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Five announcements

1. Sanjeev Arora sent me a heads-up that there’s a discussion about the future of the STOC conference  at the Windows on Theory blog—in particular, about the idea of turning STOC into a longer “CS theory festival.”  If you have opinions about this, don’t miss the chance to make your voice heard. 2. Back in January, […]


2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

Because Date Night #2 since the Arrival! -cvj Click to continue reading this post ?

Miscellaneous Academic Job Market Notes

A few things about the academic job market have caught my eye recently, but don’t really add up to a big coherent argument. I’ll note them here, though, to marginally increase the chance that I’ll be able to find them later. — First, this piece at the Guardian got a lot of play, thanks in…

Next Week’s Hype

I know I should be coming up with material on different topics here, but the multiverse stuff sometimes is just too hard to ignore. Next week’s Comicpalooza in Houston will feature string theorist Gerald Cleaver. His blurb tells us that: … Continue reading ?

The accelerator in the Louvre

The Accélérateur Grand Louvre d’analyse élémentaire solves ancient mysteries with powerful particle beams. In a basement 15 meters below the towering glass pyramid of the Louvre Museum in Paris sits a piece of work the curators have no plans to display: the museum’s particle accelerator. This isn’t a Dan Brown novel. Show More Summary

Philosophy and Pictures of Physics

I’ve been sort of falling down on my obligation to promote myself– I’ve written two blog posts for Forbes this week, and forgotten to post about them here. The first is a thing about philosophy in physics, and how Einstein illustrates both the good and bad aspects of a philosophical approach. The second is a…

Contested Boundaries

Apologies for too much recent posting here about the tired topic of the string wars. I hope to soon make amends by writing about something new I learned about geometric Langlands. The summer 2015 issue of Perspectives in Science has … Continue reading ?

LHC experiments first to observe rare process

A joint result from the CMS and LHCb experiments precludes or limits several theories of new particles or forces. Two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN have combined their results and observed a previously unseen subatomic...Show More Summary

About That Smoking Gun…

Aeon magazine has just published a long piece on the current state of cosmology by Ross Andersen. One focus is on Paul Steinhardt and his claims that the popular multiverse/eternal inflation scenario doesn’t explain what it is supposed to, and … Continue reading ?

High adventure physics

Three groups of hardy scientists recently met up in Antarctica to launch experiments into the big blue via balloon. UC Berkeley grad student Carolyn Kierans recently watched her 5000-pound astrophysics experiment ascend 110,000 feet over Antarctica on the end of a helium-filled balloon the size of a football field. She had been up since 3 a.m. Show More Summary

Really? Is it that different?

An article from the New York Times is making its rounds on various social media circles I’m a member of, “What is the Point of a Professor?” It has lots of sucker-punch quotes, like But as this unique chapter of life closes and they reflect on campus events, one primary part of higher education will […]

Pi Day–We should do it more!

Today was Pi day. To join in the festivities, here in Marseille, I took my kid to the Pi-day exhibit at MuCEM, the new fancy museum they built in 2013 here in Marseille. It was packed. The room was on the top floor, and it was packed with people (sorry for the poor quality of […]

A Mother’s Day Flower

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

Happy Mother's Day to the mothers in my life, to all others, and especially to the wonderful mother who recently made me a father! Thanks for all that you do every day. After a recent bit of rain this single spectacular bloom was poking out from the undergrowth, in a seldom-tended part of the garden. Show More Summary

Weekend plot: minimum BS conjecture

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Resonaances

This weekend plot completes my last week's post: It shows the phase diagram for models of natural electroweak symmetry breaking. These models can be characterized by 2 quantum numbers: B [Baroqueness], describing how complicated is the...Show More Summary

Lonely chairs at CERN

Over the past year, the “Lonely Chairs at CERN” photography blog has let the chairs do the talking. When CMS physicist Rebeca Gonzalez Suarez of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, created a Tumblr called “Lonely Chairs at CERN” one year ago, she was not expecting the immediate reaction it garnered. Show More Summary

Anti-Matters: The Latest and Greatest from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer

This past month in Geneva a conference took place bringing together the world’s foremost experiments in cosmic ray physics and indirect dark matter detection: “AMS Days at CERN”. I took a break from thesis-writing, grabbed a bag of popcorn, and sat down to watch a couple of the lectures via webcast. There was a stellar

The US and CERN upgrade their relationship

A new agreement paves the way for joint projects between the United States and CERN. Today in a White House ceremony in Washington, DC, representatives from the US Department of Energy, the US National Science Foundation and the European...Show More Summary

The Admiral of the String Theory Wars

The science magazine Nautilus this month has a profile of me, under the title The Admiral of the String Theory Wars. The writer, Bob Henderson, spent a lot of time talking to me and other people around here, including attending … Continue reading ?

Greek Blog

I had forgotten to link it from here, but the internet always provides a chance for redemption. So here I go. A couple of months ago I have opened another wordpress blog, where I write on particle physics – in Greek. This is a rather extravagant choice, and I think I need to spend a […]

ICHEP blog

Just one line here to mention that since May there is a new blog out there – a temporary blog that will cover the end of July event in Paris – the International Conference on High Energy Physics -, how we get there, and the aftermath. The effort includes several well-known bloggers in high-energy physics, […]

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