Blog Profile / Not Even Wrong

Filed Under:Academics / Physics
Posts on Regator:635
Posts / Week:1.5
Archived Since:December 12, 2008

Blog Post Archive

White Smoke Over Oxford?

I’ve stolen the title of this posting from Michael Harris, see his posting for a discussion of the same topic. A big topic of discussion among mathematicians this week is the ongoing workshop at Oxford devoted to Mochizuki’s claimed proof … Continue reading ?

Today’s Hype

Joe Polchinki’s contribution to the ongoing Munich meeting has now appeared on the arXiv, with the title String Theory to the Rescue. Evidently he’s not actually to be at the meeting, I’m not sure how his paper will be presented. … Continue reading ?

Next Week’s Hype

Next week there will be a workshop in Munich with the title Why Trust a Theory? Reconsidering Scientific Methodology in Light of Modern Physics. It’s organized by Richard Dawid, to discuss his ideas about “non-empirical theory confirmation”, developed to defend … Continue reading ?

Super and Great Colliders

I’ve recently finished reading two new books on huge collider projects, which make an interesting contrast. The first is From the Great Wall to the Great Collider, by Steve Nadis and Shing-Tung Yau. It’s a very well-informed and topical book, … Continue reading ?

Quick Items

A few quick items before the holiday: I hear that Luis Alvarez-Gaumé will be the next Director of the Simons Center, starting next Fall, taking over from John Morgan, the founding Director. My understanding is that the hope was to … Continue reading ?

This Week’s Non-Hype

Since I often post here complaints about articles produced by the press offices of various institutions that hype in a misleading way physicist’s theoretical work, I thought it a good idea to make up for this by noting a positive … Continue reading ?

Langlands Items

There’s an interesting development in the math-physics overlap, with a significant number of physicists getting interested in the theory of automorphic forms, often motivated by the problem of computing string scattering amplitudes. This has led to a group of them … Continue reading ?

This Week’s Hype

This week’s string theory hype comes to us from USC physicists Clifford Johnson and Nick Warner, courtesy of the USC press office (see here and here). It’s garden variety hype of this kind, exactly the same claims about strings and … Continue reading ?

2016 Breakthrough Prizes

The 2016 Breakthrough Prizes were announced last night, discussed a bit in the last posting. Today there are programs going on at Berkeley, livestreams available here. One thing that strikes me about these things is that the situation with the … Continue reading ?

Various News

Later tonight will be the 2016 Breakthrough Prize ceremony, broadcast live on the National Geographic channel. While mathematicians and physicists are getting their popcorn ready, waiting to find out which of their colleagues will be $3 million richer, they might … Continue reading ?

The Elephants in the Room – What every physicist should know about string theory

The string wars seem to still be going on, with the latest salvos coming from Ashtekar and Witten. In a very interesting recent interview, at the end Ashtekar has some comments about string theory and how it is being pursued. … Continue reading ?

Russian Math-Physics Film News

I’m pressed for time, heading out tomorrow for a short vacation in San Francisco, but I did want to write a little bit here before leaving. Last year around now, a theme was Hollywood blockbuster films with physics/math themes, this … Continue reading ?

The Latest Information on Information

The field of hep-th has always been quite faddish, with many of the fads easily recognizable just from looking at the buzzwords appearing in paper titles. In recent years “entanglement” is a buzzword that has been all the rage, and … Continue reading ?

Prizes and Other Stuff

There will be an awards ceremony November 8 for the 2016 Breakthrough Prizes, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, and airing live on the National Geographic Channel, later to run on FOX. The next day at Berkeley there will be a Breakthrough … Continue reading ?

This and That

The Perimeter Institute’s public lecture series tonight will feature Neil Turok on The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything. I think Turok is one of the few theorists speaking to the general public who has got the story of the current situation … Continue reading ?


A few odd things that I’ve run into recently: The IAS has a weekly meeting to discuss current topics in HEP theory. From their events calendar, next week’s meeting will be devoted to “The Cosmological Constant and the String Landscape”, … Continue reading ?

The Free Particle

Following on my notes about Euler’s formula, I’ve finally finished some work on another piece of elementary exposition, a discussion of the free quantum particle, which can be found as chapters 10, 11 and 12 of the book I’m working … Continue reading ?

Visions of Future Physics

There’s a great profile of Nima Arkani-Hamed by Natalie Wolchover just out at Quanta magazine, under the title Visions of Future Physics. I recently linked to another profile of him from the IAS, which covers some similar ground. He’s often … Continue reading ?

Connes on the Riemann Hypothesis

There’s a fascinating new preprint out from Alain Connes, called An essay on the Riemann Hypothesis, written by for a volume on “Open Problems in Mathematics”. Evidently the late John Nash is an editor, and responsible for commissioning this piece. … Continue reading ?

Various and Sundry

The semester here is finally underway, and I’m getting back to work on my quantum mechanics and mathematics book (latest version available here). Current plan is to have a final version by next spring, with publication by Springer late next … Continue reading ?

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