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A Crisis at the (Western) Edge of Physics

The New York Times had an op-ed piece this weekend by Adam Frank and Marcelo Gleiser, entitled A Crisis at the Edge of Physics. They make some of the usual criticisms of string theory and the multiverse, ending with Are … Continue reading ?

A Constructive Response to Professorial Anxiety

Engaging in a bit of tab clearance before I head off to DAMOP tomorrow afternoon, I noticed that I still had How to Teach an Ancient Rape Joke open. This is because while I found it kind of fascinating, it’s not all that directly relevant to what I do, and I didn’t have anything all…

97% environmentalist

I decided to add my name to a petition by, as of this writing, 81 MIT faculty, calling on MIT to divest its endowment from fossil fuel companies.  (My co-signatories include Noam Chomsky, so I guess there’s something we agree about!)...Show More Summary

What a Difference a Year Makes

Back in October or so, SteelyKid’s first-grade class started a weekly journaling exercise. Every Monday, we were supposed to send in a sheet with some prompts on it– words about something interesting that happened over the weekend, and the kids started the day writing about… whatever it was. I was a little dubious about having…

The West Coast Metric is the Wrong One

I’m trying to get back to blogging about quantum mechanics slogans, this one is about relativistic quantum mechanics. I’m hoping it will stir up more trouble than my last East vs. West one. If you’re doing calculations in relativistic quantum … Continue reading ?

Steady to a fault

How do accelerators survive in some of the most earthquake-prone regions on Earth? Perhaps you’ve seen the trailer for San Andreas, a movie in which a massive quake rocks northern California, toppling skyscrapers and propelling a massive...Show More Summary

The Birth of BEC

I’m massively short on sleep today, and wasn’t going to blog until I saw somebody on Facebook mention that June 5th 1995 is the date of record for the first Bose-Einstein condensate at JILA in Boulder. I couldn’t let that pass, so I wrote it up for Forbes: Twenty years ago, in the summer of…

Trends in Triggering: Offline to online

The recent LHCC open meeting is a great place to look to see the current state of the Large Hadron Collider’s physics program. While watching the talks I had one of those moments. You know – where suddenly you realize something that you’d seen here and there isn’t just something you’d seen here and there, […]

Is there a prisoner's dilemma in vaccination?

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : atdotde

Recently, I have been thinking about vaccination strategies as I was confronted with opinions which I consider at least very risk inviting. Not to spill oil in the fire I will thus anonymize illnesses and use made up probabilities. But...Show More Summary

Tensor factor subalgebras question

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : atdotde

After some serious arm-twisting performed by some TMP students I accepted to run a seminar on Foundations of Quantum Mechanics under the condition that it would be a no-nonsense class. This is in addition to the String Theory Lectures I have to teach as well. Show More Summary

Back from silence

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : atdotde

It has been very silent here recently (or not so recently) but there is no particular reason for this except that I have been busy with other things (including an update on my facebook relationship status) and small things have been posted to Twitter rather than the blog.And if one is not constantly taking care of things they tend to degrade. Show More Summary

Formulas in Blogger

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : atdotde

To include formulas in I have so far used mimetex which uses an external server running a cgi-script to convert TeX-style formulas to picutres.This did its job most of the time except that mathphys, the old machine in Bremen...Show More Summary

How to obtain a polymer Hilbert space

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : atdotde

On Monday, I will be at HU Berlin to give a seminar on my loop cosmology paper (at 2pm in case you are interested and around). Preparing for that I came up with an even more elementary derivation of the polymer Hilbert space (without need to mention C-algebras, the GNS-construction etc). Show More Summary

Bohmian mechanics threatend by Occam's razor

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : atdotde

Last semester, I have been running a seminar on "Foundation of Quantum Mechanics" (wiki page) for TMP students that had been disappointed that "Mathematical Quantum Mechanics" was not on foundations. Overall, I am quite satisfied with the outcome. Show More Summary

Entropic Everything

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : atdotde

The latest paper by Eric Verlinde on gravity as an entropic force makes me wonder whether I am getting old: Let me admit it: I just don't get it. Is this because I am conservative or lack imagination or too narrow minded? If it were not for the author, I would have rated it as pure crackpottery. Show More Summary

Download compete twitter timeline

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : atdotde

Upon popular request, I wrote a small script to download all tweets of a given twitter id. Have fun! #!/usr/bin/perluse Net::Twitter;$|=1;unless(@ARGV){ print "Usage: $0 twitter_id [sleep_seconds]\n"; exit 0;}my ($follow,$sleeper) =Show More Summary

Not so canonical momentum

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : atdotde

Two weeks ago, I was on Corfu where I attended the conference/school/workshop on particles, astroparticles, strings and cosmology. This was a three week event, the first being on more conventional particle physics, the second on strings and the last on loops and non-commutative geometry and the like. Show More Summary

Wroc?aw summary

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : atdotde

So, I did not get around to live blog from the XXVth Max Born meeting "The Planck Scale". The main reason was, that there were no hot news or controversial things presented, rather people from the different camps talked about findings that a daily reader of hep-th had in some form or the other already noticed. Show More Summary

Jazz makes you age faster

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : atdotde

Before I head off for the travel season (first vacation: St. Petersburg, Moscow, Transsiberian Railway, Irkutsk, Baikal Lake, Ulan Ude and Mongolian Border, then two weeks of workshop in Corfu, then meeting collaborators in ErlangenShow More Summary

Thermodynamic (in)stability of hydrogen

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : atdotde

The interview season for the "Theoretical and Mathematical Physics" master programme at LMU is approaching quickly. We have to come up with new questions and problems that help us judge our applicants. It turns out to be easy to find questions in quantum mechanics and those easily lead over to mathematics questions. Show More Summary

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