in particle physics. New accelerators in the United States and Europe turned up unexpected particles that theorists tried to explain, and theorists in turn predicted new particles for experiments to hunt. Show More Summary

That’s odd: Why is gravity so weak?

Why isn’t an entire planet’s gravity enough to rip a magnet off your fridge door? Finding an answer is essential to unify physics and explain our existence

The hottest job in physics?

Accelerator scientists are in demand at labs and beyond. While the supply of accelerator physicists in the United States has grown modestly over the last decade, it hasn’t been able to catch up with demand fueled by industry interest...Show More Summary

Hacking the LHC to sift trash could help find a mystery particle

The Large Hadron Collider is gearing up to try to confirm hints of an unexpected new particle, and there could be an unorthodox new way to spot it

Physics Week in Review: April 23, 2016

How tropical birds use quantum physics, trouble at the Hanford nuclear power plant in Washington state, and why elk bugles sound like Ringwraith shrieks were among this week's physics highlights. Also appearing this week: My review for the New York...

Group Theory in a Nutshell for Physicists

There’s a new book out in the Princeton “Nutshell” series, Tony Zee’s Group Theory in a Nutshell for Physicists. I liked his Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell quite a lot, it’s packed with all sorts of insights into that … Continue reading ?

LHC data at your fingertips

The CMS collaboration has released 300 terabytes of research data. Today the CMS collaboration at CERN released more than 300 terabytes (TB) of high-quality open data. These include more than 100 TB of data from proton collisions at 7 TeV, making up half the data collected at the LHC by the CMS detector in 2011. Show More Summary

Me interviewed by John Horgan (the author of “The End of Science”)

You can read it here. It’s long (~12,000 words).  Rather than listing what this interview covers, it would be easier to list what it doesn’t cover.  (My favorite soda flavors?) If you read this blog, much of what I say there will be old hat, but some of it will be new.  I predict that you’ll enjoy […]

The Quantum in Quantum Computing

I am sure, by now, all of you have seen Canada's prime minister "explain" quantum computers at Perimeter. It's really great that politicians care about these things and he managed to say what is the standard explanation for the speed...Show More Summary

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