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Blog Profile / Not Even Wrong

Filed Under:Academics / Physics
Posts on Regator:672
Posts / Week:2.1
Archived Since:December 12, 2008

Blog Post Archive

What’s Hard to Understand is Classical Mechanics, Not Quantum Mechanics

For a zeroth slogan about quantum mechanics, I’ve chosen What’s hard to understand is classical mechanics, not quantum mechanics. The slogan is labeled by zero because it’s preliminary to what I’ve been writing about here. It explains why I don’t … Continue reading ?

Fall QM Course

This year I’ll be teaching a new version of the same course on quantum mechanics aimed at mathematicians that I taught during the 2012-3 academic year (there’s a web-page here). During the last course I started writing up notes, and … Continue reading ?

Quantum Connection Could Revitalize Superstrings

Finally back from vacation, postings may appear somewhat more regularly… Science journalist Tom Siegfried has been one of the most vociferous proponents of string theory for many, many years (see here), but even his faith seems like it might be … Continue reading ?

The NSA, NIST and the AMS

Among the many disturbing aspects of the behavior of the NSA revealed by the Snowden documents, the most controversial one directly relevant to mathematicians was the story of the NSA’s involvement in a flawed NIST cryptography standard (for more see … Continue reading ?

Mathematics Items

For an Oxford conference last week, Langlands contributed a one-hour video talk, filmed in his office. One hour was not enough, so hours two and three are also available, as well as a separate text, and some additional comments. The … Continue reading ?

String Theory and Post-Empiricism

Note: This is being published simultaneously here and at Scientia Salon. Discussion will be at the Scientia Salon site. Last month’s Strings 2014 conference in Princeton included two remarkable talks by prominent physicists, both of whom invoked philosophy in a … Continue reading ?

Quick Links

Jim Simons is profiled in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, the New York Times today. The WSJ piece is partly about a recent $50 million donation to the Simons Center for Quantitative Biology at Cold Spring Harbor, but it reports … Continue reading ?

Physical Mathematics and the Future

The “vision” talk at Strings 2014 that I found most interesting was that of Greg Moore, whose topic was “Physical Mathematics and the Future”. He has a very extensive written version of the talk here, which includes both what he … Continue reading ?

String Theory Visions

Strings 2014 ended today, with five separate “vision” talks, giving a good picture of where the leaders of the string theory community see the subject going. I saw the talks on streaming video, presumably they should appear on the conference … Continue reading ?

Pierre van Baal 1955-2013

I only recently heard about the death late last year of Dutch particle theorist Pierre van Baal. Pierre was my office mate when we were both postdocs at Stony Brook during the mid-eighties, and he was one of the people … Continue reading ?

2015 Breakthrough Prizes in Mathematics

The first set of winners of the $3 million Milner/Zuckerberg financed Breakthrough Prizes in mathematics was announced today: it’s Donaldson, Kontsevich, Lurie, Tao and Taylor. There’s a good New York Times story here. When these prizes were first announced last … Continue reading ?

Quick Links

Oisin links Bernstein vogan conf Atiyah interview at Oxford site web of stories, gell-mann, atiyah on index theorem Rovelli, Bac, Higgs wolchover pieces witten kyoto prize AMS Notices on NSA

Smoking Gun No Longer Smoking

The BICEP2 paper is now out in Physical Review Letters, with major revisions to its conclusions from the preprint/press conference version of last March. For another sort of associated revision, compare this (from a March 17 Stanford press release): Linde, … Continue reading ?

Strings 2014

This coming week and the next Princeton will host both the big yearly string theory conference Strings 2014, and Prospects in Theoretical Physics 2014, a program designed to train young physicists in string theory. Princeton is definitely the right place … Continue reading ?

Large Hadron Collider Physics Conference

While I was away last week Columbia was hosting the Large Hadron Collider Physics (LHCP) conference here on campus. Talks are available here. Matt Strassler posts about some of the new Higgs results, which basically see some of the inconsistencies … Continue reading ?

Evidence in the Natural Sciences

I recently spent a day at the Simons Foundation in midtown, attending a symposium on Evidence in the Natural Sciences. Of the scientific program talks, I got the most out of the one by Thomas Hales on the question of … Continue reading ?

Past the End of Science

I haven’t yet seen a copy of Marcelo Gleiser’s new book, but this weekend the Wall Street Journal had a review by John Gribbin, author of the 2009 multiverse-promotional effort In Search of the Multiverse. I don’t know how Gleiser … Continue reading ?

Big Bang Blunder Bursts the Multiverse Bubble

This week’s Nature has an article by Paul Steinhardt, with the title Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble. The subtitle of the piece describes the BICEP2 frenzy of last March as “premature hype”, and the description in the body … Continue reading ?

This Week’s Hype

About every three years KEK issues a hype-filled press release announcing that Jun Nishimura and collaborators have used a supercomputer to get evidence for string theory. Back in 2008, the announcement was of a numerical simulation on a supercomputer of … Continue reading ?

Quick Links

Just returned from a few days in Boston, will try and catch up here on various topics: This past week I was able to attend some of the talks at the conference in honor of David Vogan’s 60th birthday. I’m … Continue reading ?

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