Blog Profile / Not Even Wrong

Filed Under:Academics / Physics
Posts on Regator:521
Posts / Week:1.5
Archived Since:December 12, 2008

Blog Post Archive

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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 ?

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 ?

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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 ?

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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 ?

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