Blog Profile / Not Even Wrong

Filed Under:Academics / Physics
Posts on Regator:477
Posts / Week:1.4
Archived Since:December 12, 2008

Blog Post Archive

US HEP Theory Funding News

Laurence Yaffe has gathered some information about DOE funding of US HEP theory groups, showing sharp drops (average 23%) in such funding for groups reviewed in FY2013 and FY2014. These drops imply serious reductions in the numbers of theory graduate … Continue reading ?

The Multiverse, Evidence and Theology

Yes, this multiverse business is tedious, but since it is becoming mainstream physics, with colloquium talks here at Columbia devoted to it, and the Columbia University Press publishing books about it, seems to me that someone at Columbia should be … Continue reading ?

More Links, Interesting and Tedious

First some links to interesting things: There’s a fascinating interview with Deligne in the latest AMS Notices. Alexandre Grothendieck: A Mathematical Portrait includes some great expository pieces about the mathematics developed by Grothendieck. There’s also available Grothendieck’s own Esquisse Thématique, … Continue reading ?

The Perfect Wave

Sometimes when I have come across claims of exotic phenomena at the far-out edge of the field of BSM physics based on branes and string theory (like time travel, or brane-world explanations of the bad OPERA result), my initial reaction … Continue reading ?

The Perfect Theory

Cosmologist Pedro Ferreira has a new book about to come out, entitled The Perfect Theory. The author accurately describes the book as a “biography of general relativity”, and it’s quite a good one, of the short and breezy variety (as … Continue reading ?

Quick Links

I’ve always thought more philosophers of science should be weighing in on the debate over “falsifiability” and the “demarcation problem” surrounding string theory and the multiverse (i.e. are these really science?). This is a complex and tricky subject that they … Continue reading ?

Scientific Bookstores, RIP

A few days ago I tried to stop by the Barnes and Noble store here in New York at Fifth Ave. and 18th St., just to find that it had closed earlier this month. This was the first book store … Continue reading ?

The Principle

I just found out about a new film coming out this spring, which appears to exemplify exactly the dangers I was pointing to in my last posting. It’s entitled The Principle, and features physicists Michio Kaku, Lawrence Krauss and Max … Continue reading ?

I am not now and never have been a creationist

Max Tegmark seems to have decided that my criticism here of the emptiness of ideas in his recent book is “similar to hate-mail I’ve been receiving from a Young-Earth Creationist”. Also, the fact that I have fans at a certain … Continue reading ?

Platonism CageMatch at MoMath

After spending two hours in the middle of the day hearing about unexpected uses of twistors to study particle scattering amplitudes, yesterday I went down to Manhattan’s relatively new Museum of Mathematics, which had scheduled a “Family Friday” event, featuring … Continue reading ?

The Amplituhedron and Twistors

Yesterday Nima Arkani-Hamed was here at Columbia, giving a theory seminar on the topic of the Amplituhedron, which is a characterization of the integration region in a calculation of scattering amplitudes by integrating over regions in the so-called positive Grassmannian. … Continue reading ?

Topcites 2013

The people at SLAC for a long time have been compiling “Topcites” data which includes various lists of the most heavily-cited papers in HEP. From 1997-2003 Mike Peskin each year would write something about the significance of the lists. I … Continue reading ?

Not Giving Up

One question I’ve been wondering about for the last 20 years or so has been what SUSY proponents would do when the LHC finally gathered data and found no SUSY. Would they finally admit this was an idea that hadn’t … Continue reading...

Our Mathematical Universe

Max Tegmark has a new book out, entitled Our Mathematical Universe, which is getting a lot of attention. I’ve written a review of the book for the Wall Street Journal, which is now available (although now behind a paywall, if … Continue reading ?

What Scientific Idea is Ready for Retirement?

Every year John Brockman’s Edge web-site hosts responses to a different question. This year the question was What scientific idea is ready for retirement?. It shouldn’t be too hard to guess what I chose to write about, with results available … Continue reading ?

Scientists Find a Practical Test for String Theory

This sort of thing seemed to be dying down (2013 required a record low number of “This Week’s Hype” postings), but 2014 is starting off with the usual promotion by physicists of nonsense about how they have “found a test … Continue reading ?

Short Items

Harvard has announced that the Chinese firm Evergrande Group will be supporting various activities at Harvard, including a new Center for Mathematical Sciences and Applications, with S.-T. Yau as director. No details of what the center will do other than … Continue reading ?


Two of the prominent string theorists working on ideas about holography and cosmology featured in Amanda Gefter’s new book are Tom Banks and Willy Fischler, who have a new paper out on the subject, entitled Holographic Space-time and Newton’s Law. … Continue reading ?

Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn

Amanda Gefter, a science writer who has often covered theoretical physics topics for New Scientist, has a new book coming out soon, Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn. On one level it’s a memoir, telling a story that begins with her father … Continue reading ?

Trust the math? An Update

Back in September, I wrote here about the news that Snowden’s revelations that confirmed suspicions that back in 2005-6 NSA mathematicians had compromised an NIST standard for elliptic-curve cryptography. The new standard was promoted as an improvement using sophisticated mathematical … Continue reading ?

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