Author Archives: woit

50 Years of Electroweak Unification

The 50th anniversary of electroweak unification is coming up in a couple days, since Weinberg’s A Model of Leptons paper was submitted to PRL on October 17, 1967. For many years this was the most heavily cited HEP paper of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Various Topics in Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

A couple of recent discussions about quantum mechanics that may be of interest: There’s a recent paper out by Don Weingarten that looks looks like it might have a different take on the fundamental “many-worlds” problem of, as he writes: … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum Mechanics | 17 Comments

The Big Bang Theory and the Death of SUSY

If you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory, perhaps you’ve seen the latest episode, The Retraction Reaction. If not, you might be interested in the following transcript (taken from here). The show has always done a good job of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 35 Comments

2017 Nobel Prize in Physics

At this point, Kip Thorne and Rainer Weiss of LIGO have (deservedly) won just about every scientific prize out there, for the first observation of gravitational waves. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t believe they’ll be getting the Physics … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 53 Comments

Vladimir Voevodsky 1966-2017

I was very sorry to hear yesterday of the announcement from the IAS of the untimely death of Vladimir Voevodsky, at the age of 51. Last year I had the chance to meet Voevodsky and talk with him for a … Continue reading

Posted in Obituaries | 6 Comments

Various and Sundry

I don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but quite a while ago I replaced the “latexrender” TeX plugin being used here by a mathjax one. As I find time, I’m now going back and editing old posts to get … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments

Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory

For quite a while Leonard Susskind has been giving some wonderful courses on physics under the name “The Theoretical Minimum”, pitched at a level in between typical popularizations and standard advanced undergraduate courses. This is a great idea, since there … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | 30 Comments

QCD at $\theta=\pi$

Earlier this week Zohar Komargodski (who is now at the Simons Center) visited Columbia, and gave a wonderful talk on recent work he has been involved in that provides some new insight into a very old question about QCD. Simplifying … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Modern Theories of Quantum Gravity

Quanta magazine today has a column by Robbert Dijkgraaf that comes with the abstract: Reductionism breaks the world into elementary building blocks. Emergence finds the simple laws that arise out of complexity. These two complementary ways of viewing the universe … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Modern Geometry

This semester I’m teaching the first semester of Modern Geometry, our year-long course on differential geometry aimed at our first-year Ph.D. students. A syllabus and some other information about the course is available here. In the spring semester Simon Brendle … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments