Blog Profile / Not Even Wrong

Filed Under:Academics / Physics
Posts on Regator:690
Posts / Week:2.1
Archived Since:December 12, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Breakthrough Prize Ceremony

There’s a story in Variety this afternoon announcing that Seth MacFarlane will be the host this year for the ceremony in Silicon Valley announcing the 2015 Breakthrough Prizes. MacFarlane was the host of the 2013 Oscars. Other celebrities there to … Continue reading ?

Yet More News

Charlie Munger, the billionaire business associate of Warren Buffett, has donated $65 million to the KITP at UCSB for the construction of a residence for visitors. For more on this, see a UCSB story, a New York Times article, and … Continue reading ?

Various News

Various news about the usual topics: Natalie Wolchover at Quanta magazine keeps coming up with great, in-depth stories about interesting new topics in physics that are getting no attention elsewhere. Her latest is about the universality of the Tracy-Widom distribution. … Continue reading ?

Quick Links

This month’s Physics Today has a long article by Wojciech Zurek, Quantum Darwinism, classical reality, and the randomness of quantum jumps. I’m not sure if there’s anything new there, but it’s a very clear exposition of what seems to me … Continue reading ?

Thirtieth Anniversary of the First Superstring Revolution

Today’s about the date that I’d pick for the 30th anniversary of the First Superstring Revolution. Witten’s paper Some Properties of O(32) Superstrings arrived at the journal Physics Letters on September 28,1984, so presumably was finished and sent out around … Continue reading ?

Horgan Interview With Witten

Back in 1996 John Horgan’s The End of Science appeared, which included material from a fascinating 1991 interview of Edward Witten. I had mixed feelings when reading this. On the one hand, Horgan was doing something truly remarkable, challenging Witten … Continue reading ?

Planck: It’s Just Dust

The Planck paper with results on dust in the BICEP2 patch of sky is now out, see here. I’m sure experts will weigh in soon and I’ll link to such discussions, but my non-expert take is that Planck is saying … Continue reading ?

Quantum Field Theory: Past, Present and Future

Video is now available of David Gross’s colloquium this past week at NYU, which had the title Quantum Field Theory: Past, Present and Future. It’s quite interesting to compare his current point of view to that of ten years ago. … Continue reading ?

Job Action at the Journal of K-theory

Back in 2007 I wrote here several times (see for example here and here) about the story of the resignation of the editorial board of the Springer journal K-theory in favor of a journal published by Cambridge, called the Journal … Continue reading ?

Various and Sundry

The MacArthur Foundation today announced “Genius” grants of $625,000 to 21 people, including two mathematicians, Jacob Lurie and Yitang Zhang. While there was a time these awards often went to mathematicians and theoretical physicists (the 1987 winners included string theorists … Continue reading ?

Quick Links

Well worth reading is High Energy Colliding Beams; What Is Their Future, by Burton Richter. Richter is one of the pioneers of designing and building colliders, and he starts off by recounting some of the history. About proposals for a … Continue reading ?


The LHC long shutdown (LS1) seems to be progressing on schedule, with physics collisions at 13 TeV planned for early April 2015. I’d guess the earliest 13 TeV results might appear at the summer 2015 conferences. The long term plan … Continue reading ?

Use the Moment Map, not Noether’s Theorem

For a fourth provocative slogan about quantum mechanics I’ve chosen: Use the moment map, not Noether’s Theorem. Pretty much every physics textbook these days explains the way symmetry principles work as: Start with an action functional, invariant under a Lie … Continue reading ?

Quick Links

Now back from the West Coast, here’s a list of things I’ve run across that may be of interest: One piece of news from Berkeley is that Peter Scholze will be there this fall, giving a course describing new techniques … Continue readi...

Nature is Fundamentally Conformally Invariant

For a third slogan I’ve chosen: Nature is fundamentally conformally invariant. Note the weasel-word “fundamentally”. We know that nature is not conformally invariant, but the kind of thing I have in mind is pure QCD, where the underlying classical theory … Continue reading ?

Grand Unification of Mathematics and Physics

For a second slogan about quantum mechanics I’ve chosen: Quantum mechanics is evidence of a grand unification of mathematics and physics I’m not sure whether this slogan is likely to annoy physicists or mathematicians more, but in any case Edward … Continue reading ?

Quantum Theory is Representation Theory

For a first slogan (see here for slogan zero) I’ve chosen: Quantum theory is representation theory. One aspect of what I’m referring to is explained in detail in chapter 14 of these notes. Whenever you have a classical phase space … Continue reading ?

Smashing Physics

I recently finally found a copy of Jon Butterworth’s Smashing Physics, which came out in the UK a few months ago, but still hasn’t made it to the US. As far as I know it’s the first book about the … Continue reading ?

2014 Fields Medals

I thought this wasn’t supposed to be announced until late this evening New York time, but the Fields Medal announcement is now online. The winners are: Artur Avial Manjul Bhargava Martin Hairer Maryam Mirzakhani Mirzakhani is the first woman to … Continue reading ?

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 ?

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