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Blog Profile / Not Even Wrong

Filed Under:Academics / Physics
Posts on Regator:638
Posts / Week:2.1
Archived Since:December 12, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Latest from the Stacks Project

My colleague Johan de Jong for the last few years has been working on an amazing mathematical endeavor he calls the “Stacks Project”. As boring 20th century technology, this is a work-in-progress document (now nearly 4000 pages), available here. But … Continue reading ?

Bankrupting Physics

I just spent a depressing and tedious few hours reading through Bankrupting Physics, an English translation of Alexander Unzicker’s 2010 Von Urknall zum Durchknall written in German. When I started reading the thing I wasn’t expecting much, but figured it … Continue reading ?

Where are we heading?

Every summer the IAS in Princeton runs a program for graduate students and postdocs called “Prospects in Theoretical Physics”. It’s going on now, with this year’s topic LHC Physics. Much of the program is devoted to the important but complex … Continue reading ?

News From All Over

I confess to mostly finding “philosophy of physics” arguments not very helpful for understanding anything, but for those who feel differently, some new things to look at are a Scientific American article Physicists Debate Whether the World is Made of … Continue reading ?

No Joking Matter

Back now from vacation, and while I was away several people sent me links to point out that string theory promoters definitely aren’t taking vacation. Links here with a few quick comments, followed by something about the issue of making … Continue reading ?

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

I’ll be heading North tomorrow, ultimately ending up in backwoods Maine, hiking the Appalachian Trail, then back home after a week or so. The comment section here will likely be closed for the duration. Progress is being made on my … Continue reading ?

Strings 2013 etc.

These days one can just about attend a wide variety of summer conferences from the comfort of one’s home or office, with talks appearing online more or less immediately after they are given. This week some possibilities to consider are: … Continue reading ?

Kenneth Wilson 1936-2013

Kenneth Wilson died this past weekend, in Maine at the age of 77. Some obituaries can be found here, here, here, and here. Wilson won the Nobel prize in 1982 for his work on critical phenomena and phase transitions, but … Continue reading ?

This Week’s Hype

In recent years universities have taken to issuing press releases when one of their particle theorists gets a paper on some speculative topic published in a journal like Physical Review Letters. Many examples of such things, often involving bogus claims … Continue reading ?

Farewell to Reality

Jim Baggott has written a very good new book called Farewell to Reality that will soon come out here in the US. It is already out in the UK, where it is stirring up some debate, and perhaps the US … Continue reading ?

Nature on the new Nobels

This week’s Nature has an article by Zeeya Merali about various new science mega-prizes, including Yuri Milner’s Fundamental Physics Prize. There’s also a podcast here, and a Nature editorial here. I’m quoted in the article, saying about what you’d expect, … Continue reading ?

Nature at the energy frontier

Last week a symposium on Nature at the energy frontier was held at the ETH in Zurich, funded by the Latsis foundation. Videos of many of the talks have appeared here. As part of the symposium, David Gross gave a … Continue reading ?

Simons 75th Birthday Conference

Last week the CUNY Graduate Center hosted a conference in honor of the 75th birthday of Jim Simons. It was organized by Dennis Sullivan as a set of expository “mini-courses” on various topics related to Simons’ mathematical work. I was … Continue reading ?

Snowmass on the Pacific

Due to popular demand from the comment section, I spent some time this afternoon taking a look at the talks now posted from the KITP Snowmass on the Pacific conference held the past few days. This is part of an … Continue reading ?

A Tale of Two Oxford Talks

Last week (for more, see here) Eric Weinstein gave a talk at Oxford about his ideas about “Geometric Unity”, with positive coverage from the Guardian, leading to various critical commentary. I agree completely with the main point of most of … Continue reading ?

The “Unnatural” Standard Model

The Standard Model is a physical theory of a spectacularly successful sort. It is built on beautiful and deep mathematics, covers almost all known physical phenomena, and agrees precisely with the result of every single experiment ever done to test … Continue reading ?

Various Links

The Smithsonian has a long article about Lisa Randall here. The Wall Street Journal has a shorter article about Randall’s high school classmate Brian Greene here. Brian’s World Science Festival will start here in New York on Wednesday. I’ll probably … Continue reading ?

Eric Weinstein on Geometric Unity

Eric Weinstein is a Harvard math Ph. D. who has been working as an economist here in New York for many years, and someone I’ve often enjoyed talking to over the years. Going back to his days as a graduate … Continue reading ?

Hard Evidence for the Multiverse Found, but String Theory Limits the Space Brain Threat

In recent years there have been many claims made for “evidence” of a multiverse, supposedly found in the CMB data (see for example here). Such claims often came with the remark that the Planck CMB data would convincingly decide the … Continue reading ?

One Ring to Rule Them All

This week in Sweden the Nobel Foundation is running a symposium on LHC results. It’s invitation only, but the slides of the talks are available here. One of the scheduled talks today was about string theory, and I was wondering … Continue reading ?

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